In collaboration with communities and multiple partners in the Northwest Territories (NWT), Dr. Sharma and the IGHRG have begun working on a large program of COVID-19 research. The aim is to collect critical new information on how the pandemic has impacted Northern Indigenous communities and what can be done to improve the health of Northern Indigenous populations.
The current series of projects within this research program include:
COVID-19 Impacts: This project is working with ten NWT communities to gather community members’ insights and experience about the anticipated and unanticipated impacts of COVID-19 and COVID-19 prevention strategies on the physical, mental, social, emotional, and spiritual health of Indigenous communities. The team will also gather culturally safe suggestions for improving health and wellness during the pandemic and is conducting interviews with healthcare providers and policymakers to understand their perspectives on implementing COVID-19 prevention and safety measures. This project is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Hoffman-La Roche Canada.
Vaccine Efficacy and Side Effects: The COVID-19 Immunity Task Force through the Public Health Agency of Canada have funded a project that is collecting timely and much-needed information about the efficacy and side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine within ten NWT Indigenous communities. The team is working with local partners to ask community members about personal experiences with COVID-19 vaccination.
Healthcare Access: Partnering with three NWT communities to document access to and experience with healthcare services during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are working with community members to gather valuable perspectives, concerns, and insights on healthcare services and identify recommendations for improving healthcare access and patient experience that are culturally safe and relevant. This is similar to The CARE Project undertaken in Edmonton and is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
Vaccine Confidence: Funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, this project is collecting information around perspectives, concerns, and potential uncertainty related to vaccination, including for COVID-19 and HPV (Human Papilloma Virus), within three NWT Indigenous communities.