By Miranda Dove
Black women should feel safe and supported when stepping into a hospital or healthcare facility just as much as their white counterparts do. It comes down to the people working in these facilities, which is why one solution could be to provide anti-bias training for staff. I believe that it would be really helpful for these staff members to see these numbers and statistics and compare them with other races to prove how real this is. Also to acknowledge a problem as a problem is the first step towards a solution and by openly speaking out about this issue is to give it light and credibility. Black Women’s Health Imperative, the first national non-profit solely dedicated to achieving health equity for Black women in America, offer over several programs that help aid in prevention of diseases and complications such as the Rare Disease Diversity coalition, Project Health Equality, and OOOT or On our own terms while at the same time supplying a community of like minded individuals and people who care about their wellbeing. Another group that is providing solutions is Black Maternal Health Caucus they tackle black maternal health on a government/law level. Founded by Congresswomen Alma Adams and Lauren Underwood, the caucus aims to “address one of the most urgent crises in the United States today: maternal mortality rates in America are the worst in the developed world”. By tackling this at a government level we have the potential to pass laws that protect black women’s health such as making sure all healthcare staff members are required to take some form anti-bias training, expanding and maintaining access to health coverage because statistically black women are more likely to live in the south, where medicaid and medicare are not protected or as easily accessible in other parts of the country.
Also addressing the social determinants of health. Health is influenced by the conditions under which people live, work, and play. A variety of social determinants impact health outcomes across races and ethnicities. Chronic stress caused by poverty and racism has been shown to have a negative affect on black women’s health. Lastly, we want to expand paid family and medical leave. “More than one in four Black workers report that there was a time in the last two years that they needed or wanted to take time away from work for parental, family or medical reasons but could not. Only 30 percent of Black mothers are both eligible for and able to afford to take unpaid leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act. Black women must be given paid time off to attend to their own health issues and to have time to care for their children. By speaking about it, is to not ignore or pretend like it does not happen. Another way to help is by calling your local governor, senator, and/or representative asking them what they have planned to do to solve this issue and if nothing tell them how big of an issue this is and the ways mentioned above on how to solve them.
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