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Health Program News

Type 2 Diabetes Survey of Community Stakeholders and Health Practitioners to Begin

Filed in Health Program News by on May 13, 2017

Type 2, Not You! wordmark

According to the County of San Diego, Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA), chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D) are brought on by three behaviors that lead to four diseases that cause 50% of deaths in the region. Through Type 2, Not You! NSDI (Nile Sisters Development Initiative) is raising awareness about this epidemic in refugee and immigrant communities. Numerous priority populations for Type 2, Not You!, including speakers of Amharic, Arabic, Burmese, Creole, Somali, and Swahili, are heavily burdened by T2D and common co-morbidities, such as CVD (cardiovascular disease), depression, hypertension, and obesity.

In May 2017, NSDI will begin conducting T2D surveys with at least 50 community stakeholders and health practitioners to develop better understanding of perceptions of type 2 diabetes by refugee and ethnic populations, as well as by medical and public health practitioners. Type 2, Not You! aims to ensure that these primary populations have equal access to primary prevention methods in San Diego County.

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Office of Minority Health Resource Center Awards Grant to Nile Sisters

Filed in Donor News, Health Program News by on May 11, 2017

Office of Minority Health resource Center logo

Mental-health conditions are considered priority health concerns among newly arriving and existing refugee and ethnic populations. Statewide, one such condition, dependency syndrome, is one of five top mental illnesses that disproportionately burden refugees.

Recently, NSDI (Nile Sisters Development Initiative) received a mini-grant from the Office of Minority Health Resource Center» in order to develop mental-health resources for black and ethnic populations. Through the Harambee Project, NSDI aims to increase access to evidence-based educational materials and culturally sensitive mental- and behavioral-health resources available to black and ethnic populations, as well as to lay health workers and medical practitioners.

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Nile Sisters Focuses on Refugee and Ethnic Mental Health Throughout May

Filed in Event News, Health Program News by on May 11, 2017

Conceptual illustration of a tree as metaphor of mental illness versus mental health

Since 1949, the US has designated the month of May as national Mental Health Month». Throughout the month, events such as Mental Health Matters Day: Building Momentum and Strength Together» provide opportunities for the mental-health community and other stakeholders to raise awareness and understanding of mental health conditions in order to reduce stigma, educate the public, and advocate for affected individuals / communities. NSDI (Nile Sisters Development Initiative) is proud to join this long-standing tradition on behalf of refugee and ethnic populations.

In October 2016, NSDI conducted a community round-table discussion» of the mental and behavioral health needs of refugee and immigrant communities in San Diego County. Two subsequent community dialogues» convened to discuss the themes that emerged from the initial round table.

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City Heights Workshop Finds Barriers to Refugee Oral Healthcare

Filed in Health Program News by on January 27, 2017

On January 27, 2017, Nile Sisters Development Initiative (NSDI) hosted an oral healthcare workshop for members of the City Heights refugee and immigrant community. Through this workshop, NSDI was able to better understand the challenges that refugees and immigrants face when seeking dental care and to identify opportunities to improve access to dental providers.

In 2014, the California Department of Public Health reported that the primary preventable health condition among newly settled refugees is dental caries. Failure to receive preventive care can result from a host of factors, including limited English proficiency and economic and/or cultural barriers.

The NSDI Refugee Oral Health Initiative (ROHI) previously determined that language continues to be one of the greatest barriers for refugees and immigrants when accessing dental and general healthcare services. In one particular case study, the only Burmese dentist in the San Diego community had retired, leaving many with no Burmese-speaking dentist to visit for regular dental check-ups. Not many dental providers offer translational services or speak the refugees’ native language, and the ones that do often have long wait times for appointments. For example, one workshop participant stated that he had to wait up to 40 days for an appointment opening with a provider who speaks his language. Approximately 81% of refugees in attendance also reported that they would go to the dentist more often if more offices had staff that spoke their native tongue.

