Principal Investigators: Diana Bowser and Donald Shepard (Brandeis University, Heller School for Social Policy and Management)
How can local health services overcome disparities between Venezuelan migrants and Colombian nationals in access to essential healthcare services?
The research aimed to:
The researchers conducted 1,454 interviews with staff and 215 unique observations of service provision (totaling 334 hours) at four partner NGOs assisting refugees in Lebanon, Turkey, and Jordan.
The study focused on social distancing, mask wearing, and hand hygiene, measuring how well those protocols were followed during different types of services and with different refugee populations. Barriers such as lack of physical space, lack of knowledge about COVID-19, limitations of the services, and attitudes about COVID-19 were measured.
"It is imperative, during this time, that we understand how individuals are responding to the public health and social distancing measures being put in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Examining these patterns across diverse and vulnerable populations is key. Support from Elrha for this project to understand the differential impact of COVID-19 on Venezuelan migrant refugee will allow a better understanding of this and future pandemics."
"Colombia’s system of universal health insurance generates an invaluable data base (called RIPS). It provides a unique opportunity to monitor the impact of social distancing and other policies across Colombia and to ascertain how results compare between Colombian and Venezuelan migrant residents."
While the Colombian government has made initial strides towards reducing disparities between Colombians and Venezuelan migrants with their expansion of the temporary residence programme, additional policies to improve access may be needed to continue to address the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly to deliver vaccine rollout.
The study team aim to use the knowledge and insights generated to continue to inform the Colombian response. Information and data produced could be made available in a user-friendly manner to stakeholders through appropriate channels and formats, such as data dashboards, to inform ongoing decision-making. Data could be used to create a linear programming tool for vaccine rollout to help analyze vaccine rollout subject to real world barriers such as population distribution and density, health care utilisation barriers, knowledge of COVID-19, and implemented policy.
Banner photo credit: Venezuelan women and children staying the night in tents next to the Red Cross health centers. © European Union (Photographer N. Mazars) 2018 (Source: Flickr)
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