National Minority Health Month

April is National Minority Health Month. This is a time to raise awareness about inequity - or unfairness - in health and health care. These inequities affect racial and ethnic minority groups the most. This is also a time to promote health education, early detection of illness, and disease management.
Access to health care is limited for many racial and ethnic groups. As a result, they experience higher rates of disease. This includes African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders, and Asian Americans. There are many reasons for this. For some, health care is not affordable. Services may not be available in the different languages spoken. There may not be a medical clinic in the neighborhood. Also, patients face discrimination from doctors. This can result in not getting necessary testing and treatment. Government and medical systems have created mistrust due to mistreatment.
Maintaining good health is not only up to the individual. Community and faith-based organizations, employers, healthcare systems, and policy makers all have a part to play in making care accessible for all people.
The 2021 National Minority Health Month theme is #VaccineReady. The COVID-19 pandemic has had the greatest impact on communities of color. Many factors contribute to this, including:
  • working jobs with high exposure to COVID-19
  • relying on public transportation
  • living in crowded homes

Vaccination is an important tool to help slow the spread of disease and get back to normal. #VaccineReady encourages people to learn the facts about the COVID-19 vaccine. It also urges them to get vaccinated and practice safety measures like wearing a mask and social distancing.

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This month builds awareness of premature death and illness rates in minority groups. It also encourages health education, early detection, and control of disease complications.

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Learn more from organizations that are dedicated to health equity. Health equity means that everyone has a chance to be as healthy as possible. 

  1. National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities 
  2. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health