Much has been written about the types of discriminations African-Americans have and continue to confront. Most studies conclude that it is there is a stark contrast between whites and blacks in America. Blacks have to learn to live with all forms of discriminations. This is perhaps the best way for them to survive in an environment that does not pay attention to them. Bigotry has moved into the health world. The just stated is evident in several findings. Researchers from both CDC and NAACP document these health disparities. From their reports, it is correct to infer that discrimination remains an issue in the health sector.
HIV is one of the leading causes of death globally. Once one has been infected with HIV, that person has to learn to live with the virus until death. According to NAACP, blacks are more likely to die of HIV when compared to whites (NAACP, 2016). Their survival rate is considered short. NAACP also reveals that HIV is the main cause of death among black people. The above findings offer tons of insights concerning discrimination in the health sector.
The percentage of white people considered to have fair or poor health is 8.4 while the percentage of black people considered to have fair or poor health is 13.8. This finding by CDC underscores the fact that discrimination is ripe in the American health sector. Discriminations against black people have put them at a higher risk of death than other races (CDC, 2016).
Several measures have been used to establish whether discrimination in the health sector is a myth or reality. All measures used have shown that blacks are often discriminated. Some of the measures used include health insurance coverage, hypertension prevalence, obesity, heart disease, mortality, infant deaths, and diabetes. These measures provide a good foundation for appreciating the fact that African Americans confront several health challenges.
Health disparities between African Americans and other races are evident in the following areas: cancer, mental health, diabetes, kidney disease, and homicide. Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers among Americans. It is more common among women than it is among men. African Americans are more likely to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer than whites. They are also likely to die of colorectal cancer than whites. Colorectal cancer mortality rate has been reducing among whites and increasing among blacks.
More than three million Americans are believed to suffer from Hepatitis C Virus. Of these numbers, 25 percent are African Americans. Hepatitis C Virus is considered one of the leading causes of death among African Americans aged between 45-65. Although Hepatitis C Virus is curable, about five percent of those diagnosed with the disease are likely not to survive.
Mental illness is the main cause of disability in the U.S. Most mental illnesses can be treated to enable the affected to function normally. In the U.S, there are several healthcare facilities that provide mental illness services. According to Kelly Report, black people are less likely to consider using mental services when compared to white (Kelly Report, 2015).
Underutilization of the available health services is considered one of the reasons behind the current health disparities in America. While factors such as socioeconomic status play an instrumental role in determining service use, a wide body of research has shown that the poor service delivery is to blame for underutilization of medical services among blacks. Most studies agree that blacks often receive poor service delivery when compared to whites. Such healthcare disparities make African Americans doubt the effective of the healthcare sector.
Another issue believed to behind the present healthcare disparities in the United States is the patient-provider relationship. The relationship between American healthcare providers and African Americans is poor. There is enough evidence to show that most African Americans are dissatisfied with the services offered by healthcare providers. Their dissatisfactions are mostly caused by medical mistrust, perceived discrimination, and race discordance.
African Americans hold the belief that good health is essential in life. That is the reason why they participate in several health promotion services. Discrimination in the healthcare arena has made them trust churches than health care organizations. Research shows that most blacks hold the believe that the church plays a fundamental part in their health promotion. They are also more like to participate in health promotion services hosted by their churches. The just indicated raises the need for healthcare organizations to cooperate with churches to enhance the health of African Americans. Religion has influenced the way African Americans intellectualize health promotion (Stephens, 2013).
While African Americans desire to have good health, they often confront numerous challenges. Most African Americans lack health insurance coverage. This makes it difficult for them access quality care. Without health insurance coverage, it is quite difficult to bear the cost of modern medications. To have health insurance cover, one ought to be employed or financially stable to purchase insurance. Unemployment and the increasing costs of medications have made it impossible for many people to have insurance. Because most blacks are poor, it should not be strange that most of them lack insurance. Insurance cover is all about money.
In conclusion, discrimination against African Americans remains an issue. Most studies show that discrimination is the cause of the higher mortality rate among African Americans. Bias will be a past story should healthcare providers make the resolution to offer their services to all races with favoritism. This is very possible.
- CDC. (2016). Fast Stats. Cdc.gov. Retrieved 30 June 2016, from http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/black-health.htm
- Kelly Report. (2015). Health Disparities in America. Congressional Black Caucus Health Brain trust. Retrieved 30 June 2016, from https://cbcbraintrust-kelly.house.gov/media-center/kelly-report
- NAACP. (2016). Health Care Fact Sheet. Naacp.org. Retrieved 30 June 2016, from http://www.naacp.org/pages/health-care-fact-sheet
- Stephens, S. (2013). Churches Minister Better Health in African American Communities. www.cfah.org. Retrieved 30 June 2016, from http://www.cfah.org/hbns/2013/churches-minister-better-health-in-african-american-communities