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ROHI: Refugee Oral Health Initiative

Filed in Health Program News by on January 9, 2017

Photo of a little girl having her teeth exam by a dentist.

Oral Health is an integral component of overall health and well-being, however, essential healthcare information and services can be difficult to access for San Diego’s most vulnerable communities. The largest resettlement site in the state of California, San Diego is home to more than 150,000 refugees. As part of its ongoing efforts to conduct preventative health outreach and education, Nile Sisters Development Initiative (NSDI) is committed to addressing chronic conditions that burden refugee and immigrant communities.

NSDI believes that access to holistic, culturally sensitive health and wellness programs are necessary for our primary populations to reach their full potential and to thrive. In 2016, NSDI launched the ROHI, Refugee Oral Health Initiative program, in partnership with the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network (CPEHN). Through ROHI, NSDI aims to address oral health disparities that burden underrepresented and underserved populations.

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New Program: Women’s HEALTH

Filed in Health Program News by on November 7, 2016

Nile Sisters Development Initiative (NSDI) believes that access to holistic, culturally sensitive health and wellness programs are necessary for our community members to reach their full potential and to thrive. Because an average of 70% of our constituents are women, NSDI is committed to addressing health disparities among refugee and immigrant girls and women. Women’s HEALTH—Health, Education, and Lifestyle Training Hub—will increase the awareness of and access to essential sexual and reproductive health services.

Female Genital Cutting (FGC)
Female genital cutting (FGC), sometimes referred to as female genital mutilation (FGM), refers to “any partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or any other injury of the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.” Young girls are at greatest risk of being subjected to FGC. Statistics reveal that most FGC procedures take place on girls between the ages of 5 and 14.

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Community Dialogue on Refugee and Immigrant Mental Health

Filed in Health Program News by on October 17, 2016

It is estimated that one in three refugees living in the United States has suffered from a mental health disorder in their lifetime.

The psychological impact of forced migration and its subsequent effects on health and well-being are undoubtedly hard to measure. It is widely known that refugees are at greater risk of developing mental and psychosocial disorders, as a result of physical and emotional trauma. The disruption of familial and social networks combined with limitations on resources, increases the risk of developing acute and chronic diseases. Refugees also face unique post-migration stressors related to cultural, linguistic and structural barriers to self-sufficiency.

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California Marketplace Health Equity Assessment Tool Initiative

Filed in Health Program News by on October 13, 2016

On October 13, 2016, the Texas Health Institute, in partnership with the California Pan Ethnic Health Network (CPEHN) and Health Access, presented preliminary findings on the California Marketplace Health Equity Assessment Tool (M-HEAT) Initiative.

The M-HEAT Initiative was designed to

  • evaluate marketplace health equity programs and initiatives
  • understand marketplace progress and performance
  • provide external, community-based validation of marketplace programs, progress, and performance toward health equity

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Covered California Open Enrollment Begins November 1

Filed in Health Program News by on October 11, 2016

Covered California Logo

It is that time of the year again!

Starting November 1, 2016, any Californian can enroll, re-enroll, or change a 2017 insurance plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace. It is important to review your health plan during this renewal period because plan options and rates can change. You may qualify for a different plan if your income, family size, or address have changed within the last year.

During renewal and open enrollment, you can make changes to your coverage or switch health plans by contacting the nearest Certified Enrollment Counselor». If you want to keep your same health plan and coverage, please provide consent, and you will be automatically re-enrolled.

Make sure to enroll by December 15, 2016, for coverage to take effect by January 1, 2017.

Nile Sisters, Family Health Centers of San Diego Address Women’s Health

Filed in Health Program News by on September 21, 2016

Feminine cutting icon

On September 21, 2016, representatives from Nile Sisters Development Initiative (NSDI) traveled to Washington, DC, to attend the Office of Women’s Health Female Genital Cutting (FGC) Community-Centered Health Care and Prevention Project kickoff meeting. The United States Department of Health and Human Services has allocated more than $6 million dollars to address the effects of female genital cutting over the next three years.

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