Lancet Perspectives article by Angela Saini: "Stereotype threat". Raises questions about race & health (2)

15 October, 2020

Dear Julie,

Thank you for alerting us o these issues highlighted in the Lancet article []. The percentages, 14 percent of non-whites nationally versus 34 percent receiving respiratory support are indeed shocking. Factors such as cultures, levels of education, knowledge of scientific nature, literacy and numeracy should be looked at. On the other hand when I was working in East Africa I worked with illiterate traditional midwives who showed amazing competencies, probably at least partly enabled by their illiteracy. They did not need ultrasound but could see like a seer of old and more on culture, I know an obstetrician who is from Moroto in the far north east of Uganda who attended one of our NCH meetings who told us that very few pregnant mothers who visited the antenatal care at his hospital in Moroto. He realised that the ambiance of the clinic in the hospital was not in the way of the upcountry women were used to being treated and so he rearranged the furnishing of the clinic to conform to the local traditional midwives surroundings in including a playroom for the children of the mothers and in a very short period of time they had at least three times as many pregnant mothers not only attending the session but also coming to the clinic for the birth of their children and this could help explain why there is such a wide gap between the corona virus patients of color and the ones who we call white people.

HIFA profile: Daniel Stern is a HIFA Representative and member of the mHIFA WG. He is a member of Uganda MCH TWG. Daniel is Co-founder of the educational NGO Uconnect, and of the Innovation Hub, Hive Colab, and is also Cofounder of ISOC Uganda and Uganda IXP. He is a UN WSA National Expert. His Uconnect team distributes off-line E-Learning content, including Hesperian Health Guides to schools in East Africa since 2008. During his six-years as Lead for Uganda Mobile Monday he regularly organized events with mobile health themes, usually in collaboration with UNICEF’s Uganda team, and their pan African IntraHealth efforts to improve interoperative healthcare systems, both within and between countries,via mHero, such that developer- entrepreneurs’s apps would align with the latest trends by MoH policies.

DStern AT