WASHINGTON, DC- Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) today made the following statement recognizing African Immigrant Health and Heritage Month. This year, the theme for African Immigrant Health and Heritage Month honors those African immigrants who have served in our Armed Forces:


“I am proud that Governor Christine Gregoire has recognized September as African Immigrant Health and Heritage Month, highlighting the tremendous contributions millions of African immigrants have made to our nation. As the Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, I have had the opportunity to see firsthand the contributions that African immigrants make to our national security.  Their commitment, courage and honor are commendable, and we should take this month to remember and appreciate all that these fine men and women have done for our nation.


“It is also imperative that we use African Immigrant Health and Heritage Month to bring attention to the health challenges this community currently faces.  In addition to infectious diseases, African immigrants are generally vulnerable to chronic illnesses such as coronary artery disease, diabetes, hypertension, and cancer. By raising awareness, we can improve health services and networks to confront health disparities, serve the African immigrant population in a comprehensive way, and promote lifesaving preventative measures.”