Minority Health Equities Buquilla Ervin-Cannon, CMHE Pee Dee Minority Health Office

April 22, 2021
Buquilla Ervin-Cannon Buquilla Ervin-Cannon

Poverty is a major influence in providing the basic needs for Minority Communities. Racism is a systemic, organized social and cultural practice that through exclusion, prejudice, and discrimination is a cause of health and social disparities. When you consider substandard employment, housing education income and access to health care the triggers include occupational hazards, exposure to toxic substances in the home, low quality schooling, food deserts, easy access to illicit drugs and alcohol, crime and violence and environmental exposures. According to a 2018 survey of African American Communities Thirty percent of African Americans believe their health is dependent fate or destiny and only about 50% feel that health is a priority. Unemployment rates is twice as high for blacks (8.8%) than for whites (4.3%). Many other humans made factors contribute to health disparities but seldom receive adequate attention. The quality of housing and living condition affects health. Minorities live in some of the countries. lowest quality housing. Asthma is related to poor housing and African Americans are disproportionately affected from Asthma. Segregated housing contributes to a significant increase in Cardiovascular disease. And African Americans live in the poorest neighborhood with the highest rate of violence and homicide. People that live in poor neighborhoods are less likely to gain the benefit exercising and eating healthy diets.

Access to healthy foods is also a problem in poor communities. “Food Deserts” describe neighborhoods without easy access to supermarkets that sell fresh fruit and vegetables and other healthy foods. Black neighborhoods have fewer supermarkets than whites. Several studies also documented that the food that is available in poor communities is less fresh and poor quality. In contrast, alcohol outlets are much more numerous in black neighborhoods. It is not surprising that rates of obesity and diabetes are highest in poor black neighborhoods. African Americans are more likely to live in neighborhoods with radioactive towers, toxic waste site, and plants that produce poor air quality which has a negative impact on health. In these neighborhoods, hospitalization for diabetes is increased, congenital heart defects, nervous system defects, low birth weight, nervous system defects and renal failure. Childhood cancers are also increase in these environments. Violence is also a contributing factor of health disparities. It is a major cause of injury, disability and premature death. There is an incredibly significant lifelong inequity in exposure to violence for blacks vs. whites.