Capturing the anticipated/unanticipated consequences of COVID‑19 (C19) and C19 prevention, management, and treatment strategies (C19PS) among Indigenous peoples (IP) in Arctic communities (AC)

Sharma, Sangita | $1,517,380

Alberta University of Alberta 2020 CIHR Operating Grant

The potential consequences of COVID‑19 (C19) spreading in Northwest Territories (NT) and Nunavut (NU) remote and isolated communities are severe due to high rates of chronic conditions, overcrowded housing and limited health infrastructure. The Governments of NT and NU have implemented C19 prevention strategies (C19PS), such as travel bans and social distancing. There is an urgent need to capture and understand the anticipated and unanticipated consequences of C19, and C19PS, as well as on the treatment and management of patients in NT and NU, and gather culturally safe recommendations from and for the communities. In addition, we must document the challenges faced by healthcare professionals, public health and policymakers for future planning and mitigation. Working with 4 NT and 6 NU communities, leadership from Indigenous communities and groups, a Community Advisory Board including Elders, and the research team, this project will work with local community coordinators and local community research assistants to collect information via telephone interviews on the impacts of C19 and C19PS that can, upon analysis and dissemination, immediately be used in policy and planning for current and future pandemics. All data collection materials will be developed and led by communities and local staff will be hired to recruit and undertake the interviews, ensuring capacity building, local employment, and sustainability. The majority of the team are Indigenous and almost all have worked together on Indigenous Arctic projects. The team also includes NU/NT public health policymakers, specialists/experts (mental health, qualitative research, ethics/knowledge translation, C19 pandemic research) and international (USA, Finland, Greenland, and Russia) and national collaborators/ international advisory board members, and therefore results will be relevant for Arctic communities at the community, regional, territorial, national and international levels.

With funding from the Government of Canada

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