Online Program

Improving African immigrant and refugee health: A community-based participatory research initiative

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 2:30 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.

Emeobong Martin, MPH, Center for Health Equity and Wellness, Adventist HealthCare, Gaithersburg, MD
Marcos Pesquera, RPh, MPH, Center for Health Equity and Wellness, Adventist HealthCare, Gaithersburg, MD
Deidre Washington, PhD, Center for Health Equity and Wellness, Adventist HealthCare, Gaithersburg, MD
Marilyn Lynk, PhD, Center for Health Equity and Wellness, Adventist HealthCare, Gaithersburg, MD
African-born individuals account for four percent of the total population in the United States. In the Washington, D.C. area, African immigrants equal 11% of the total population, making it one of the largest metropolitan areas in which African immigrants reside in the United States. Unfortunately, the unique health needs of this population are often missed because Africans are grouped into the larger racial category of African American/Black. Statistics indicate that many of the chronic and infectious diseases that disproportionately affect African Americans (e.g., type 2 diabetes, hepatitis B, and HIV/AIDS), are burdensome for African immigrants as well. For example, African immigrants are three times more likely to be infected with hepatitis B virus than Asian immigrants and four times more likely to be infected than European immigrants. In Maryland, recent reports indicate that AIDS cases among African immigrants are as high as 2.3%, slightly higher than the total population percentage of Africans (2.0%) living in the state. To address the unique health needs of African immigrants, the Center on Health Disparities at Adventist HealthCare developed Project BEAT IT! (Becoming Empowered Africans through Improved Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes, Hepatitis B, and HIV/AIDS). The program provides culturally appropriate strategies to improve disease self-management among African patients with type 2 diabetes, hepatitis B, and/or HIV/AIDS, and training to assist healthcare providers in delivering culturally competent care. Successful development and implementation of Project BEAT IT! occurs with input from African immigrants and refugees with chronic and infectious diseases and their healthcare providers.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe the unique health challenges of African immigrant and refugee populations in the United States. Explain the integral role of community input to the successful development and implementation of this research project to improve African immigrant and refugee health in the United States. Discuss recruitment strategies for recruiting African immigrants and refugees to participate in health education activities to improve health outcomes in chronic and infectious diseases (e.g., type 2 diabetes, hepatitis B and HIV/AIDS). Analyze measured behavioral outcomes associated with training sessions developed and implemented for this research study.

Keyword(s): Underserved Populations, Health Education Strategies

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have over a decade of experience in working with underserved communities and in directing and co-directing health promotion and education research activities in chronic and infectious diseases. Last year, I presented preliminary research data on the proposed abstract initiative, Project BEAT IT!, at two national conferences in an oral and poster presentation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.