The Great Society programs of Pres. Johnson were a response to the social crises of that period and to institutionalize the reforms started by Pres. Kennedy under his New Frontier program. The New Frontier initiatives were largely a continuation of the New Deal programs of Pres. Franklin Delano Roosevelt but all their ideas were to eliminate officially all practices that caused racial injustices and promote economic prosperity for all by the reduction or elimination of social, economic and political biases.
However, despite all of these noble avowed intentions, black people in America today are still not fully enjoying all their promised racial equality. Reforms adopted by a succession of governments still fail to produce the desired results despite the best intentions. The various programs intended for the benefit of blacks which are based on the three Rs (relief, reforms and recovery from the economic recession) have not filtered down to the great majority of the African Americans. One of these failures is the high rate of prevalence of ailments among the black people in America and one of these illnesses is asthma which claims a disproportionate segment of the black populace, both of their young and the adults (Blackdoctor.org 1). Discussion Incidentally, black Americans have the highest incidence of asthma among the various ethnic groups. Why this is so can be attributed to several factors although no single cause has been identified definitively so far. The current prevalence rate among the blacks is higher by 38% compared to white people. About eleven Americans die from asthma each day resulting to approximately 4,200 deaths annually and another 7,000 deaths with asthma as aggravating or contributing factor (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 1). The figures are certain to be very alarming to public health officials as asthma is preventable although not curable. Part of the reason why black Americans have the highest incidence among the racial groups could be genetics. Although still not proven yet, genetics plays a part whether a black person suffers from asthma or not. If only one parent has asthma, a child has a 1 in 3 chances (33%) of developing into an asthmatic. However, if both parents are asthmatics, probability will rise to 70% (7 out of 10) that their child will have asthma too (AAFA.org 1). There are many other contributing factors which can trigger asthma besides genetics. Among these factors are certain weather conditions (extreme heat or change to sudden cold), living in an inner-city environment (such as dirty tenement buildings which are not very well ventilated), poor access to the right medical information, lack of proper medical care access, not having a regular family doctor, use of overcrowded clinics and emergency rooms in city hospitals and discontinuity in health care for some reason or another (Tanne 1). Asthma is a medical condition resulting from inflammation of the air passageways as a result of certain allergens like animal dander, plant pollen, dust, air pollutants, cold air, mite and secondhand smoke or even cockroaches and vermin (Office on Women's Health 1). The inflammation is a reaction that results in narrowing of the air ways and makes breathing very difficult and could even result in death in severe cases of asthma attacks. Prevalence Rates –