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Division of Health and Human Development

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Although health indicators show remarkable improvement among the general populations of Americans, minority groups of Asian and African-American descent still face challenges posed by the heavy burden of preventable diseases, disabilities and deaths. In several studies carried out, it emerges that African-American people are more vulnerable to cancerous diseases than other persons of different races. Heart disease is also a serious cause of death among the different minority populations. Also, white women who are less vulnerable to obesity and overweight than their colleagues from minority populations are less prone to diabetic ailments. In this little piece of writing, I wish to examine the Cultural Beliefs held by the minority groups which may be a major contributor to their numerous health woes.

In light of the perceptible health disparity that negatively impacts on the lives of many American citizens in the ethnic and racial minority, preventive measures have been attempted and still require to be put in place and be implemented in earnest so as to assure the affected groups of a meaningful life. With respect to this cause, and in order to effectively deal with the matter, a thorough scrutiny of the way these people live and their general perception of health matters if fundamental. In essence, the culture plays a major role in anchoring many practices that may be the major contributors of the existing impasse. Indeed, there are various cultural beliefs that the people hold so dear yet they play a role in sustenance of the health disparity problem.

One unfortunate practice that has always been perpetuated by a large proportion of the minority population is paucity of commitment to immunization programs. It is estimated that about thirty per cent of African-American adults are less likely to have been immunized against the major diseases that are too strong for the body’s natural immune system. Such individuals remain vulnerable to diseases that would have effectively been prevented at an early age. In another observation in 2003, sixty nine per cent of older white persons received influenza vaccines compared to the low forty nine per cent and forty seven per cent of older African-American and Hispanic adults, respectively (Department of Health & Human Services 2007).

Besides, the issue of poor child care is a common issue which brings about high infant mortality rates among the minority groups. For instance, infant mortality rate for African-American mothers with over thirteen years of education was almost three times that of the non-Hispanic White mothers in 2005. The implication of this is the lack of emphasis on utilization of modern prenatal, post-natal and antenatal care on the part of the African-American mothers as compared to their non-Hispanic white colleagues. In fact, African-American mothers were two and a half times as likely as non-Hispanic white mothers to begin prenatal care in the third trimester, or even completely fail to receive it (Census Bureau 2008).

It is also notable that most of the persons belonging to the minority groups do not practice general healthy living in terms of what they eat. They rely heavily on junk foods that only make them susceptible to different kinds of diseases such obesity and overweight. Crime is also rampant in most of the areas inhabited by the minority groups and the youths are most affected. With such forces in play, health indicators like life expectancy would definitely their unprecedented lows.

In simple terms, the health disparity that exists among different American racial and ethnic groups is determined largely by the lifestyles embraced by each one. However, educative measures and sound policies are necessary weapons in the fight against such an enormous war against health disparity in order to guarantee all Americans of health living.  It lies in the hands of all the stakeholders in the Health Sector to make an effort to ensure that affected individuals are conformant to the modern ways of living and health practices that guarantee better health for all.

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