Guess what followers! April is National Minority Health Month and the Office of Minority Health is calling for action and unity among those invested in reducing health disparities. April also marks one year since the launch of the HHS Action Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities and the National Stakeholder Strategy for Achieving Health Equity.
As many of you know, health care is a topic that is near and dear to my heart for various reasons and I would like to share some with you. The problem of health disparities among those of different ethnic and racial backgrounds is evident and well known. The prevalence of chronic diseases and conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis and heart disease are high for Hispanics and blacks, some conditions at highly disproportionate levels. The conditions I mentioned above are all those that I see my grandmother and grandfather struggle with everyday. Because the most important people in my life face these challenges, I feel I have to do something to change the circumstances for the next generation. I have never thought to be a doctor but I know that there was something that I could do to make an impact and create change.
Today, too many Americans fail to get preventive care, that could help avoid the onset of these chronic yet preventable conditions, because of cost and misinformation. For Latinos, I believe language and cultural characteristics such as machismo also contribute to the lack of proper care and barriers to treatment. There needs to be a way to more clearly and effectively communicate with the next generation. Believe it or not, we are not invincible. We must take care of our bodies now, so that they can allow us to live long healthy lives later on. Chronic diseases are often fairly simple to manage and maintain, but why not save yourself the hassle and avoid them completely? There are things that you can do each day, once a week, or several times a year to ensure that you are healthy and preventing disease and sickness. I encourage you to learn more about disparities and the illnesses that are prevalent to your ethnic group during this month, as well as visit your health care provider and find out how you can prevent these for yourself and your family. You will be happy you did.
As always, thank you for reading and allowing me to share a small part of my life and dreams with you. Many blessings.