Statement Regarding Anti-Asian Racism and Healthcare Inequities
March 25, 2021
One of the most important functions of the IPPF is to distill scientific language related to rare diseases into clear information for patients, caregivers, and the general public. In this work, the words we use matter, and we choose them carefully. As the entire world has struggled with the repercussions of a global pandemic for more than a year, we’ve witnessed diverse communities come together under a shared value of effective science communications. We’ve also witnessed entire communities—specifically the Asian American community—come under increased attack by hateful, racist words and actions related to purposeful misinformation. The painful reality here is that though the pandemic is a year old, the legacy of attacks against the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander community is much older.
The IPPF fully supports the following statement from Dr. Winston Wong, Chair and acting CEO of the National Council of Asian Pacific Islander Physicians (NCAPIP), as written in the NCAPIP’s recent statement regarding the shootings in Atlanta on March 16 that killed eight people, six of whom were identified as Asian and seven of whom were women:
“The killings in Georgia cannot be regarded as an isolated event separate from the dramatic rise in violent attacks against the AANHPI community in the last year, which themselves are entangled in a narrative that regards persons of Asian descent as fodder for anger and hatred precipitated by COVID-19 fueled xenophobia and racism. The National Council of Asian Pacific Islander Physicians calls for a public health response that safeguards the rights of the AANHPI community and protects community from random and violent attacks. The trauma of this event extends well beyond the immediate families that lost their loved ones. It impacts our patients and communities and it is a danger to their health not just during this pandemic, but beyond.”
As we have seen before, healthcare inequities disproportionately affect minorities and people of color in the United States. The IPPF has a long history of patient advocacy, and we are committed to continuing those efforts on the state and federal levels to do all that we can to remove barriers between patients and the care they need. One way of doing this is by supporting congressional legislation, such as the Speeding Therapy Access Today (STAT) Act. However, we must also engage in specific actions related to our current programs, such as evaluating how to best raise awareness of pemphigus and pemphigoid in communities with unique healthcare needs.
As always, if you are a patient and need someone to talk to about your disease during this time, our peer health coaches are ready. You can also contact us through our website, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling (855) 473-6744.