Fair Tackles African-American Health Issues
April 18, 2007 4:40 PM
The 13th Annual African-American Health Fair was held in Malcolm X Plaza Tuesday afternoon and provided free health screenings and information courtesy of on and off campus organizations.
The health fair was co-sponsored by Student Health Advisory Committee (SHAC) and Associated Students, Inc.
“It’s all about exposing young people to the different diseases that affect African Americans,” said Brenda Miller, a member of the Black Faculty and Staff Association (BFSA) on campus.
Gilgamesh C. Jeter, also a member of the BFSA, said he wants people to know about these issues in the African-American community.
“We want to raise consciousness about health issues, particularly diabetes, obesity, glaucoma and heart disease,” said Jeter.
There were also health screenings for HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections, blood pressure, glaucoma, body fat and fitness evaluations.
According to Dayo Diggs of the Black Infant Health Improvement Project (BIHIP) black women are twice as likely to have poor birth outcomes (lower birth rates and higher rates of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS) than other women.
“When a black woman has a poor birth outcome it not only affects her and her family, it has a long-lasting affect on a society as a whole,” said Diggs.
The BIHIP’s goal is to increase infant survival rates, low birth weight and SIDS rates among blacks in San Francisco, and provides free confidential services to pregnant and nursing black women. The organization is sponsored in part by the San Francisco Department of Public Health.
Sheila Davis-Jackson, a program manager for the Department of Public Health in the Tuberculosis Control Section, said the lack of health insurance and poverty make blacks more likely to be diagnosed with TB.
The Tuberculosis Control Section, located at San Francisco General Hospital, operates a TB clinic specializing in prevention, education, diagnosis and treatment of the disease.
“And finally it can be prevented, treated and cured,” said Davis-Jackson.
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