WINDSHIELD SURVEY 6
Arnaldo Perez Frometa
Health Promotion and Disease Prevention in Vulnerable and Diverse Populations
Over the years, the issue of diversity in health care in the United States has been a matter of concern. The level diversity in health care varies from region to region and from state. Also, in a state, health care diversity differs too from one locale to another. This paper will examine various aspects of health care diversity regarding the health risks and health care needs of people in India Square. The paper will first provide India Square population. The paper will present an overview the available statistical data about the area’s population and then analyze the findings of the community’s windshield survey including how the population has changed in the recent years.
India Square overview
India Square, also called “Little India” or “Bombay” as the name suggests is an area mostly occupied by immigrants, both legal and illegal, from India. The area is in Marion Section, New Jersey State. The area has a total population of 29,000. Of the 29,000 people, around 12,300, nearly 42.4% are of Indian origin, Hispanics (35.2%), African-Americans (13%) whites (7.9%), and (1.5%). Around 21% of the population is 16 years of age and below, 70% above the age of 16 years but less than 60 years, and 9% 60 years old and above (United States Census Bureau, 2018).
Housing. Majority of the population in India Square live in poor housing or rent places to live. Most of these places look unmaintained or poor conditioned. Since most of the people living in India Square are immigrants who came to the states due to lack of resources, they are typically people with a low socioeconomic status; besides living in poor conditions they also live in groups of two or more in order to meet costs together. Their low living standards are evidenced by their houses’ conditions; most of them with cracks, poor sewerage, poor heating facilities etc. they live in such conditions for obvious reason, most of them cannot afford better housing. In addition, while the recommended resident density is 400 residents in every acre, the area is quite congested as every acre is resided by 600 residents (Mina & Miguel, 2013). High demand for housing has increased rents significantly. Also, most of the social activities such as community games are rare as playing grounds are limited.
Education. Although the area has a lot of schools, considerable fraction of India Square teenagers do not finish school leading to a high number of people who did not graduate from high school, despite various government initiatives to encourage children to go through the education system. The high dropout rate can be attributed to the fact that most of the families living here do not formal or secure jobs to sustain their families, therefore, immediately a child reached the age to carry out manual jobs, he or she start looking for a job to support their families, which are usually bigger compared to an average American family.
Culture and religion. At India Square, there is no a specific culture that can be said to be common considering that it is an area occupied by people with different cultures. People of Indian origin practice their culture, same with African-American, Hispanics Whites and others. However, regarding religion, people are generally divided into two major groups; Hinduism for the India originated population, and Christianity for most of the other races. In fact, as one walk around the most common holly places are Churches and Temples.
Health Services. There are a several health centers in India Square. However, because majority of the people do not have health insurance, they find it difficult to access health services from the existing health centers. It is a common practice not to seek medical services unless or, until the illness gets to another level.
Transportation and businesses. Like in any other area New Jersey City, the community of Indian Square enjoys a good, both private and public, transport system.
Demographic Changes in India Square
In India Square, the three major races account for around 90% of the population, that is, Indian-Americans 42.4%, Hispanics 35.2%, and African-Americans 13%. Of these, most of them live under poverty level while majority of the remaining are slightly above the poverty level, since most families depend on one of the family members to sustain them. Until 2014, the population of this area was growing at very high rate due to high rate of illegal immigration. However, in the last 5 years, the rate has slowed down probably because of the tough stand of the government against immigrants (United States Census Bureau, 2018).
Health Risks and Health Care Needs in Indian Square
Considering this population’s living standards, most health risks are related to low economic status. Among the common health risks include; Substance use which can be attributed to their inability to handle stressing situations caused by low quality of life. Alcohol is the most commonly substance used (47% population take alcohol at least once per week), followed by smoking 35% of all senior citizens being smokers. Most deaths in the area are caused by heart diseases, diabetes, and cancer, among others. As mentioned earlier, very people have medical insurance due to high level of unemployment (Carter, Omenn & Mona, 2016). Communicable diseases and HIV are other health risks.
In this community, health care can be improved by creating health awareness where people will be enlightened on how to prevent various diseases and how to respond to different health issues. Education is power.
Policymakers, researchers, health professionals and the whole community should start working together to decrease imparities and to educate the population in topics such food and nutrition, physical activity, drug and alcohol programs for those who need it and health screenings for the vulnerable population.
Basically, poverty is the major determinant of health in this society. Most people cannot afford basic regular medical check-ups. They are also not able purchase healthy diet or are too busy working to follow up with diets and physical exercise.
The financial struggle to meet basic needs also affect the dynamic of the families, leading to stress and even violence under stressful situations. The victims of violence often feel trapped and aimless due to their immigration status. Owning all those stressors, and with lack of support, people with low socioeconomic status are at a higher risk for obesity, diabetes, ,substance abuse, crime and violence.
Mina, M., & Miguel, A. (2013). American Gemography. New York: New York Press. United States Census Bureau. (2018, December 12). American Fact Finder. Retrieved January 30, 2019, from United States Census Bureau. https://factfinder.census.goc/faces/nav/jsf/pages/community_facts.xhtml?src=bkmk Carter, W., Omenn, G., & Mona, M. (2016). Characteristics of Health Promotion Programs in Federal Worksites: Findings from the Federal Worksite Project. American Journal of Health Promotion, 67, 43-45.