Doctors at the Black American Medical Association (BAMA) are urging the community to take a more active role in Black communities health, with the belief that Black Americans are more vulnerable to infections.
The BAMA’s Black Women’s Health Coalition has been working with health care providers to inform and empower them about their patients’ needs, especially in the Black community.
It has created a website, BlackWomenHealth.com, which is aimed at educating healthcare providers and Black women.
It says that Black women are more likely to have more health issues such as diabetes and hypertension and more infections than white women.
Black women also tend to live in communities where there are higher rates of drug-resistant infections and infections in hospitals, said the website.
Dr Dontre Hamilton, chair of the BAMA Health Council, told the BBC that while she thinks Black women face unique challenges when it comes to health, it is not a problem unique to them.
“It’s not that we’re just not as smart as white women, but we’re also less likely to use preventive measures.
Black men and women are also more likely than white men and white women to have lower levels of mental health, and we also have higher rates than white people of substance abuse and other mental health issues,” she said.
Dr Hamilton also said that more people of colour are being diagnosed with infections, particularly from the flu.
“The Black women I work with are particularly vulnerable to infection because they are more prone to the flu, and I think it’s just about knowing what’s out there for you, and not just being afraid to go to the doctor, knowing you have a good chance of catching it, and then having a good recovery,” she added.
Dr Helen Avila, president of the National Black Doctors Association, agreed, saying that Black men are more often the ones to get infected.
“If we were to assume that all Black men in America were sick, then we would expect that all men would be getting infections.
That’s simply not the case,” she told the ABC.”
In fact, we actually have a higher prevalence of men contracting the flu compared to women.”
She said Black women were also at greater risk of infection because of their poor hygiene.
“They tend to have a more humid environment than women do, they have more infections, and there’s more risk of bacteria, particularly methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA),” she said, adding that many infections in Black men occur in a bathroom.
Dr Avilas fears that if Black women did not speak up about their health issues, their health would suffer.
“That’s what Black women need to do, speak up, and let people know that they are at risk.
We’re not the only ones,” she warned.
Dr Henry Bixby, a professor at the University of New South Wales School of Health Sciences and co-author of the report, said that the report showed the Black communities’ vulnerability to infections was being exploited by health care professionals.
“We’re talking about people who are in the community who are making a difference, and are helping to improve the lives of Black communities, and they’re not just talking about the health and wellbeing of the Black population, but of the whole community,” he told the Associated Press news agency.
“And if that doesn’t mean a lot, it certainly doesn’t change the fact that the Black health and well-being is still going to be vulnerable.”