"Our tribal health leaders are facing hugely difficult decisions"

Mar 25, 2020

Members of the Lummi Nation's Tribal Health Center conducting COVID-19 testing earlier this month
Credit Lummi Communications/Facebook

Native people in America are facing the same situation the rest of the country finds itself in - but with a few significant differences.

Testing supplies and personal protection equipment are in short supply, as they are everywhere else, but among Native people, there is a disproportionate level of infectious disease, with 1 to 3 times the mortality of the overall population.

There is a higher level of lung disease and diabetes, many Native communities lack safe water  and a quarter of the people are uninsured.

But despite those challenges, including an Indian Health Service that funds clinics at less than half the amount per patient than the national average, some tribes have emerged with a lot to teach about preparedness and taking care of community.

More information:

You can read this article about the Lummi Nation's preparations for COVID-19 in The Guardian.

The Urban Indian Health Institute and their information about COVID-19, including fact sheets for the general public and for providers, clinics and organizations.

The National Council on Urban Indian Health and their Coronavirus Resource Center

The National Indian Health Board and their Coronavirus 2019 page

The Association of American Indian Physicians and their response to COVID-19