American Samoa Community Health Center
The American Samoa Community Health Center, located in Tualauta County, Western District of Tutuila Island, American Samoa, has been a 330-funded CHC since November 2003. About 23,000 people reside in 9 villages in Tualauta County. The average household size is six, with over 90% of the residents being ethnic Samoans; the remainder are comprised of Caucasians, Filipinos, Koreans, Chinese, and other Asian/Pacific Islanders. This is a young population with a median age of 21.3 years.
At present, the only health services available in the service area are those offered at American Samoa Community Health Center. This health center’s regular user population is approximately 17,000 people. The major health care needs include maternal and child health care, childhood asthma, teen pregnancies, teen suicide, alcohol-related problems, and chronic health conditions in adults including diabetes, asthma, heart disease, and hypertension, obesity (beginning at early ages), and a high rate of child and adolescent tooth decay.
Tualauta County’s major health needs derive from a population characterized by: a high percentage of families with incomes significantly below the poverty level; high population growth rate; living arrangements that are not health-supporting (15% have no cooking facilities inside the house, 20% have no refrigerator, 32% have no sink with running water inside the house, 38% have no flush toilet inside the building); a high proportion of teenage mothers; low health literacy levels, inadequate or erroneous health knowledge and beliefs; and prevalent high risk behavior including poor diet, inadequate exercise, and smoking.
Some of the significant barriers to seeking health care include a lack of transportation (42% of households have no vehicle), inadequate ability to access health information and make appointments for service (32% of households have no telephone at home), and outreach barriers (no street names or house numbers).