Miami Group Works To Address High Cervical Cancer Rate Among Haitian-American Women
A group called Haitian Women of Miami is working to lower the rate of cervical cancer among Florida's Haitian-American population. Haitian-American women are three times more likely than other women to develop cervical cancer, according to the Florida Cancer Data System, the Miami Herald reports.
According to the Herald, Haitian-American women often receive health services from nontraditional healers and have other obstacles to health services, including cultural and language barriers, a lack of health insurance and a lack of access to transportation.
In addition, many Haitian women are scared to access health services "because they're undocumented," Marleine Bastien of Haitian Women of Miami said. She added, "I have to tell them, no human being is illegal. Don't die in silence"
Three times a month, the group provides no-cost preventive care through a medical van funded by Jackson Memorial Hospital's Public Health Trust. The group also produces a weekly radio program and a television program about health issues in the community.
On March 7, the group hosted a conference at Florida International University-Biscayne Bay titled "Women and Reproductive Health: Breaking Barriers and Building Coalitions." The conference will examine the barriers immigrant women face in accessing health care, how immigration policies affect women's reproductive health and environmental factors associated with reproductive health (Beras, Miami Herald, 3/7).