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Health Disparities

WHEREAS, there are disparities in health outcomes such as quality of life and mortality processes, quality, and appropriateness of care and the prevalence of certain conditions or diseases have been well documented across a broad range of medical conditions and for a wide range of ethnic and racial groups; and

WHEREAS, African Americans suffer the greatest number of health disparities and the greatest magnitude of health disparity among all ethnic and racial groups in America; and

WHEREAS, these disparities include: obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, sickle cell disease, cancer, stroke (cerebrovascular disease), injury and violence, HIV and Sexually Transmitted Diseases, infant mortality, lung diseases, lupus and more; and,

WHEREAS, 3,000,000 females nationwide ages 14-19 have had a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD); and

WHEREAS, Human Papilomavirus (HPV), which can cause cervical cancer, is the most prevalent of STD's among women; and

WHEREAS, in the first study of its kind, nearly half of the African American females tested have had at least one STD, compared to 20% of other ethnic groups; and

WHEREAS, screening tests for STD's (including HIV) are under used because many teens do not feel that they are at risk; and

WHEREAS, 46 million Americans — half of whom are racial/ethnic minority Americans have no health insurance coverage at all, racial and ethnic minority Americans are more likely than Whites to be uninsured, even after accounting for work status; and

WHEREAS, persons from low-income families and from African American and ethnic minority communities are at greater risk of being uninsured and underinsured than their counterparts, and are thus more likely to experience disparities in healthcare access and quality of care; and

WHEREAS, the existence of racial and ethnic disparities in health care outcomes represents a shameful failure of the American healthcare system to provide equal, high quality health care to all individuals, regardless of ethnicity, race and other factors; and

WHEREAS, a significant number of males 14–19 have had a sexually transmitted disease;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP identify at least one county in each region where health disparities are most disproportionate among African Americans, poor people and senior citizens and develop an advocacy, educational and legal strategy to improve selected elements of the system that  are responsible for the disparities; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that these strategies will seek to compel governmental health departments and educational systems, as well as private health services, research systems, telephone communications companies and educational systems to take prompt, measurable steps to reduce the above health disparities; and.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People will establish strategic partnerships with the American Heart Association and other voluntary health organizations to positively impact the healthcare systems of these United States through collaborative initiatives and advocacy through the local, state and federal legislative process to make sure that such disparate outcomes will be eliminated; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the oldest Civil Rights Organization, will advocate to federal, state and local governments and partner with different organizations or health care systems to establish and maintain programs that will bring information to teens, adults and families for the prevention of Sexually Transmitted Diseases; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People will report to its membership convening at the next Convention on progress towards a strategic plan to eliminate the above health disparities; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP will urge all of its Units to work to identify such discriminatory practices, following NAACP procedures, and take action necessary to expose and eliminate the factors which cause these disparities.

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