Durham group hosts first health fair in black neighborhoods

August 6, 2017 by  

The Durham Committee of the Affairs of Black People recently held a health fair at the Hayti Heritage Center that attracted several public servants.

The Unity and Community Health Fair’s goal was to engage as well as educate the community on healthcare and the serious problem of opioid abuse. The event’s co-chair Dr. Richard Watkins explained that health fairs such as this one encourages individuals and communities to seize control of their healthcare.

As ABC 11 News reported, the keynote speaker for the event – Mark Benton, the Deputy Secretary of North Carolina Health and Human Services – told the gathering:

“Your zip code is probably the greatest predictor of your life expectancy as well as [what] your total healthcare cost will be over your lifetime.”

Senator Floyd McKissick Jr., meanwhile, spoke out about the deficiency in high-quality healthy foods in neighborhoods of color.

Among the topics discussed was the STOP Act and its three-prong attack on opioid addiction: prevention, enforcement, and treatment. As Deputy Attorney General, Jasmine S. McGhee explained the Stop Act will set aside $20 million for treatment and prevention over the next two years, as well as force smarter prescription practices.

Despite the relatively sparse audience, organizers are not overly concerned. The information can spread from person to person, and with the assistance of a printing company, brochures can be created to help spread the word as well.