Addressing African American Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities
African American Women Health Equity
Data analyzed from the CDC’s Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System (PMSS) for 2007–2016 has identified that racial and ethnic disparities have contributed to some of the nearly 700 pregnancy-related deaths per year in the United States. Conditions such as weakened heart muscle, thrombotic pulmonary embolism, and high blood pressure contributed to a significantly higher proportion of pregnancy-related deaths among African American women than among white women (CDC.gov, 2020). Most pregnancy-related deaths are preventable.
Chipola Healthy Start Coalition is working diligently to improve pregnancy outcomes for black pregnant women in our community. We are collaborating with local health care providers, hospitals, state and local agencies and families in our community to reduce health disparities that contribute to pregnancy-related deaths. In order to help others understand the severity of racial and ethnic health disparities affect African American women of child-bearing age, we must first educate and bring awareness to everyone. Together, we can make healthy pregnancies, birth outcomes and babies more than a dream for black mothers.
Working Together to Reduce Disparities
The Center for Disease Control has been working to reduce racial health disparities and address the factors contributing to pregnancy-related deaths for black women. They have developed the Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System to increase studies and create solutions. This table and statistics are from a recent studies about pregnancy-related deaths per 100,000 in the United States.
From the CDC website:
Healthcare providers can:
- Help patients manage chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and obesity.
- Communicate with patients about warning signs.
- Use tools to flag warning signs early so women can receive timely treatment.
Hospitals and healthcare systems can:
- Identify and address unconscious bias in healthcare.
- Standardize coordination of care and response to emergencies.
- Improve delivery of quality prenatal and postpartum care.
- Train non-obstetric providers to consider recent pregnancy history.
States and communities can:
- Assess and coordinate delivery hospitals for risk-appropriate care.
- Support review of the causes behind every maternal death.
Women and their families:
- Know and communicate about symptoms of complications.
- Note pregnancy history any time medical care is received in the year after delivery.
Learn more! Donate! Bring Awareness! Support! Save Lives!
When you donate to Chipola Healthy Start Coalition, you support efforts to improve pregnancy outcomes for African American mothers. Just click the secure donate button at the top to contribute. Funds go to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities in Jackson, Washington, Holmes, Calhoun and Liberty Counties. Every mother and baby deserves a healthy start. That begins with each of us.