A Pilot Study of Health Priorities of Somalis Living in Kansas City: Laying the Groundwork for CBPR
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African immigrant and refugee communities remain medically underserved in the United States. Formative efforts are being directed to address the local needs of communities by researchers, community agencies, and local populations. However, there is a paucity of data and sparse documentation regarding these efforts. The objectives for this pilot study were to identify the health priorities of the Kansas City Somali community and to establish a working relationship between an academic medical university and the local Somali community. Our team used community-based participatory research principles and interviewed Somali community members (n = 11). Participants stated that chronic and mental health conditions were of primary concern. Medical system navigation and literacy struggles were identified as barriers. Participants offered possible solutions to some health issues, e.g., using community health workers and Qur’anic readers. Preliminary findings will help guide future research and inform strategies to improve the health and well-being of this community.
KeywordsCommunity-based participatory research Formative research Healthcare disparities Refugee health Somalis
This project would not be possible without the help of the following: study participants, Somali Foundation, Inc., and Somali Bantu Community Association.
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