Irvine, California, September 15, 2021— Although Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are one of the fastest growing populations, according to the 2020 U.S. Census tally, the collection and reporting of their health data at the federal and state levels is virtually non-existent. , according to a study conducted by the University of California, Irvine. This information failure has led to structural racism that disproportionately affects an estimated 1.4 million Americans due to an inability to advocate, lack of resources, and limitations on political power.
Their conclusions are published in the Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law.
“Our goal with this research is to highlight the urgent need for social and health equity for Hawaiian natives and Pacific Islanders,” said Brittany Morey, Ph.D., corresponding author and assistant professor of the program. UCI in public health. “To achieve this, this group needs to be included in reporting health data, especially in collaboration with community partners who use this information to advocate for resources.”
The research team examined compliance with a 1997 mandate from the United States Office of Management and Budget to disaggregate or separate Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders from the broader ethnic category of “Asian” or ” Other ”when collecting and reporting health data. They found that more than 30% of federal data sources had failed to provide disaggregated data on native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders after more than two decades of tenure to do so.
The COVID-19 pandemic provided a scenario for the team to study real-time reporting data to determine whether infection rates and deaths of indigenous Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders were being properly tracked. They found that less than half of states reported disaggregated case data and only 30% reported death data.
“Among states reporting disaggregated COVID-19 data, the case and death rates for NHPIs are the highest relative to any other racial group in the vast majority of these states. This makes us think that NHPIs face a greater burden of COVID-19 even in states that do not report their data, but without the data there is little capacity to advocate for the necessary resources, ”Morey said.
An analysis of the Healthy Places Index was also carried out. This metric is used by the State of California to allocate COVID-19 resources to high-risk neighborhoods. The team found that HPI under-represented native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, even though this group knew the rate of COVID-19 cases (10,572 per 100,000) and death rate (204 per 100,000). ) the highest in the state compared to all other ethnic and ethnic groups. .
The researchers recommend that governments, health agencies and nonprofits at all levels be required to collect and report data in accordance with OMB’s 1997 revised guidelines. They also believe stronger partnerships are needed between government, academia and community organizations to increase sample sizes of native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders to make the data more useful.
“Our work is far from over. We continue to advocate for the appropriate disaggregation of data on Indigenous Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in order to achieve equity, ”said ‘Alisi Tulua, project director for the NHPI Data Policy Lab and co-author of the ‘study. “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.
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