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Minority Health Month

 

April is National Minority Health Month, a time to learn more about the health status of racial and ethnic minority populations in the U.S. The theme for 2018 is Partnering for Health Equity which highlights partnerships at the federal, state, local, tribal and territorial levels that help reduce disparities in health and health care.

 

Health Equity

Health equity means achieving the highest level of health for all people. It requires valuing every human being equally with continuous efforts to address avoidable social and economic inequalities, historical and contemporary injustices. Health equity also seeks the elimination of health and healthcare disparities.

 

Health Disparities

Health disparities are defined as a particular type of health difference that is closely linked with one’s social or economic status. Health disparities negatively affect groups of people who have experienced greater social and/or economic obstacles to health due to characteristics historically linked to discrimination or exclusion. These characteristics include but are not limited to:

  • Racial or ethnic group

  • Religion

  • Socioeconomic status

  • Gender

  • Age

  • Mental health

  • Physical disability

  • Sexual orientation

  • Geographic location

Social Determinants of Health

Social determinants of health refers to environmental conditions in which people are born, live, work and play that affect a wide array of health and quality-of-life outcomes and risks.

 

Public Health Involving Minorities Is a Global Concern

National Minority Health Month recognizes health disparities in the United States, but coping with public health issues involving minorities remains both a local and a global problem.

In addition, international organizations have addressed global public health issues affecting minorities. The national ministries of health in the African region, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization/African Region are evaluating Ebola outbreak response capabilities, which have been strengthened through my collaboration.

 

The best way to teach more consumers about public health – and especially the health of minority groups – is through education. Staying informed, getting involved and getting connected are powerful ways to raise awareness and learn about the health problems affecting minorities.

 

Page Updated: 4/2/2018