The African Leaders Health Board is committed to advocating for linguistically and culturally appropriate health systems. It is crucial that health systems meet the social, cultural, and linguistic needs of the patient. When cultural and linguistic needs are met, health outcomes improve. The ALHB began this work by conducting a health assessment to determine what disparities exist among African immigrants in Washington State. African immigrants were surveyed on the importance of language in healthcare, importance of healthcare, frequency of healthcare visits, preventative healthcare visits per year, barriers to healthcare, and insurance coverage and comprehension. Since conducting this assessment, we have continued to uncover barriers and direct our efforts towards solutions to these problems.

Advocating for Yourself in a Healthcare Setting

  1. Use patient portals to stay up to date on test results, labs, scans, and biopsies. Patient portals also provide a quick, convenient way to communicate with healthcare providers. 
  2. Request an interpreter. Many healthcare providers utilize telehealth to connect with multilingual interpreters that can assist with communication between healthcare providers and patients. 
  3. Seek African Healthcare providers in your area. Find a doctor who speaks your language. 
  4. Be open and honest about symptoms, prescriptions, over the counter medications, insurance status, and costs concerns. When healthcare providers are fully aware of your situation, they can create a plan that best fits your needs. 

Advocating for Systemic Change​

1. Register to Vote. Make sure your voice is heard by voting in local, state, and national elections. You can register up to 8 days prior to election day at Upcoming Election Days:

  • August 2nd, 2022 : Primary Election
  • November 8th, 2022 : General Election

2. Write an email to your local, state, and national representatives about the importance of language inclusion.