I wake up every morning and stretch, then say a prayer thanking the Lord for allowing me to make it through another day and night. My mattress is in real poor condition, as it’s old and the cotton is coming out, so I’ve had to re-sew it in order not to further damage my back. I spend at least 20 minutes every morning stretching, then brush my teeth and wash my face. This starts at 5 a.m.
It is well established that low-income African Americans tend to be sicker when they arrive at the emergency room. It’s the mission of safety-net providers to treat them – and all patients – regardless of ability to pay. Unfortunately, the drug industry is working hard in Washington to make that much more difficult. At issue is a little known but enormously important federal statute called the 340B drug discount program.
Mumia’s health is seriously deteriorating, as has been witnessed in recent weeks by his visiting doctor, clergy, counselors, teachers, family and friends. Evidence of intensifying hepatitis C symptoms and possible development of the diabetes that nearly killed him a year ago call for immediate and appropriate treatment. Mumia needs us again! Please call, fax and email now! Medical malfeasance and deliberate indifference at SCI-Mahanoy are killing Mumia Abu-Jamal.
“Healthy Hearts San Francisco” is a federally funded campaign designed to promote fitness opportunities for low income San Francisco residents in the African American and Latino communities. Health workers at the various city clinics offer physical activity prescriptions to people to take advantage of fitness classes, dieting and lifestyle changes, which help to promote healthier lifestyles.
Treasure Island resident Liz Washington and her children exhibit many of the most serious toxic mold symptoms rampant among all islanders who constantly touch, ingest or breathe air filled with black mold spores. After moving to Treasure Island, everyone in the Washington family began to endure year ‘round swollen lymph nodes, sinus infections, nose and throat irritation, phlegm, runny noses, coughing spells and colds. Liz recently battled short-term acute bronchitis.
“Deliberate indifference” is defined as “the act(s) or omissions of a prison official who knows that the prisoner faces a substantial risk of serious harm or significant pain and disregards that risk by not taking reasonable measures to abate it.” But what happens when deliberate indifference is longstanding, pervasive, well documented and expressly noted by officials over the course of time. Yet the state does nothing to correct it?
Dr. Vickie M. Mays, a clinical psychologist and professor of health policy and management at UCLA, has published a number of studies showing how experiencing racism contributes to high morbidity and mortality in African Americans. Mays said she is concerned that not enough attention is paid to the lethal consequences of discrimination African American men face every day.
Attorneys filed lawsuits in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts this week on behalf of prisoners who say they’re being denied new lifesaving treatment for Hepatitis C because of the cost of the drugs. Gilead Sciences manufactures two versions of the cure, Harvoni and Sovaldi. Abbvie Pharmaceutical Limited, formerly Abbot Labs, manufactures another, Viekira Pak. The cost of any one of the three is roughly $90,000.
I visited Mumia this past Saturday, June 13. Mumia was in good spirits. We talked about the happenings of the world, and he shared a lot about his stay at Geisinger Medical Center. It is clear that the hospital contained the spread of skin lesions that were out of control, and in so doing contained the worst symptoms of a serious skin disease. But the skin disease itself remains active all over his body and undiagnosed.
Although states across this country have banned executions where the public can freely attend, some contend that the American public is again witnessing the spectacle of a public execution. This current spectacle of governmental killing involves a high-profile inmate in Pennsylvania that evidence indicates is quite possibly experiencing a “slow execution” through calculated medical mistreatment.
Political prisoner and revolutionary journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal has been the victim of criminal neglect by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections for months, and his life is in grave danger. He is weak, in the infirmary, and continues to need a wheelchair to come out to visits. Mumia needs all of us to help now! Sign the petition to help save – and free – Mumia. Also, we need to keep up the pressure with phone calls. No execution by medical neglect! Save Mumia’s life!
The majority of U.S. prisoners are African American and Latino males in their childbearing years, imprisoned in a system that regularly violates their fundamental human rights and ravages their health. Mumia would want us to use his suffering to demonstrate that those relegated to the lowest strata of our society – imprisoned Black, Brown and poor – suffer not only their sentences but illness and death by neglect.
On Thursday, April 9, 2015, I visited my husband, Mumia Abu-Jamal, at SCI Mahanoy. I saw the photos taken of Mumia during the visit on Monday, April 6, but I still wasn’t prepared for how Mumia looked. Seeing him in the prison visiting room, he was worse. I felt my husband is about to die. He was shivering so hard, I put my arms around him and my head to his chest to hear his heart and to bring some warmth to his body because he said he was freezing. We need to keep up the pressure. Let the warden and state corrections secretary know we insist that Mumia have medical specialists of his own choosing examine and treat him.
It is of necessity and of urgency that we recognize that in order to understand our present situation and strive for change, we must come to terms with our past. We must tie America’s history of genocide and racism to our current history, to our so-called system of democracy, which is fundamentally hypocrisy, and to the lives of our lost youths of color at the hands of this system.
The California Nurses Association/National Nurses United blasted a report issued Sept. 24 from the supposed “independent” panel of stakeholders set up by the hospital giants to provide a cover for the closure of embattled Doctors Medical Center, long a mainstay for the people of Richmond and San Pablo. While the report carries a label of being comprised of “independent” stakeholders, it is anything but, said CNA.
On Nov. 13 the San Francisco Chronicle ran a lead story written by the S.F.-based Center for Investigative Reporting. The story was about the radioactive contamination of Treasure Island, a former U.S. Navy base in the middle of the Bay. This story is important in and of itself but also because it once again unearths the region’s role in the birth of the atomic age and also highlights the radioactive legacy that continues to haunt us.
Looking good, feeling good and making good decisions has a lot to do with what you put into your body. Health and green activist and musician AshEl Seasunz has been on the frontline of educating Black, Brown and low income neighborhoods in the Bay Area about the benefits of healthy eating, with SOS non-profit, which sells freshly squeezed organic juices and offers presentations from leading experts nationally.
Paul Armentano is one of the many interesting professors at Oaksterdam University who is on the front lines of the re-legalization and de-criminalization of marijuana movement in the United States. He is a scientist and has been for about two decades an activist with the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, so he is definitely not new to this.
As the corporate domination of our food, land, air and water continues and the resistance heats up to the monster known as Monsanto, it must be said that in the U.S. it’s us po’ folks of all cultures and ages that are getting the worst of it. Some obvious, most not. And no one is really speaking for us. “The poor people’s plate is rooted in capitalist hate for the three job working mamaz caught in the welfare state.”
The Alzheimer’s Association is partnering up with the UC Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Center and the Alameda County Area Agency on Aging to offer an African American Caregiving and Wellness Forum on Saturday, April 20, to help the Bay Area community learn more about Alzheimer’s disease and how it is disproportionately affecting the African American community.
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