National Public Health Week, April 5-11, 2004
The focus of National Public Health Week, sponsored by the American Public Health Association, is "Eliminating Health Disparities: Communities Moving from Statistics to Solutions."
Health disparities are differences that occur by gender, race, and ethnicity, education level, income level, disability, geographic location and/or sexual orientation. Some examples of health disparities include:
Lack of physicians in rural areas. Residents of rural areas have less contact and fewer visits with physicians.
Unequal treatment for minorities. Research has shown that even when racial/ethnic minorities are insured at levels comparable to whites, they tend to receive a lower quality of health care for the same health conditions.
Lack of insurance. Uninsured women receive fewer prenatal services and needed care than women with insurance.
Poverty and cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates that the cancer survival rate of poor individuals is 10-15 percent lower than those of other Americans. Low-income women are less likely to have mammography and Pap test screening.
Income and diabetes. Lower income patients tend to have higher rates of hospitalization for diabetes and its complications compared to higher income patients. Lower income diabetic patients are less likely to get recommended services such as annual retinal eye examinations.
During National Public Health Week, the American Public Health Association will be highlighting examples of projects/interventions that are in place to help eliminate health disparities. For more information, visit their website at www.apha.org/NPHW/.
The Mississippi County Health Department has many programs and services in place to help reduce health disparities in our community. For more information about programs and services offered by the health department, call 573-683-2191.