Dr King-Okoye is expected to launch the STEVIE web-based platform to support those that experience barriers to care for COVID-19.

 

 

Dr Michelle King-Okoye, the founder and leader of The Ethnicity and COVID-19 Research Consortium (ECRC), is very pleased to launch a web-based platform which she had promised, following her interview with STEM Caribbean and IGDORE last Summer.

 

Ethnic minorities have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, as a result of long-standing systemic inequalities. This has been a global phenomenon, with ethnic minorities experiencing increased risk of infection, serious complications from the virus, and also increased death rates. Reports have indicated that barriers to care may be contributory to COVID-19 mortality rates among ethnic minorities. In comparison to their White counterparts, ethnic minorities are less able to socially distance and access testing when needed and are also less likely to access treatment due to residing in deprived and racially segregated areas.’ Dr King-Okoye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                     

 

                                                     Dr Michelle King-Okoye, @MMKingOkoye

 

                                               

Disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on ethnic minority populations.

 

In light of the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 among marginalised populations, Dr King-Okoye is certain that this web-app will be instrumental in the fight against COVID-19.

 

‘This is one of the few international projects that I have initiated through the Ethnicity and COVID-19 Research Consortium, with the support of New Mexico State University (NMSU) and Crowdfight. Our research studies previously targeted ethnic minority populations due to the dearth of research conducted with this focus. However, we have since extended our study to all races and ethnicities to achieve representativeness across varied populations.’ King-Okoye.

 

She continues, STEVIE refers to Supporting Transition to care through Engagement with Vulnerable populations to address Inequalities for all Ethnicities’ is designed to unearth barriers to care for COVID-19. As resources become available, we will extend this web-app to include asymptomatic and Long COVID-19 patients and make this available in different languages.’ Dr King-Okoye.

 

 

The STEVIE web-app has great potential to reduce COVID-19 mortality rates.

 

What inspired you to develop this web-app?

 

'Based on the qualitative findings, I started sketching a pathway that should be followed as a result with direct engagement with policymakers. That was the beginning of my journey. I then discussed this with researchers recruited for this project. They understood the vision and urgent need for the STEVIE web-app to be developed. I will identify these researchers in the next press release.’ Dr King-Okoye

 

Acknowledgements

 

Dr King-Okoye highlights Crowdfight as instrumental towards helping her recruit the right team to accomplish this.

 

‘Although we have been conducting research since the beginning of the pandemic, the web-based team and I have been working on this project for a few months based on research findings gathered from our mixed-methods studies. We have recently initiated collaborations with other researchers to support intermediate and post-development stages. We expect to launch the web-app at the end of January. There are challenges that we are currently faced with at the moment, but I am quite pleased that our vision remains clear, which is to reduce mortality rates and improve quality of life among marginalised communities. We will continue to update the public about progress via press releases, community engagements and disseminate rapid reports with government officials and policymakers.’

 

Dr King-Okoye expresses gratitude firstly to God, her husband Dr Steve Okoye and family, Crowdfight, NMSU, ECRC, to each researcher on the web-app team and all participants involved in the study. Please contact ECRC for collaborations, to support the web-app or enrol as a participant for its launch: covid19research@igdore.org

 

Press release by ECRC: Published January, 2021; Interview: December, 2020

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