Total Health

Total Health involves our organization developing a national action plan in order to improve the health and well being of Black Canadians. After centuries of biased medical theories and experimentation based on racist beliefs, we still find ourselves facing an untrustworthy healthcare system that holds the inter-generational mistreatment of Black folks within it. The FBC has taken many steps towards addressing the social determinants of health in the Black Canadian community. The FBC has written reports, conducted surveys, and gathered dis-aggregated data on vaccine hesitancy, mistrust in the healthcare system, and the overall impact of Covid-19 on the Black community. This work has taken priority recently due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Scientific racism remains a particular area of concern to our organization. It has historically been used to reinforce ignorant theories, such as ones that justified the enslavement or mistreatment of African peoples. These beliefs gradually gained ‘legitimacy’ as time went on and world further embraced anti-Black racism, and now some of them are key cornerstones of what is considered to be accurate medical knowledge. This has further lead to the debasement of Black people, and now Black people face much higher rates of dissatisfaction, discomfort, and even death, at the hands of medical practitioners who perpetuate this racial violence based on ingrained racial biases[1]. This has also created a deep distrust for medical practitioners in the Black community; for example, Black women are three times less likely to have a family doctor than non-racialized women in Ontario.


Issue:

Racial trauma from medical racism commonly leads to substance abuse, mental illness, and sometimes criminal acts.

Recommendations:

Increasing awareness of this issue, increasing funding to researching about this issue, ensuring that there are enough Black mental health workers, more understanding for Black people affected by medical racism, and a community health capital program in order to support Black Canadians.


References:

  1. Alondra Nelson. “Unequal Treatment.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 7 Jan. 2007, https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/05/AR2007010500180.html.

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