Wednesday, January 16, 2008
7:49 pm est
Blacks still wary of clinical trials
Dr. Neil R. Powe, a professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland was lead author
of a recent study conducted by several Johns Hopkins researchers.
"The study surveyed 717 outpatients at
14 Maryland clinics. Of the respondents, 36 percent were black and the rest white," according to
the Baltimore Sun. "The primary purpose of the research study was to test whether African-Americans were indeed more fearful of medical research than whites.
photo by Kenneth K.Lam (Baltimore Sun)
"When asked if they would participate in a
mock study of a heart disease drug, black men and women were only 60 percent as likely as whites to agree to participate.
"Blacks were also more distrustful of doctors than whites were. For instance, 58 percent
of black patients felt their physicians would willingly give them experimental drugs without their consent, compared with
28 percent of whites.
"Similarly, 25 percent of blacks but only 15 percent of whites said their doctors would
ask them to participate in a risky study.
"This distrust means that fewer blacks participate in research,
Powe said, and as a result, studies might miss important biological differences in how people of different races respond to
new medical therapies.
"Wayne Bridge, 52, a retired African-American state trooper
who lives in Baltimore, traced the origins of his general wariness to slavery. ‘After that little Carnival Cruise we
enjoyed from Africa, maybe that plays a role in the attitude,' he said."
of the study confirm observations of many researchers and those in the black community. And might explain why clinical trials
fail to enroll enough black participants - "and why trials might fail to predict how blacks will react to new drugs and
medical devices" according to Johns Hopkins researchers.
The Tuskegee Syphilis Study-the 40 year experiment where black men were injected with syphilis without their knowledge- might also explain why blacks
are apprehensive about participating in medical trials.
Additionally, as Dr. Harriet Washington
points out in her book Medical Apartheid, (see our "Shop" page) "There is a long, unhappy and unfortunately consistent history of exploitation of
blacks by the medical system. Many, many African-Americans have preserved the memory of these abuses."
The results of the study were published January 14, 2008 in the online journal Medicine.
Monday, January 14, 2008
Jamaica to celebrate February as 'Reggae Month'
8:02 pm est
Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding has announced "that Jamaicans, will for the first time
this year observe the month of February as 'Reggae Month' to highlight the impact of the musical genre on the country's
social, cultural and economic development," a short article on the Jamaica Information Service website reports.
"The Prime Minister also announced that he had written to Governor-General
Sir Kenneth Hall requesting him to issue an official proclamation declaring February
Reggae Month in perpetuity.
Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding
with Rita Marley
"Mr. Golding said in addition to being a part of our culture,
reggae music has been used by Jamaicans as a means of expression and to communicate our experiences, trials and successes,
as well as our joys and sorrows. He said the music has also been used to declare our position against oppression and suffering
and to tell of our hopes, with the love as the underlying constant. He said this aspect of the music was the reason it had
been embraced by people from around the world, but that Jamaicans felt no jealousy as, 'reggae will always remain Jamaica
and Jamaica will always remain reggae....'"
"There will be a full
calendar of activities to mark Reggae Month starting with the Bob Marley Birthday Dinner on February 6th, the UWI Global Reggae
Conference, a Reggae Film Festival and a football match between the Reggae Boyz and Costa Rica, a star-studded Reggae Academy
Awards honouring outstanding music industry personalities and the 'Africa Unite - Smile Jamaica' concert being hosted
by Rita Marley and the Bob Marley Foundation."