“Educate and advocate”

This plea was offered to the attendees at the annual meeting last week around the collection, analysis and dissemination of health data for Native Hawaiians by JoAnn Tsark and Hardy Spoehr.

The topic arose as a result of the release of American Cancer Society’s Cancer Facts & Figures 2016, which includes a Special Section:  Cancer in Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders.  The special section combines Asian American data with that of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, drawing inaccurate conclusions, such as declaring that cancer is the #1 cause of death, when for Native Hawaiians the leading killer is heart disease.

The presenters, veterans of the Hawaiian health movement, presented to  make the membership aware, and recommended kauka could educate and advocate on committees, councils and wherever members have influence.