Black Lives Matter? All Lives Matter? The Doctor Says ‘Yes’ and ‘Yes’

Dr. Foluso Fakorede, right, is the only cardiologist in Bolivar County, Mississippi. | Screen capture: Men’s Health

Foluso Fakorede, M.D. has a family history of diabetes. He opened the Heart Disease & Amputation Prevention Institute in rural Mississippi to make sure that all diabetics, regardless of color or financial ability, have access to quality care.

By Foluso Fakorede

Aug 21, 2020

Men’s Health – I knew I wanted to become a doctor at age five, motivated by seeing the devastating effects of disease in my family.

My grandmother died of diabetes at the young age of 64.

Both my parents are diabetic, and thankfully, due to my increased vigilance and preventive measures, they haven’t developed adverse complications you see, like blindness, amputations, kidney disease, and heart problems.

My goal is that everyone could obtain that level of care.

I was a young immigrant kid from Nigeria who came to the States at 13 years old. My mom wanted educational stability for her three kids. She worked in a New York City hospital as a registered nurse and moonlighted at a gas station and at a nursing home to afford a house in Teaneck, New Jersey.

It was instilled in us: You are going to set your path, to create an enduring legacy for the family name.

As a student at Rutgers University, I became aware of the social determinants of health and the meaning of inequality.

As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and the most inhuman because it often results in physical death.”

He said that in Chicago at the Medical Committee for Human Rights in 1966. It still holds true.

Let’s talk about the risk factors for diabetes.

You could look at any state, at any impoverished area, and if you look at the African-American community in those areas, what do you notice?

In addition to limited access to quality care, there’s poor choice in terms of dietary options, right? Sugar is the new tobacco. That’s my phrase.

There are food deserts, exercise facilities are few and far between, and there aren’t many safe parks. The devastating consequence is obesity and diabetes … Read more. 

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