African and Caribbean immigrants and refugees face enormous barriers to health care including language; lack of knowledge about services available; fear of deportation; hesitation to navigate the complex U.S. healthcare system; lack of health insurance and traditional and cultural conceptions about health.
Based on our work in these communities in the greater Philadelphia area, we have found these to be the major health related needs:
- Preventive healthcare
- Culturally and linguistically sensitive health education
- Access to screening and treatment services for infectious and chronic diseases
- Maternal and child healthcare
- Sexual and reproductive health education and access to care
- Nutrition education
- Obesity Prevention Education
- OB/GYN care
- Dental care
- Screening for vision impairment
- Cancer awareness and education particularly for breast, cervical and prostate cancer
- Blood pressure and diabetes screening and treatment
- HIV and STD screenings
AFAHO has worked tirelessly to mitigate barriers to healthcare access; ensuring our vulnerable and marginalized clients receive the care needed. Linguistic and cultural difficulties are the primary barriers to accessing health and social services faced by this population. AFAHO serves as the bridge between our clients and the wider provider community; assisting providers to understand the cultural complexities of their African and Caribbean patients and facilitating comprehension via our language interpretation services.