*They are empowering the African American community to fight against COVID-19!
Earlier today (03-27-20), The Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program donated over 5,000 face masks and hand sanitizers to local senior citizens and low-income families in Los Angeles.
The BBHOP has repurposed its alcohol-based bump-blocker and bay rum aftershave to manufacture much needed hand sanitizer. Coronavirus is predicted to hit certain communities particularly hard because of the number of people living with high risk health factors like diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity.
Founded by Dr. Bill J. Releford, the program has been addressing these health care disparities in the African American community for over a decade.
“Historic socioeconomic inequities threaten to be magnified with the highly contagious coronavirus,” said Releford. “Over the past decade, BBHOP, has screened over 30,000 African-American men in black-owned barbershops across the country. Because African-Americans are disproportionately affected by cardiovascular disease, COVID-19 is poised to wreak havoc on this already fragile and vulnerable population,” explained the doctor.
Based in Inglewood, CA, BBHOP screens African American men for diabetes and high blood pressure in local barbershops throughout the country and provides needed education about healthy lifestyle alternatives.
Dr. Releford is a podiatric surgeon has been specializing in amputation prevention and wound care for over 30 years and started the venture to address the astronomical amputation rate in the African American community.
“The response from the local community exceeded our expectations,” exclaimed Releford.
Since its inception in 2006, the project has screened over 30,000 African American men for diabetes and high blood pressure across the country in over 750 black-owned barbershops. BBHOP is the only national barbershop-based health advocacy organization in the country. Their mission is to screen and educate over one million men by the year 2025.
For more details follow @Blackbarbershophealth | blackbarbershop.org