Public Health is inherently political nature. Now the social justice underpinnings of public health serve to stimulate political conflict. Public health is both public and political in nature. It serves populations, which are composites of many different communities, cultures, and values. Politics allows for issues to be considered, negotiated, and finally determined for populations. At the core political process are differing values and perspectives as to both the ends to be achieved and the means for achieving those ends.(Essentials of Public Health Bernard J. Turnock)
Who would ever thought that we would be living in a time of a Pandemic such as COVID-19? A virus which has globally taken many lives, change the way we interact with one another? Personally I have received numerous of calls telling me that personal friends of mine have passed, the latest call I received was April 9, 2020 at 6:00p.m. the individual told me that two of my friends in their late 50's lost their fight to the virus. Each day we turn on our TV's, Radios we hear the news. But recent reports that are being televised regarding the disproportionate COVID-19 death toll facing African Americans.
When I think of disproportionate, I think of the disparities that not only African Americans, but at this point and time the disparities that we all face. Disparity is a difference, and what I'm referring to is health disparities between different or ethnic groups. Now let's be very clear, there does exist a difference in genetic factors, enviroment and health behaviors.
Black/African Americans, American Indians and Hispanic groups are more likely to die of diabetes .
Black/African Americans and White groups have higher death rates for heart disease and cancer.
For all three diseases, Black/African Americans have the highest death rates while White Asian/Pacific Islanders have the lowest.
Health Disparities in Income and Education
This disparity has been going on for the longest, we all know the more money you have the better access to medical care and treatment. The lower the income people have, lower the access to medical care and treatment. I know individuals with degrees that cannot afford to pay out-of-pocket for health insurance, and the only access to a doctor is via the emergency room.
In this day and time people are still placed in situations to either buy food to feed their children or to purchase medication. Long gone are the day's of landing a job with good benefits and being able to see a doctor on a regular basis, in this day and time there are those who choose to self treat themselves because they are unable to pay for a bill, and who is to say that is wrong for that individual, you have to walk in another persons shoes before you can give a opinon.
The disparities that exists in the African American communities is for everyone to see on a daily basis, there exists an inability to get quality markets, so you go to what ever market that is close to your home for those that do not have a car to travel. There exists lack of educating the community regarding making healthier food choices. There exists poor housing and housing conditions, lower income, receiving the lowest quality of care when a individual is placed on public assistance (Medicaid).
The jobs which are available to most with in the African American community who are high school graduates are the lower paying jobs making $7.25 a hour, so someone please inform me how can you afford health insurance, pay rent, pay lights, pay a gas bill, but most importanly how can you feed a family making that amount. As I stated before don't judge someone until you walk in their shoes.
When federal grants became available, especially after 1935, states eagerly sought out federal funding for maternal and child health services, public health laboratories, and other basic public health programs. In so doing states surrendered some of their autonomy over health isses. Priorities were increasingly dictated by federal grants tied to specific programs and services. States possess the ultimate authority to create the political subjunits that provide various services to the residents of a particular jurisdiction.
For the first 150 years of U.S. history, there was little expectation that the federal government should intervene in the health and welfare needs of its citizenry. Still, the federal government has considerable ability to influence the health system through its fiscal muscle power, as well as its research, regulatory, technical assistance, and training roles.
Lastly, do I believe that the administration of the United States failed the American people regarding OCVID-19 and that answer is simply YES. They failed not only the people, they failed the healthcare system by playing political games, and those games will increase even more disparities with in communities, there will now exist high number in cases of mental health issues which will arise amongst healthcare providers who are fighting each and everyday trying to save lives due to COVID-19.
Will it change for those of us who have Lupus, it already have, I receive so many DM's from my social media pages from individuals who are on Hydroxychloriquine, how they can't get the refills on this medication.
Will it change the way you take care of yourself? I pray that it does. This is the time to reflect upon everything in your life, step out of your shell, become vocal, become educated and most importantly become empowered.
As for me, regardless what may come, I will still be fighting for those who feel that they have no voice and feel that no one cares. Just know I care. I will remain giving each and everyone information that is vital to living your best life. I'm not only fighting for you, I'm fighting this journey for me also.