(Washington, DC)- On Thursday June 8, 2006 Caribbean-Americans / Caribbean immigrants and community based organizations nationwide will respond to the health disparities facing people of color especially
Caribbean Immigrants in the first observance of National Caribbean-American Health/AIDS Awareness Day (NCAHAAD). NCAHAAD is a national mobilization effort designed to encourage Caribbean-American
and Caribbean-born individuals, across the United States and its territories, to get educated, get tested, get treated and get involved. It is also a time to reflect, memorialize and show compassion for those
infected or affected by HIV/AIDS. It is a day of hope for the future of a Caribbean and Caribbean American community with available preventive health care as a daily part of life and a Caribbean Diaspora
free of AIDS.
The first annual NCHAAD was created to provide Caribbean-Americans with resources, HIV/AIDS health education, evaluation, and opportunities for involvement. The goal is to beat the odds and to ensure that we
cultivate a health conscious atmosphere within our communities. This day is a part of a National effort to get Caribbean-Americans to get educated, get evaluated, get treated and get involved with their health
decisions, as HIV/AIDS, Diabetes, Cancer, High Blood Pressure and Cardiovascular diseases continues to negatively affect the Caribbean communities resulting in premature deaths.
Poor health, premature death and AIDS have challenged the extended Caribbean-American family in every part of the country to find new reservoirs of compassion, to increase our political voices, confront many difficult issues such as drug use, sexuality, poor health care which for generations, have been deemed unmentionable. The spiritual lives of our communities have been tested to its core as religious
leaders reach out to advocate with families who have suffered stigma and exclusion.
National Caribbean-American Health/AIDS Awareness Day will be directed, planned and organized by a working group of national organizations in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The goal of this partnership is to mobilize communities and address specific issues in regards to local epidemics, health disparities and best practices that are science based and will influence the course of HIV in
Caribbean-American communities across our nation.
According to the Centers for Disease Control the Ten Leading Causes of
Death in the U.S. (2001) Blacks and African Americans are as follows
(Source: Health, U.S., 2003):
– Cardiovascular Disease
– Unintentional injuries
– Chronic lower respiratory disease
– Nephritis, Nephrotic syndrome and Nephrosis
It is important to note that African-Americans are often view as one group, there is in fact a wide variety of populations in the US included under this heading. Upper class, lower class, Christian, Muslim, inner
city, suburban, descendants of slaves and Caribbean immigrants all come under the African-American heading. Current epidemiological surveillance does not record these social, cultural, economic, geographic, religious, and political differences that may accurately predict risk. Caribbean-Americans continue to face challenges in accessing quality health care, treatment and prevention services.
In her presentation at the 3rd annual Caribbean Days on Capitol Hill Conference Ms. Dawn Stewart (Founder of Caribbean people International Collective Inc) stated “To remain silent and re-active about our health
conditions in our communities is to bring about our premature death. To perpetuate the HIV/AIDS epidemic will virtually guarantee our premature death. These health problems affect the most vulnerable segments of our community. The goal for this day is to ensure that everyone visit a health care professional regardless of immigration status, risk group or nationality,”
The following organizations led by CPIC Inc serve as the leadership
council and are responsible for planning the NCAHAAD 2006 events.
– Caribbean People International Inc, New York
– Academic Professional Consultants (APC), New York
– Anne Blue Health Care Agency, New York
– Counterpart International, Washington DC
– Associates in Infectious Disease, Florida
– DESKAN, Georgia
– Church Avenue Merchants Block Association (CAMBA), New York
– Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporation (Prince William Alumnae
For a list of health facilities/professional participating in this
program please visit our website.
If your agency would like to participate as a provider, contact us at
718 282-9255 or 703 441-2619.