health & wellness
sierra leone communinty in minnesota
SCLM partners with various organizations to address persistent health disparities within Minnesota’s populations of color. Despite reduced overall tobacco use in the state of Minnesota, disparities in tobacco use and tobacco harm are unchanged. SCLM continues to partner with Clearway MN and the Association for Nonsmokers MN (ANSRMN) to advocate for policies that would reduce tobacco use and harm within our communities.
The SLCM youth are the primary ambassadors of health to their peers. They are actively involved in policy advocacy spending Days-on-the-Hill with partners such as ANSRMN and the
State of MN Council for Minnesotans of African Heritage.
Since 2000, SLCM leaders have been involved in advocacy efforts to reduce tobacco harm within communities of color. Multiple studies show that the harmful morbidity and mortality effects of commercial tobacco are significantly higher for communities of color (sometimes referred to as priority populations) than for white mainstream populations. Tobacco-related health disparities are higher in Minnesota than in the majority of states.
While overall use of tobacco products has decreased in the state of Minnesota since 2014, recent studies show that the improvements have been arrested. The use of vaping products by teens and young adults have contributed to the reversal. SLCM youth are actively engaged in tobacco education and advocacy, serving as message ambassadors to their peers and to adults.
Professional Nurses at Work
Within the Sierra Leone community, the Sierra Leone Nurses Association conducts Health and Wellness programs including an annual Wellness Fair, A Seniors Day Program, and Preventive Care sessions. Our nurses work with professionals in other immigrant and communities, addressing issues such as HIV, malaria, mental health, and health disparities. Please visit SLNA here.
Public health Organizational Membership
Members of SLCM expand their health equity activities through membership in public health organization. Board member Jonathan Rose participates as a member of the Measurement and Reporting Committee, and the Risk Adjustment Committee of Minnesota Community Measurement (MCMM), a data-collection and reporting organization that provides valuable data-based information on the quality of health care, health disparities, and preventive care.
Board member Kumba Kanu is a leader within the West African HIV Taskforce. Other SLCM leaders participate in the state of Minnesota’s Malaria Community Advisory Board.