Health News Roundup

Experts point to health inequality as Connecticut mask mandates fall along geographic lines, and more in this week’s roundup

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Experts point to health inequality as Connecticut mask mandates fall along geographic lines
Seamus McAvoy, Hartford Courant, Feb. 28
While Connecticut’s largest cities will continue masking in schools, most suburban and rural communities will drop their requirement. Vaccination rates in urban school districts, which primarily serve children of color, lag behind neighboring towns. Advocates point to this inequity as just one example of the uneven burden that communities of color have faced during this pandemic and call for a deeper examination of the inequities and how to remedy them.

State leaders advocate for more children’s mental health services
Catherine Shen, Connecticut Public Radio, Feb. 27
More than 250 people signed up to speak during the public hearings about expanding children’s behavioral health services and workers support. One of the speakers, Antonia Edwards, described losing a grandchild and the role that racial bias plays in access to culturally appropriate behavioral health care.

Panel urges changes to make US organ transplants more fair
Lauran Neergaard, The Associated Press, Feb. 25
A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine calls for an overhaul of the U.S. transplant system. With more than 100,000 on the nation’s waiting list for an organ donor, many more people, particularly people of color, never make it on the list. Black Americans are three times more likely to suffer from kidney failure than white people but far less likely to be referred for transplant evaluation.

Why pregnant people were left behind while vaccines moved at ‘warp speed’ to help the masses
Liz Szabo, Kaiser Health News, Feb. 24
Despite being a high-risk population, pregnant people were left out of early COVID vaccine studies. This complicated the messaging about vaccination for pregnant people, which advocates say contributed to widespread vaccine hesitancy. Health officials have since urged pregnant people to become vaccinated, especially Black women who were already at higher risk of maternal and infant mortality before the pandemic.

Opinion: Providers must self-examine to explain Black maternal health disparities
Dr. Lucinda Canty, CT News Junkie, Feb. 25
To combat Black maternal health disparities, health care providers must examine their own behavior that may discriminate against Black women, such as bias in responses when Black women experience pain. In addition, increasing access to doulas can provide support and advocacy to more people during pregnancy and childbirth.