Health

Racial Discrimination Can Worsen the Coronavirus Pandemic

Image: Davichee (pixabay license)

Racial Discrimination is one of the most debated topics at the moment due to the ongoing ‘Black Lives Matter’ protests across the United States after the murder of George Floyd at the start of the summer. With the continuation of the coronavirus pandemic, it should also be noted that racism also extended to multiple aspects including health care services and hospitals.

According to reports on the health care system and medical care, black Americans are less likely to get as many facilities and access to facilities as others. Some studies have even shown that black children have a higher rate of mortality when getting treatment by a white American doctor in comparison with getting treated by a black doctor.

Research such as this clearly shows the different forms of racism can show itself in ranging from discrimination and violent behavior on streets to hospitals.

The prevalence of racism in the US and many other countries of the world not only leads to violent events such as the aforementioned murder of George Floyd but can also lead to several other outcomes including affecting the progress over the coronavirus pandemic.

At the beginning of the health crisis, the chief of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, had already emphasized the significance of joining hands and working together to end the pandemic. This statement did not only refer to blurring political differences between countries but also conflicts within communities.

Any kind of differences or disagreements against the pandemic can pave the way for an impact on the medical community and progress over the pandemic.

For instance, a recent report by scientists from the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) talks about how divisions among countries and the rise of nationalism linked to the development of vaccination for coronavirus can have dangerous health consequences are countries may concentrate more on the speed of the development rather than its effectiveness and assured of safety.

Just as countries can divide due to vaccine nationalism, they can also do so on the issue of the prevalence of racial injustice. Black Americans are a major portion of the medical community in the US. Racial discrimination may keep them from opportunities and contributing to the cause of ending coronavirus pandemic.

Read also: Suicidal Thoughts Have Become More Common During the Coronavirus Pandemic 

In addition, due to racism, vaccine distribution among the general public can also become much more difficult as black communities may hesitate to get vaccinated or racist groups may intervene in the provision of vaccines to black people and other people of color.

On this issue, a number of health experts have voiced their opinion and stated that racial discrimination is also a problem in health care and should be taken more seriously and talked about especially now when the country is having multiple protests against racial injustice every single day since weeks.

The issue is important as health care is a basic necessity that should be available to all people regardless of their race and ethnicity. Secondly, as the WHO had stated initially, the pandemic is unlikely to end soon if people fail to join hands and fight it together.

About the author

Abeera I. Kazmi

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