The Alaskan Native and Health Promotion

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The Alaskan Native and Health Promotion

The Alaskan Native and Health Promotion
In the United States in 2013 there were 11.2 million American Indians and Alaska Natives nation wide representing approx. 2% of the population. The state with the highest population percentage of natives was Alaska, with 134,361 accounting for 14.3% of the population (United States Census Bureau. 2013). It is this group that is going to be focused on now in this paper because of the unique issues and barriers that are found in attempting health promotion within this minority. Many different problems arise when attempting change in the region ranging from education levels, large cultural differences, geological isolation, and substance abuse. There is a strong and deep-seated lack of trust towards anyone who is not from the area because of past mistakes and abuses. In 1950 46% of all Alaskan native deaths were because of tuberculosis and other infectious diseases which were brought in by outsiders (Alaska Native Health Status Report. 2009). The medical profession to this day is still regarded as a possible threat instead of an asset especially by the older population. What level of health promotion prevention will work best to facilitate the changes needed in Alaskan Native health?
The current health status of Alaska natives is well below the national average in a multitude of ways. It has improved markedly in the past couple of decades but still needs considerable attention. The Alaskan Native population have defined the following problems requiring need of health promotion.
The level of education and therefore socioeconomic level suffers from wide comparison gaps. One in four (28.2%) Alaska Natives reported having not completed high school compared to one in every twelve (7.5%) as a national average. One out of every ten Alaskan Natives receive an associates degree or higher…...

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