By: Ale Hermosillo / March 5, 2020
Asthma is a serious health concern for overly populated areas like Chicago. The constant use of motor vehicles, the industrialization, and human footprint all affect the quality of air we breathe. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology define asthma as, “Asthma is a chronic disease involving the airways (tubes) that carry air in and out of the lungs. These airways are inflamed in people with asthma. The inflammation makes the airways very sensitive, and the tubes often react to allergens or irritations. There is no cure for asthma. But with the proper diagnosis, medication and an asthma management plan, symptoms can be controlled” (2020).
The City of Chicago addresses the severity of its Asthma epidemics. Chicago Asthma Consortium writes, “Chicago’s asthma problem is severe. Our hospitalization rates are double the national rate. African American and Latino families living in Chicago’s south and west side neighborhoods bear the brunt of it. The burden falls most heavily on their children” (2020).
According to Google research developers, there is a connection between the rate of asthma hospitalizations and the lack of neighborhood clinics. Asthma is a manageable illness but requires adequate healthcare and treatment to alleviate the symptoms. In order to live a healthy life with asthma, clinics need to be in accessible reach.
The graphics show the higher rates of asthmatic hospitalizations in the South and West side of the city. The hospitalization rates in 2006 were around 300 in the South side, whereas the same year showed about 46 asthma hospitalization on the North side. Similarly there are only 7 neighborhood clinics across the city that are partnered with the Asthma Consortium to combat this asthma epidemic. For a city with 2.7 million residents, there needs to be more medical centers and neighborhood clinics to combat the issues.
Alongside with adequate funding, the Atlantics writes regarding the EPA’s alarming findings in the Southside of Chicago. Minority and low income communities are facing higher rates of asthma and lung cancer than ever before.