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    Information is Key

    by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | April 12th, 2020

    Information is Key

    It was very hard hearing the stats last week – black Americans are dying at a disproportionately higher rate compared with white Americans.  The Washington post reported that the majority of black counties have three times the rate of infection and nearly six times the rate of deaths as majority white counties.

    The Washington Post sited four main causes:

    1. Higher rates of underlying health conditions and less access to care
    2. Black Americans hold a lot of ‘essential ‘jobs
    3. Insufficient information
    4. Housing disparities

    Although all were troublesome, the one that struck a chord with me was the insufficient information which also included misinformation. One of the reasons I started blogging was because I knew that black people were not getting the information that they needed to make decisions regarding their health. I am a firm believer that when one is educated about their health, they are empowered to make decisions that will improve their health. To think that there were people on social media touting that black people could not get coronavirus was disheartening. Initially the faces of coronavirus seen on television did not fully represent the people who were actually dying of coronavirus making people think that they were invincible. How would the narrative have been, if we all knew the truth?

    I could not have predicted a pandemic like the coronavirus but when I look back at previous blogs that I have written, my goal was to at least give my sisters a fighting chance. Here are some examples:

    Make The Scale Your Best Friend – This was a strategy to help one not gain any more weight – we know a risk factor for poor outcome with coronavirus is obesity.

    What’s Your Number? Those with chronic diseases that are not controlled are susceptible to the coronavirus. By knowing your numbers, you know if you have a chronic disease and you can work towards having the disease well controlled.

    Creating your ‘Blue Zone’ – Here we learn from lessons from people who live well into their 90s – most of these people do not have chronic diseases like diabetes or high blood pressure. Those with chronic diseases have a poor outcome if they contract the coronavirus.

    A Dirty Little Secret – Hand washing helps decrease your risk of contracting the coronavirus. We were talking about hand washing way before the coronavirus.

    What is the ‘Inside Scoop II’?–  We talk about the importance of signing up for the patient portal. With this pandemic, it is the best way to communicate with your physician.

    My hope is that you will not only continue to share the information with your friends and family but you will encourage them to sign up to be part of the family. Now that they are home, they will have time to read previous blogs to get accurate information when it comes to health. Information is key to better health outcomes.

    Below is the information from the CDC:

    There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID 19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. As of today, there is no treatment recommended for COVID-19. People with the virus receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. If you think that you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop fever and symptoms of respiratory symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your health care provider immediately.

    For more information on the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), please click here.

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    Secure Your Copy of Letters to My Sisters by Dr. Ngozi Osuagwu.
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    The book discusses common gynecological and women’s health issues in a series of witty and entertaining letters. These letters, all educational, offer suggestions on what approaches to take in tackling the medical problems that typically bring women to an ob/gynecologist. The letters are spiced with art, a poem and quotes. Although its emphasis is on gynecology and women’s health, it touches on some other medical issues that make women visit their doctors.

    The second half of the book briefly discusses the most common gynecological conditions and also provides an overview of sexually transmitted infections. A list of annotated websites dealing with the different topics in the book is provided for the reader who wants to pursue each subject in depth.




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