A couple semesters ago I did a research paper about the unconscious biases Black women face in business. I read through numerous sources and along the way found some alarming statistics about the level of care black women receive compared to women of other races
What is the problem?
As I mentioned before, there are disparities in healthcare for Black women that directly cause poor health outcomes and a higher maternal mortality rate.
There are many statistics that also support these claims. One issue is that Black women are underrepresented in clinical trials along with biomedical research datasets. Along with these we see that according to the Black Women’s Health Imperative, “Black women are 60% more likely than non-Hispanic white women to have high blood pressure, according to the Office of Minority Health in the Department of Health and Human Services.” However, some of the most alarming statistics are related to the reproductive health of Black women. Research shows that “Black women are 3-4 times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications and 3-4 times more likely to suffer from severe disability resulting from childbirth compared to White women.” These are just a few of the disparities in health that Black women face and many of this issues are not being addressed.
What needs to change?
There are numerous changes that need to be made in order to address these health disparities, but I will highlight a few that I found to be incredibly important for the health of Black women.
- Many organizations agree that healthcare professionals should all receive high levels of anti-racism and implicit bias training in medical school. Along with this, state licensing boards and the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology should be taking the initiative to address these issues.
2.There also needs to be expanded access to quality, patient centered reproductive health care. Since this is one of the biggest disparities that Black women deal with, there should be a strong focus on making this type of health care accessible.
3.It has also been suggested by Piraye Beim from the Endometriosis Foundation of America that “The FDA should update its policies guiding clinical trial enrollment to better incentivize drug companies to increase enrollment of black clinical trial participants. The NIH should also revisit policies and incentives to expand research and address data disparities for People of Color.” In order to understand more about how medications and procedures affect Black women, there needs to be more involvement in trial testing.
If you are interested as a individual in how you can help this cause, there are also organization’s such as the Black Women’s Health Imperative that provide resources on how you can be involved and make changes. I have linked below how you can take action and I encourage you to read more the issues they are tackling