COVID-19: Exposing and addressing health disparities among ethnic minorities and migrants

Author/s: Christina Greenaway, Sally Hargreaves, Sapha Barkati, Christina M. Coyle, Federico Gobbi, Apostolos Veizis, Paul Douglas
Language: English
Publication Type: Scientific Report (Journal)(External)

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The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a spotlight on health disparities and has created an opportunity to address the causes underlying these inequities. Every country has vulnerable populations that require special attention from policymakers in their response to the current pandemic. Inclusive policies that ensure equal access to care for everybody including COVID-19 testing, new therapeutics, and a vaccine (when available) will be critical to protecting the whole population. Migrants living in refugee camps, receptions, and detention centres must be included in national surveillance and be entitled to health care. Safe working conditions that ensure physical distancing, appropriate personal protective equipment, and non-crowded living quarters are essential to prevent COVID-19 exposure to and between temporary workers or low-income workers in service industries. Public health efforts that provide messaging and interventions that are adapted to the linguistic, cultural, and social circumstances of marginalized groups will be crucial to effectively prevent transmission within and beyond these communities. In addition, it is essential to foster trust between public health practitioners and the leadership of these communities so that they may work together to effectively deliver prevention and intervention strategies. 

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Journal of Travel Medicine