Essay on United States and Population

Submitted By krys8618
Words: 1010
Pages: 5

Health Promotion Among Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders
Krystle L. Priest
Grand Canyon University: NRS-429V Family Centered Health Promotion
January 11, 2015

Health Promotion Among Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders There is an estimated 1.4 million Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islanders (NHOPI) in the United States today (Office of Minority Health and Health Equity [OMHHE], 2013). This minority group consists of native Hawaiians, Guamanians, Samoans, Polynesians, Micronesians, and Melanesians. This covers native peoples from all Pacific Islands including Hawaii. Pacific islanders have many health disparities. Higher cancer death rates and higher infant mortality rates are recorded versus the U.S. population as a whole. Pacific Islanders are three times more likely to develop Diabetes than the general population (OMHHE, 2013). They also have a larger population of smokers, greater alcohol consumption and higher obesity rates than the overall population. Health of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders falls below that of the national average in many categories. “Major causes of premature death among NHOPIs are obesity, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and diabetes” (OMHHE, 2013). The relative survival rate for all cancers among the NHOPI population falls 8% below the national average (OMHHE, 2013). Diabetes has a much higher prevalence in this population and could be directly related to the higher rate of obesity, alcohol consumption and smoking. Native Hawaiian infant mortality rate in 2002 was 9.6 deaths per 1,000 live births compared to 7.0 for all populations (OMHHE, 2013). A child’s first birthday in Hawaii is a very large celebration because of the history of high infant death rates. Some first birthdays in Hawaii are celebrated with hundreds of family members and friends. Native Hawaiians encounter many barriers to healthcare. Accessibility and acceptability are two of these barriers. Two important conditions relate to accessibility: geographic location and healthcare costs (Mokuau, Hughes, & Tsark,, 1995). Many Native Hawaiians live in very rural areas that are underserved by healthcare. While the Hawaiian Island of Oahu is very populated and has a large healthcare system the outer islands can be very rural and lack accessibility to healthcare. The lack of accessibility coupled with high healthcare costs deters many to seek healthcare when needed. Long drives to access healthcare sometimes requires a day off of work, which many times cannot be afforded by the individual. Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders also have a higher rate of poverty. 21.5 percent of the population lives in poverty compared to 15.9 percent of the total U.S. population (OMHHE, 2013). Acceptability is another barrier to proper healthcare. This has caused a problem with Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. There is a lack of Hawaiian healthcare service providers in the field (Mokuau et al., 1995). Many times, mainstream healthcare also fails to incorporate cultural values into services. Native Hawaiian culture incorporates large family units into health and healing. Many times, healthcare separates the patient from the family unit, hindering proper healing and coping strategies (Mokuau et al., 1995). Having a healthcare professional that the patient can relate to and that understands the patient’s cultural and ethnic views can increase acceptability. Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander culture is rarely included in healthcare education because of the small population in the United States. Health education to this population is also lacking. Healthcare education needs to be provided to these individuals in their native language to be better understood. Stafford (2010) suggests that to eliminate health disparity among the Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander population we must facilitate baseline data and data reporting to separate this population from the Asian population as the two…