Black Health Week aims to address health disparities in KC’s African American communities

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Next week, April 9-15, is National Black Health Week, and Kansas City’s Black Health Care Coalition has a week full of events planned to connect with people of all ages in the black community and talk about health.

BHCC leaders said conditions such as asthma, high blood pressure and infant mortality affect the black communities at rates much higher than other demographics.

In fact, statisticians at the Kansas City, Missouri, Health Department found a 13-year gap between the lowest and highest life expectancy zip codes in Kansas City. In many zip codes it found that life expectancy is decreasing.

"Right here in this area, there’s a 12-14 year difference in life expectancy for African Americans compared to other areas," said Melissa Robinson, BHCC president.

Through free screenings, education and outreach events, BHCC hopes to help close the gap.

"We’re working on some of those direct things, but we’re also looking at some of the undercurrents and how do we build healthier communities," Robinson said.

She said BHCC is also working on a call to action to make Black Health Week more widely recognized and better funded.

"We have a petition to really restore the week of National Black Health Week because we’re hoping that the government will be courageous enough, not on the federal level, but on the municipal level, the state level to really have a strong conversation about why are we still in this place," she explained.

See the flyer below for more information about Black Health Week events:

Flyer provided by the Black Heath Care Coalition.