British Consulate General New York hosts intersectional public health panel

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British Consulate General New York on Wednesday hosted a panel that focused on
intersectionality in global public health.

The panel — “International Intersectionality: A Global Perspective on Public Health” — focused on the coronavirus’ impact on vulnerable populations, the parallels between the pandemic and the HIV epidemic and how mental health has been impacted in marginalized communities during the COVID-19 crisis.

Seeram, the public diplomacy coordinator of the British Consulate General New
York, moderated the panel. Anne Aslett, the global chief executive officer of
the Elton John AIDS Foundation, British Ambassador Karen Pierce and Phyll
Opuku-Gyimah, the executive director of Kaleidoscope Trust and co-founder and
director UK Black Pride, were the panelists.

experts highlighted interventions are needed to protect LGBTQ and people of
color such as addressing stigmas and fears in seeking healthcare and
acknowledging inequities in healthcare systems worldwide.

said systemic inequities need to be recognized by governments on a global scale
as a first step to addressing widespread public health disparities. Developing
and distributing a vaccine for the coronavirus is not the ultimate goal, she
said, it is only a part of repairing the damage. 

the drugs to people is only half the story. It’s what makes them vulnerable in
the first place, what prevents them from getting those drugs or prevents them
from staying on those drugs are all of the other factors that determine whether
you (governments) succeed or fail,” Pierce said.

said collecting data is essential to combating the coronavirus and addressing
its unequal impact. Gathering data helped broaden research and understanding of
the HIV epidemic, as well.

also need to refrain from “over-labeling” groups affected by the pandemic when
evaluating data, Pierce said, as excessive grouping can allow for communities
to be missed in the policymaking process and drug distribution, as women in
Africa and the Caribbean were during the HIV epidemic. 

do label people, we like labeling communities,” said Pierce. “It seems to be
something hardwired into our brains. And yet if you’re going to stop the
transmission of a disease, you have to look at other things other than your own

addition, providing resources to marginalized communities is necessary, said
Opuku-Gyimah. As regions begin to reopen, personal protective equipment is
needed for essential workers to stay healthy. Local community organizations
will also need to ensure vaccines are widely accessible and available, she

and accessible messaging and community-based training on the healthcare system
can help combat these inequities, Pierce said.

the coronavirus and HIV pandemics have bred racism and scapegoating, as well.
People of Asian descent are also facing an increase in discrimination like gay
men suffered in the early 1980s.

people are also facing coronavirus-fueled discrimination, specifically in South

Contact-tracing programs in May were found discriminatory by many advocacy groups after a 29-year-old man was reported as going to a variety of nightclubs in Seoul. Local media indicated many of the establishments he visited are popular among LGBTQ South Koreans.

Published at Fri, 24 Jul 2020 16:17:47 +0000