East African Virtual Summit

Afro Health Initiative
5 min readAug 16, 2021

Here is something from a volunteer writer, Sogunle Omodamola. They attended the East African Virtual Improvement and Investment Summit on 27th April 2021. Below are summaries of 3 speeches from Amara Sophia Elahi, Nigel Crisp and Lesley Anne Long.

A speech by Amara Sophia Elahi…

IMPACT OF COVID-19 OF MEDICAL DIASPORA COMMUNITIES.

Elahi is a health and investigative reporter for BBC News. She introduced her recent work — Health Inequalities in Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic and how they’ve been significantly affected by the virus. She stated that 90% of doctors who had died from COVID-19, were of Black, Asian or Ethnic minority background (BAME) according to the British Medical Association (BMA). The same paper reported 119 NHS staff had died in April of 2020 (1).

The number of these deaths led to a research project exploring whether workplace and institutional factors might play a part in the disproportionate number of ethnic minority doctors’ deaths due to COVID-19.

The results from her research with frontline COVID-19 BAME doctors, showed dissatisfaction as appropriate PPE for their roles was inaccessible and “hundreds expressed they were not involved in the decision-making processes and were not well supported by management.” According to Elahi, once her research was published, NHS England sent a letter to all Trusts and CCGs to prioritize the risk assessment, particularly among BAME healthcare workers.Mid-2020, an action plan was also created by NHS England in an attempt to better support BAME, healthcare workers.

She explained how the situation had not changed during the 2nd wave of the coronavirus. To scope out any changes to the events, she sent out the next set of questionnaires and collaborated with 70 medical associations, with over 2000 responses. Her research findings showed several things including 16% of the participants had not been assessed at all, 23% felt less able to speak out about problems in the workplace, 80% said it had a negative impact on mental health with 62% saying it had a negative impact on physical health. The research also gave some doctors’ testimonies. Some of them expressed their belief that the NHS’ risk management plan as simply a tick-box exercise. She concluded by stating that the research does suggest that there are systemic inequalities that result in negative experiences in the workplace for ethnic minority medics. Elahi…

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Afro Health Initiative

Afrocentric brain gain​ platform engaging Africa’s diaspora for healthcare development