COVID-19 in humanitarian settings and lessons learned from past epidemics
"COVID-19 in Humanitarian Settings and Lessons Learned from Past Epidemics" published in Nature Medicine, invokes a global response to protect the most vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The authors make the point that displaced populations, including refugees and migrants, are often the first to be stigmatized and unjustly blamed for the spread of disease, yet they are also among the most vulnerable people during a pandemic—to both the virus itself and the measures enacted to control it.
The paper draws on the collective field experience of Columbia Mailman School of Public Health faculty in the Program on Forced Migration and Health who are currently deployed in the field engaged in the humanitarian response and health systems strengthening.
The authors, who comprise a multi-disciplinary group of academics and practitioners, including physicians, epidemiologists and lawyers, aim to share some of the lessons learned from past epidemics to inform a more effective, inclusive COVID-19 response that addresses the needs of the most vulnerable.