COVID hits 10.6% of Marshallese in Hawaii
AP: … COVID-19 outcomes, an analysis was performed using race data from 21,005 COVID-19 cases and 449 COVID-related deaths reported to the DOH between March 1, 2020, and Feb. 28, 2021.
During that time, the number of infections reported, or incidences, was 1,477 per 100,000 people.
Looking at the aggregated data, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander individuals experienced the highest rate of infection, 2,501 per 100,000 people, across five minimum race categories, the report states.
But breaking down the data showed that Pacific Islanders, who account for 5% of Hawaii’s population, represented 22% of COVID-19 cases and deaths, and had the highest incidence rate of 7,070 cases per 100,000, according to the report.
Further analysis found that among all Pacific Islander subcategories, the highest incidence of cases, 10,580 per 100,000 people, occurred among Marshallese individuals.
Incidence among the Native Hawaiian population was 1,181 per 100,000.
Filipino and Vietnamese individuals had the highest incidence of cases among Asian populations, at 1,247 and 1,200 cases per 100,000 people, respectively ….
read … Report: Combining of outbreak racial data could obscure important disparities
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CDC REPORT HIGHLIGHTS HAWAI’I EFFORT TO ADDRESS COVID-19 HEALTH DISPARITIES THROUGH IMPROVING DATA
News Release from DoH, Sep 16, 2021
HONOLULU – A new U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report authored by Hawaiʻi researchers demonstrates the value of separating public health data in order to identify and address racial disparities.
Data collected by the Hawai‘i Department of Health (DOH) revealed racial disparities in COVID-19 infections and death. Race and ethnicity can serve as markers for underlying systemic and structural inequities that drive health disparities. This data informed DOH’s COVID-19 response and emphasized the need to prevent and reduce inequities in social determinants of health, access to health care, and health conditions. Click here to read the report.
“These findings demonstrate the importance of collecting and disaggregating data to more effectively address health disparities,” said Dr. Joshua Quint, DOH Epidemiologist and primary author. “We are thankful for our community partners who have worked hand-in-hand with DOH in our health equity efforts and we are committed to continuing to make data available to improve health outcomes.”
The Hawaiʻi data was published in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), a national weekly journal highlighting public health information and recommendations. Authors include researchers from DOH, the University of Hawaiʻi and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
Data from Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander and Asian populations are often combined into one group in studies, which can hide important differences between these communities. By separating COVID-19 infection and mortality data into more detailed racial subgroups, the report highlights large disparities in COVID-19 case and death rates among Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and Asian communities.
Rates of infection and death were highest among Pacific Islander populations. Additionally, researchers found that among Asian populations, infection rates were highest among the Filipino and Vietnamese populations. Data included in the analysis was collected between March 1, 2020 and Feb. 28, 2021, but DOH continues to collect and report disaggregated infection and mortality data.
The data allowed DOH to improve its community response, which included the creation of the Pacific Islander Priority Investigations and Outreach Team and the COVID-19 Outreach and Public Health Education project to provide translated prevention information, improved access to resources, and support community outreach. These efforts complemented grassroots initiatives within Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander and Filipino communities.
The MMWR article follows the March release of the DOH’s “COVID-19 in Hawai‘i: Addressing Health Equity in Diverse Populations” report.
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Data collection, reporting gaps harm Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander health, UCI-led study says
COVID-19 pandemic reveals urgent need for improved standards
“We found significant shortfalls at the federal and state levels in collecting and reporting health data on Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, which has led to structural racism disproportionately harming them. Stronger partnerships are needed between government, academic and community-based organizations to achieve health equity,” says Brittany Morey, corresponding author and UCI assistant professor of health, society & behavior. Program in Public Health / UCI
News Release from UC Irvine, September 15, 2021
Irvine, Calif., Sept. 15, 2021— Despite Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders being one of the fastest growing populations, according to the 2020 U.S. Census count, the collection and reporting of their health data at the federal and state levels is virtually non-existent, according to a study led by the University of California, Irvine. This information omission has led to structural racism that disproportionately affects roughly 1.4 million Americans through an inability to advocate, a lack of resources and limitations to political power.
Their findings are published in the Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law.
“Our goal with this research is to bring to light the urgent need for social and health equity for Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders,” said Brittany Morey, Ph.D., corresponding author and assistant professor from the UCI Program in Public Health. “In order to achieve that, this group must be included in the reporting of health data, especially in conjunction with community partners who rely on this information to advocate for resources.”
The research team reviewed compliance with a 1997 mandate by the U.S Office of Management and Budget to disaggregate, or separate, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders from the larger “Asian” ethnic category or “Other” ethnic category when collecting and reporting health data. They found that more than 30 percent of federal data sources failed to provide disaggregated Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander data after more than two decades of being mandated to do so.
The COVID-19 pandemic provided a scenario for the team to study real-time reporting data to determine whether Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander infection rates and deaths were being appropriately tracked. They found that less than half of the states were reporting disaggregated case data and only 30 percent were reporting death data.
“Of the states that are reporting disaggregated COVID-19 data, the rates for cases and deaths for NHPIs rank the highest compared to any other racial group in the vast majority of these states. This makes us think that NHPIs are experiencing a greater burden of COVID-19 even in states that don’t report their data, but without the data there is little ability to advocate for needed resources,” Morey said.
An analysis of the Healthy Places Index was also conducted. This metric that is used by the state of California to allocate COVID-19 resources to high-risk neighborhoods. The team found that the HPI underrepresents Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, even while this group was experiencing the highest COVID-19 case rate (10,572 per 100,000) and death rate (204 per 100,000) in the state compared to all other race and ethnic groups.
Researchers recommend that governments, health agencies, and non-profits at all levels be required to collect and report data in accordance with the revised 1997 OMB guidelines. They also believe that stronger partnerships are needed between government, academic, and community-based organizations to increase Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander sample sizes to make data more useful.
“Our work is far from complete. We continue to advocate for the appropriate disaggregation of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander data to achieve equity,” said ’Alisi Tulua, project director for the NHPI Data Policy Lab and study co-author. “By achieving data equity, our hope is that future generations will be able to achieve health and social equity for all communities of color.”
The research team also included Malani Bydalek, Richard Calvin Chang, John C. Greer, Corina Penaia, Ninez A. Ponce, Nicholas Pierson and Karla Blessing Thomas, from the Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander COVID-19 Data Policy Lab at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. Vananh D. Tran is from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
This work was supported by grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.
Duke: No Equity without Data Equity: Data Reporting Gaps for Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders as Structural Racism
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