More Black Women in Clinical Research as we celebrate Juneteenth
As we celebrate the longest-running African American holiday, Juneteenth, the black community has had a tremendous impact on clinical research over the decades since the end of slavery in 1865. Following research published in the journal of women’s health meant to observe the perceptions and attitudes of African American women when it comes to participation in health-related research participation.
The study found that educated black women in America were more willing to participate in health research even though the historical experiences of African American participants in clinical research have not been pleasant.
The need for black women to be proactive in medical research is motivated by the desire to eliminate the health disparities black women experience in access to better healthcare. The social determinants of health such as race and culture affect equitable access to health. Racism for example which is engineered by structured systems for power offers certain communities an unfair advantage as compared to others in accessing better health.
As barriers to participation in research that black people experience such as mistrust related to research integrity, racism and discrimination are eliminated for black women to get into research, several health obstacles that African Americans experience in finding better healthcare and leading productive lives are eradicated.
Black women have over the past decade shown an increase in life expectancy, seen a reduction in teenage pregnancy, and a decrease in HIV infection rates. This is due to more clinical research focused on helping African American women lead better lives.
As a lot of medical advances are made on diseases such as HIV and Cancer, the black woman needs to be a part of the sample in these researchers so that they are not left behind culturally in the new treatments. The only way for black women’s information to be included in these studies is by their active participation in the new research.
Black people are disproportionately affected by different medical issues and the underrepresentation of minority groups in medical research doesn't help. Whereas the inclusion of minority groups in clinical trials has seen tremendous growth over the decades. There is still a suboptimal enrollment of African American women in clinical trials for cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
The good news is that recent studies have shown that African Americans are more enthusiastic to participate in clinical trials than any other racial and ethnic group. As we celebrate Juneteenth, remember that we are free, not only of any other racial bias but also free to participate in modern research and avenues where we as black women need a voice.
The systems are opening up and becoming more accommodating of black women in science and research and thus let’s include ourselves in these major milestones that are being made in medicine through participation. Juneteenth came about as a result of a push from oppressed voices that needed to be heard, we can always be included in these technological advancements if we push for our voice to be heard.
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