Faculty

Faculty of Science and the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry

Supervisor Name

Dr. Lloy Wylie

Keywords

refugee health, COVID-19, integrated care, culturally-sensitive care, collaboration

Description

With higher cases rates, it is clear that newcomer and refugee populations in Ontario have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. These vulnerable populations generally work in settings that increase their risk of infection and do not offer sick leave (ICES, 2021). In addition, overcrowded and multigenerational housing make it difficult for these individuals to adhere to self-isolation guidelines. Language and cultural barriers among refugee populations have also limited their access to information about the virus, making it challenging to follow public health measures (ICES, 2021).

The increased likelihood of an outbreak in these communities manifested itself in London, Ontario. In the summer of 2020, London’s Yazidi refugee population encountered an outbreak of COVID-19. The Middlesex-London Health Unit, London InterCommunity Health Centre, the Cross-Cultural Learner Centre, and other organizations collaborated to control the spread in this population. Their careful efforts to support the community during the outbreak response demonstrate the importance of integrated, culturally safe, and sensitive care.

This research project originated from a request made by the community, which has developed a strong partnership with Dr. Lloy Wylie and her research team. By interviewing health care providers, peer support workers, and city officials involved in the response, we explore the integrated and culturally sensitive approach to the Yazidi outbreak. The goal is to understand the barriers and facilitators to coordinating an effective and timely response amid a public health emergency.

Acknowledgements

Thank you to Dr. Lloy Wylie, Lotus Alphonsus, Amalka De Silva, and the Western USRI program for their support in this project.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

Document Type

Poster

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A Collaborative Approach to Caring for Refugees in the COVID-19 Pandemic

With higher cases rates, it is clear that newcomer and refugee populations in Ontario have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. These vulnerable populations generally work in settings that increase their risk of infection and do not offer sick leave (ICES, 2021). In addition, overcrowded and multigenerational housing make it difficult for these individuals to adhere to self-isolation guidelines. Language and cultural barriers among refugee populations have also limited their access to information about the virus, making it challenging to follow public health measures (ICES, 2021).

The increased likelihood of an outbreak in these communities manifested itself in London, Ontario. In the summer of 2020, London’s Yazidi refugee population encountered an outbreak of COVID-19. The Middlesex-London Health Unit, London InterCommunity Health Centre, the Cross-Cultural Learner Centre, and other organizations collaborated to control the spread in this population. Their careful efforts to support the community during the outbreak response demonstrate the importance of integrated, culturally safe, and sensitive care.

This research project originated from a request made by the community, which has developed a strong partnership with Dr. Lloy Wylie and her research team. By interviewing health care providers, peer support workers, and city officials involved in the response, we explore the integrated and culturally sensitive approach to the Yazidi outbreak. The goal is to understand the barriers and facilitators to coordinating an effective and timely response amid a public health emergency.

 

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