On May 1, also known as World Asthma Day, Respiratory Health Association released new asthma research showing that despite over a decade of efforts from researchers, health care providers and community organizations, there has been little progress in addressing racial disparities among Chicago children with asthma.
Of all the asthma-related emergency department visits by Chicago children in 2015, a staggering 63% were African American children. The rate of visits among African Americans was 75% greater than the citywide rate.
RHA announced the new findings at a press conference held with partners from Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, Chicago Department of Public Health and Chicago Public Schools.
The press conference was covered by CBS 2, WBBM News Radio and WTTW’s Chicago Tonight.
“It is clear we need to do more to understand and address the disparities in asthma,” said Joel Africk, President and Chief Executive Officer, Respiratory Health Association. “Poorly managed asthma leads to missed school days, reduced health outcomes and overall lost opportunities. No child should fall behind because of a manageable condition like asthma.”
After the press event, RHA convened the Chicago Children’s Asthma Summit, bringing together research, education, community and public health leaders working to address pediatric asthma.
RHA is calling for more research into trends in asthma; better data tracking of asthma prevalence and demographics; broadened support of community-based asthma programming to promote asthma management; and additional collaboration between research, practice and policy partners as initial steps to close the gap in racial disparities among children with asthma.
If you’d like support our work providing critical asthma services to Chicago children, consider joining our Lung Health Partners monthly giving program.