By Micha Green
AFRO D.C. and Digital Editor
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated has been dedicated to the fight against breast cancer and COVID-19 and, since its inception, has emphasized the importance of education. As part of of National History Black Colleges and University (HBCU) Week, members of Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) are working to further their mission of combating breast cancer and COVID-19, two health crises heavily affecting the Black community, by offering free COVID-19 vaccinations and tests as well as 3D mammograms at Howard and Morgan State Universities.
On Sept. 24, Alpha Kappa Alpha will be hosting a “Pop-up Health Event,” where the Sorority began 113 years ago- the campus of Howard University. From 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., the community can visit Louis Stokes Health Sciences Library, on 4th and Bryant Streets N.W., for free 3D mammograms and COVID-19 tests and vaccines.
Then, on Sept. 25, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Morgan State University will host the health “pop up,” with the same services in Baltimore, at Faith Presbyterian Church, 5400 Loch Raven Boulevard.
“We are proud to partner with Howard University and Morgan State University to enrich the lives of African American women and families with resources that are so desperately needed,” said Alpha Kappa Alpha President and CEO Dr. Glenda Glover.
Statistics show that college-aged students, in particular, are not being vaccinated as much as other adults in the United States. People 18 to 24 years old have the lowest vaccination numbers among adults in the United States at 50.8 percent, according to Mayo Clinic. Those ages 25-39 are not much higher, at 55 percent, numbers still much lower than adults over 40.
While Morgan State University and Howard University students, without medical or religious exemptions, are required to be vaccinated in order to be on campus this fall, bringing the tests and vaccines to the community is one way of helping improve some of the vaccination rates among young adults.
The COVID-19 tests and vaccines and the 3D mammograms, were made possible through a partnership with Walgreens and CORE.
“We are committed to ensuring these communities receive COVID vaccines, COVID tests and breast cancer screenings through our AKA 3D Mammography Mobile Unit,” Glover added.
Free 3D mammograms require a scheduled appointment and Alpha Kappa Alpha encourages people to register at www.assuredimaging.com/AKA or call (888) 233-6121.
While the organization has been dedicated to supporting the Biden Administration’s goal of increasing vaccinations across the country, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority is not new to their passion for prioritizing health and disease prevention in the African American community.
For six consecutive summers in the 1930s, the Sorority conducted the AKA Mississippi Health Project in order to provide necessary health services to the people of the Mississippi Delta- particularly Mound Bayou and Greenville. This past summer, the AKAs were back in Mississippi giving free COVID-19 vaccinations and education, blood pressure monitoring, glucose and cholesterol testing, and HIV testing.
The “Pop-Up Health Events,” offered during National HBCU week is a continuation of AKA’s more than one-hundred years of service to the Black community.
In addition to the complementary health services, the pop-ups will also offer free Chick-fil-A gift cards on a first come basis to any residents who come to receive their COVID-19 vaccination.
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