Thisessay provides an overview of Hispanics’ health behaviors andstatus. In addition to giving similarities, it also issues comparisonbetween their wellbeing and that of non-Hispanic Whites. Thecommunity is defined by the federal government as consisting ofindividuals from Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rican or those living inAmerica with a Spanish origin or culture regardless of their race.According to Angeland Whitfield (2007), morethan a quarter of Hispanics lack a usual healthcare provider andvital information regarding their wellbeing. In addition, most ofthem obtain health information from the media despite being thefastest growing American’s minority group.
HealthStatus of the Hispanics
Hispanics’health is defined by various factors such as culture, language, lackof insurance cover and inefficient preventive care. Center forDisease Control (CDC) has also cited heart diseases, diabetes, cancerand stroke as some of the leading causes of death cases among theminority group. Other conditions of health present in this groupinclude chronic obstructive pulmonary illness, obesity, liver diseaseand suicide. Despite Hispanics being susceptible to chronic diseasesjust like the non-Hispanic whites, they are less vulnerable to otherslike cancer and heart diseases. The community also exhibits highprevalence of cirrhosis and diabetes compared to the non-Hispanics.This is attributed by their poor eating habits which also contributeto obesity (Iannotta,& Ebrary, 2002).
Hispanicshave been introduced to preventive screening for some of the chronicillnesses including cervical cancer. To curb diabetes, periodicmonitoring of blood glucose for this minority group has beeninitiated. Health promoters have also introduced appropriateevaluations of depression incidences. This has been done mostly tothe less acculturated older women (Valente,2002).
Thecommunity has also invested in health education as a strategy tocounter preventable infections. The stakeholders reach out to thecommunity through grassroots outreach and educational programs. Inaddition, community health workers have been instrumental in creatingawareness among the people in the remote on diabetes and cancerscreening. The move has improved their knowledge and consequentlyhealth. The health promoters have also changed the people’sattitude towards physical exercises and there has been a consistentincrease in the number of people who engage in such activities withthe objective of improving their well-being (Valente,2002).
HealthDisparities among the by the Hispanics
Despitepositive progress, ethnic disparities are present in the leadinghealth indicators that are identified in the America’s nationalhealth goals and objectives for the year 2010. These reports showthat the community trails the whites in various sectors. Forinstance, in health insurance, 87% of natives have health insuranceas compared to 56% of the Hispanics. Also, only 63% of Hispanicchildren are fully vaccinated compared with 88% among the Whites. Inaddition, only 23% of Hispanics participate in physical activities(Iannotta,& Ebrary, 2002).
Accordingto Angeland Whitfield (2007), the socioeconomicstatus of the Hispanics is considerably lower than that of thenatives. The barriers that come between this minority group and theirattempt to access better health is mostly attributed to low incomeThis is reflected in family income and educational attainment. Otherfactors that contribute to this disparity include low-wageoccupations and poor asset accumulation. Research by Angeland Whitfield (2007)indicates that more than 23% of Hispanics live in poverty with only8% of the Whites living in similar conditions. Also, only 56% of theminority group has attained high school education juxtaposed against88% of the non-Hispanics.
Thisminority group mostly works in the agricultural sector, constructionand other less paying occupations. Conversely, non-Hispanics whitesoccupy the managerial, administrative and professional positions. Therelatively low incomes as well as educational attainment levels ofthe Hispanics create obstacles while accessing good health care. InAmerica, it is arguably difficult for low income earners to affordout-of-pocket kind of health costs even if they have insurancecovers. They find difficulties in navigating the demanding deliverysystem and accessing health care providers who demand inflated feesfrom their clients (Iannotta& Ebrary, 2002).
Disparitiesamong subgroups of Hispanics also exist. For instance, rates ofchildren born with low weight were lower for the Hispanic populationas a whole as compared to that of the whites. Puerto Ricans do sufferdisproportionately when it comes to diseases such as asthma, infantmortality as well as HIV/AIDS. Mexican-Americans do sufferdisproportionately when it comes to illness like diabetes. Accordingto (Angel,& Whitfield, 2007), toeliminate these disparities of health in terms of ethnic and racialwill call for appropriate communal health initiatives, equitablehealth care access as well as community support (Angel,& Whitfield, 2007).
Healtheducation is the most appropriate method for promoting the well-beingof members in this community. Creating awareness at the primary levelmay involve engaging the locals in the grassroots. Secondarypromotion would involve the distribution of materials that promotehealth. Also, policies can support the tertiary health strategiesthat would instigate the government to invest more supportivestrategies. In this level it is appropriate to look for professionalsin the area to design programs that would assist the community. Theserepresentatives are used by the state to ensure good health in thecommunity (Valente,2002).
Angel,J. L., & Whitfield, K. E. (2007). TheHealth of Aging Hispanics.New York: Springer.
Valente,T. W. (2002). Evaluatinghealth promotion programs.New York: Oxford
Iannotta,J. G., & Ebrary, Inc. (2002). Emergingissues in Hispanic health: Summary
ofa workshop.Washington, D.C: National Academies Press.