African Americans are at higher risk…
for rare and chronic diseases such as; heart diseases, stroke, cancer, asthma, influenza and pneumonia, diabetes, and HIV/AIDS. Chronic Diseases– A disease that persists for a long time. A chronic disease is one lasting 3 months or more, by the definition of the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics. Chronic diseases generally cannot be prevented by vaccines or cured by medication, nor do they just disappear. Eighty-eight percent of Americans over 65 years of age have at least one chronic health condition, diseases such as arthritis, cardiovascular disease (heart attacks, high blood pressure) stroke, cancer such as breast and colon cancer, diabetes, epilepsy and seizures, obesity, and oral health problems.
High blood pressure is common in 12% vs. 10% of blacks vs. whites aged 18-34 years,respectively. It is common in 33% vs. 22% of those aged 35-49 years, respectively.
Diseases which affect a small number of people compared to the general population and specific issues are raised in relation to their rarity. There are thousands of rare diseases. To date, six to seven thousand rare diseases have been discovered and new diseases are regularly described in medical literature.
African Americans with rare diseases are being left behind, facing potentially deadly barriers in diagnosis, reatment, and representation in research trials. Though individual rare diseases don’t receive much public attention, roughly 30 million Americans—one in ten—live with a rare disease. Patients with a rare disease must overcome extensive barriers to get an accurate diagnosis or receive quality care.
Support Is Important
The Balm In Gilead seeks to mobilize the faith community and raise awareness of the issues affecting rare and chronic diseases among African Americans via the capacity development of African Americans congregations to become an integral partner in:
The Balm In Gilead proudly advocates our Southeast Diabetes Faith Initiative
The Southeast Diabetes Faith Initiative (SDFI) is a multi-state faith-based program created by The Balm In Gilead, Inc., to expand the National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP). SDFI brings together community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, insurers, health care professionals, and other stakeholders, delivering the CDC’s Prevent T2 curriculum to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes, specifically among communities of color. SDFI makes it easier for people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes to participate in the evidence-based lifestyle change program to reduce their risk of Type 2 diabetes.