About the Author

Author Picture

Pramod Sukumaran

Sukumaran completed a PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology and an MPH in Population Health Analytics. He curates content for Salud America! on family support and health projects at the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at UT Health San Antonio. His emphases is on the latest research, reports and resources related to various disease and policies, to improve Latino health.

Connect with Pramod:
Twitter Link

Articles by Pramod Sukumaran

CDC Launches Spanish WhatsApp Chat to Encourage More Latino COVID-19 Vaccinations

CDC WhatsApp vaccine finder platform in spanish

CDC has partnered with WhatsApp, a social media messaging platform, to deliver COVID-19 vaccine information to Spanish-speaking users to encourage them to get the shot. The chat, "Mi Chat Sobre Vacunas COVID," is live and available here. "Once the user replies with 'hola,' the app returns a menu of options. [These include] information about nearby vaccination sites, transportation to and from the location and answers to frequently asked questions," according to NBC News. CDC is making vaccine equity is a vital goal to end the coronavirus pandemic. They define equity as preferential access and administration to those who have been most affected by COVID-19. Latino Usage of WhatsApp Over 30 million Latinos use WhatsApp. They use it much more than other social media platforms, ...

Read More

Report: Housing Inequities Are Worsening for Latinos

Sad evicted mother with child worried relocating house

Close to 40% of Americans struggle to meet the rising costs of housing, and Latinos especially face hardship in affordable housing as the pandemic worsened inequities, says a new report. As the economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans are struggling with soaring home and rent prices, affordability issues, and the risk of eviction and foreclosure, according to The State of the Nation’s Housing 2021 from Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. Latinos and other people of color are impacted on a greater scale. "Millions of households that lost income during the shutdowns are behind on their housing payments and on the brink of eviction or foreclosure," the report states. "A disproportionately large share of these at-risk households are renters with ...

Read More

Study: Long-Term Exposure to Secondhand Smoke Is a Danger to Brain, Body

Quit smoking smoke-free policy for indoor air secondhand smoke exposure

We already know secondhand smoke is bad for you. But several recent studies further blame secondhand smoke for its harmful impact on the brain and body. Long-term exposure to second-hand smoke results in lower body weight and cognitive impairments, according to new research in mice led by Oregon Health & Science University. Researchers exposed mice to 168 minutes of secondhand smoke a day for 10 months. They found that secondhand smoke harms even "healthy" mice, altered the hippocampus region of the brain, and impacted cognition, especially among males. "Many people still smoke, and these findings suggest that the long-term health effects can be quite serious for people who are chronically exposed to second-hand smoke," said lead author Dr. Jacob Raber. Why is this ...

Read More

We Can Do This: The COVID-19 Public Education Campaign in English, Spanish

We Can Do This campaign covid-19 prevention vaccine

You've probably seen or heard this phrase a lot recently: "We can do this." That's the slogan for the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services' "We Can Do This" / "Juntos Sí Podemos" COVID-19 Public Education Campaign. This national initiative aims to increase public confidence in uptake of COVID-19 vaccines and other basic prevention measures, such as mask wearing and social distancing. The "We Can Do This" campaign materials are in English, Spanish, and more. The campaign also has a "live" event series that pairs medical experts with prominent influencers to share information to help people feel confident about getting the vaccine. The events occur in the places where people already consume content, including social media, podcasts, and YouTube. The effort is ...

Read More

Studies: COVID-19 May Damage Brain, Increase Risk of Dementia, Alzheimer’s

latino couple elderly wearing face masks to prevent covid-19 coronavirus dementia alzheimers

Many studies are uncovering an alarming link between COVID-19 and dementia. One study found that more than 80% of 509 hospitalized COVID-19 patients had "neurologic manifestations," according to Northwestern Medicine. The brain inflammation and mini-strokes observed in COVID-19 patients may increase their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia, another study found. Now a new study from the UK found that people diagnosed with COVID-19 in the previous six months were more likely to develop depression, dementia, psychosis and stroke. "The study confirms the researchers suspicions that a COVID-19 diagnosis is not just related to respiratory symptoms, it is also related to psychiatric and neurological problems", Prof Dame Til Wykes, at the Institute of ...

Read More

Tasty News: FDA to Ban Menthol Cigarettes and Flavored Cigars

fda to ban menthol cigarettes and cigars 2021

Tobacco remains the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. That is why, on April 29, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced plans to ban menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars within the next year. The aim is to save lives and prevent future generations of smokers. This decision was made in response to a citizen petition filed in 2013. Public health and civil rights groups have long argued people of color have been disproportionately harmed by menthol cigarettes. The tobacco has industry targeted its ads at Black and Latino communities for decades. “Banning menthol—the last allowable flavor—in cigarettes and banning all flavors in cigars will help save lives, particularly among those disproportionately affected by these deadly ...

Read More

7 Unique Campaigns that Are Fighting the Youth Vaping Crisis

Latino teens e-cigs vaping smoking tobacco 21

Millions of teens are hooked on vaping. In 2017, 1 of 10 U.S. high school students used e-cigarettes. In 2019, 1 of 3 U.S. high school students used e-cigarettes, according to CDC data. As the popularity of youth vaping and e-cigarettes has surged, so has the public's confusion over the health risks these products pose. The health risks are real. The U.S. Surgeon general called teen vaping a national health epidemic. The World Health Organization reports e-cigarettes are "not harmless" and "pose risks to users and non-users." Many groups are trying to get the word out. Several innovative campaigns, many of which are bilingual to help reach Latino audiences, are working to address health issues like youth use of e-cigarettes and vaping. 1. CDC: 'Protecting Young People from ...

Read More

New Bilingual Materials Aim to Boost Cultural Competence

doctor latina latino cultural comptence with phone looking at bilingual materials

Cultural competence is the ability to understand, appreciate, and interact with people from cultures or belief systems different from one's own. This is often lacking in health care. Latinos, for example, experience discrimination and implicit bias in the doctor’s office, and face a systemic lack access of social support. That's why we are excited to share new bilingual materials from various agencies the U.S. Department of Health and Humans Services (HHS) aiming to improve cultural competence and equitable access to care. "Providing culturally and linguistically appropriate services (CLAS) in health and healthcare is one way to improve the quality of services provided to all individuals, which will ultimately help reduce health disparities and achieve health equity," ...

Read More