SPS team win SFC grant for Covid-19 project

Published: 10 June 2020

The team will develop a response to the COVID-19 pandemic in a way which learns from the challenges faced by different ethnic communities in the Chocó region

Dr Mo Hume, Dr Allan Gillies and Dr Lucy Pickering, together with Nagore Penades, a Glasgow based Consultant Psychiatrist and Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Health & Wellbeing, have been awarded funding from the University’s GCRF Small Grants Fund which is run using Global Challenges Research Funds allocated to the University via the Scottish Funding Council. Working with the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF), the project 'COVID-19 Response in Chocó, Colombia', plans to enhance capacity of the Diocese of Quibdó (Chocó), a central member of the departmental Emergency Response Committee, to develop a collective response to the COVID-19 pandemic in a way that recognises, respects and learns from the common and differentiated challenges faced by different ethnic communities in the Chocó region due to deep poverty, geographical location and diverse livelihood and cultural practices. Chocó is the poorest and most ethnically diverse region of Colombia and its inhabitants have been living through a humanitarian crisis for many decades due to protracted armed conflict, deep poverty and geographical location. The pandemic adds further complexity and challenges to the pre-existing crisis for these isolated communities.

On receiving the grant Mo said ‘This is a really challenging time for communities in Chocó where a pre-existent humanitarian crisis has become much more complex in the context of a pandemic. Existing research on COVID and other pandemics shows that ethnic minority communities experience increased inequalities that are caused by and exacerbate existing discrimination. This is critical for those who live in contexts like Chocó where limited formal health systems and ongoing armed conflict create very particular risks for Indigenous and Afro Colombian territories. At the same time, we have much to learn from their collective responses to crises. We have been working with both SCIAF and the Diocese of Quibdó for several years and welcome the opportunity to deepen this collaboration'. 

Mark Camburn, SCIAF’s programme officer for Latin America said, added 'It’s hard to overstate just how much of an impact this will have on their vital work preventing the spread of COVID-19 and supporting vulnerable communities through lockdown. We’re extremely grateful to the University of Glasgow who are instrumental in making this joint working possible. By combining the University of Glasgow and SCIAF’s knowledge and experience with local expertise in the Diocese of Quibdó we’ll be able to take significant steps towards reducing the spread of coronavirus in communities, so ultimately, this funding will save lives.'

First published: 10 June 2020

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