Minority Health: Give Your Community a Boost
April is National Minority Health Month, and it’s the perfect time to talk to people in your community about health disparities that affect minorities and to take action through better health education.
What Is National Minority Health Month?
National Minority Health Month (NMHM) was made a recognized health month by the U.S. Congress in 2002. Congress agreed that having a National Minority Health and Health Disparities Month would encourage and promote better education of the health problems affecting minorities in America.
Thanks to this resolution, all health care organizations and individuals are encouraged to participate in and conduct activities and programs that promote healthfulness throughout communities in the U.S. This national program:
- Encourages you to take action through the early detection and control of diseases, so complications can be prevented
- Encourages better health education in minority communities
- Focuses on bringing awareness to the disproportionate impact of health issues in minority communities
In 2022, National Minority Health Month’s theme is Give Your Community a Boost! This theme was chosen because the COVID-19 vaccine is among the best tools we have to end the pandemic that has disproportionately impacted communities of color.
Encouraging people in your community to learn more about the vaccination options can help put an end to illness and disparities in vaccination, testing and treatment. Vaccination, combined with early treatment when COVID does spread, can help prevent serious illness in your community.
How Minorities Are Disproportionately Impacted By COVID-19
Structural or interpersonal racism plays a role in how your community receives healthcare and education. It’s true that centuries of racism within the United States has negatively impacted communities of color. For that reason, COVID-19 may have also hit your community harder than expected.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 data has shown that certain minority groups are more likely to be impacted by COVID-19 than others. These groups include:
- Black/African Americans
- American Indians
- Alaska Natives
These groups of people faced higher rates of COVID-19-related hospitalization compared to non-Hispanic White populations. Inequalities put ethnic and racial minority groups at a greater risk of illness because of:
- Discrimination: Discrimination, including racism, may lead to greater stress as well as social and economic factors that increase the risk of getting COVID-19.
- Occupational hazards: Minority groups tend to work in essential worker settings, putting them at a higher risk of being exposed to COVID-19.
- Housing: Minority groups are more likely to live in crowded housing, increasing the risk of transmitting illnesses and disease.
- Gaps in education: Less education may lead to trouble finding jobs with a lower risk of COVID exposure.
- Income gaps: Lower incomes could lead you or others in a minority group to have to work even in high-risk situations.
- Wealth gaps: Without savings or wealth, it’s harder for some to stay home. Some people may not have paid sick days or money for essential items.
- Health care access and use issues: People in minority groups often have barriers to accessing health care. Cultural differences and language barriers could make it harder for you or your community to seek appropriate health care. A lack of trust may also result in some people not seeking care when they need it.
Your community could be at a greater risk of illness and disease, too, which is why encouraging vaccination against COVID-19 is so important.
How Can You Get Involved With NMHM?
Throughout April, you can follow and share knowledge, tools, and resources via #BoostYourCommunity and #NMHM2022 on social media to help debunk misinformation and support friends, family members, and others in your community to get vaccinated.
We Are Here to Help
At Firefly Health, we’re here to help communities stay healthy and informed. To help prevent further spread of COVID-19 and reduce the likelihood of illness, we’re happy to help you learn more about getting vaccinated and to answer any questions you have about the side effects or risks. Reach out to your care team through the Firefly app or check out our vaccine resource page.
Not a member yet? Get started by signing up below, take our quiz, or call us at (855) 869-9284 to see if Firefly is right for you.