Sonar-Global has just received generous supplemental funding from the European Commission to expand its activities. Our “COVID-19 Vulnerability Assessment and Community Engagement” initiative takes at its starting point that the COVID-19 pandemic has created new kinds of vulnerability uncaptured by standard UN categories. To address effectively the needs of these vulnerable populations, EC member countries must identify these groups and develop strategies that can allocate resources to them more efficiently and effectively and can achieve buy-in across multiple sectors and levels.
This action-oriented, evidence-based research and intervention will identify and respond to these emerging vulnerabilities and inequalities and develop multi-level, multi-sectoral community engagement to propose actionable policy recommendations. We will implement the vulnerability assessment tools and community engagement models in Malta, Slovenia, France, Germany, Italy, and Bangladesh. We’ll also build on our vulnerability assessment activities that have already been conducted in Uganda with community engagement.
We warmly welcome our new partners: CENSIS (Italy), the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society of the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (Germany), the University of Malta, and the University of Ljubljana (Slovenia).
In addition, we are thrilled to be collaborating on these activities with the European Commission-funded MOOD Network, the University of Aarhus (Denmark), the University of Lausanne (Switzerland), the Sapienza University (Italy), the Chair of Public Health and Health Services Research of the LMU (Germany), the Mental Health Services of the Malta Ministry of Health, and the National Institute of Public Health of Slovenia.
Dr. Tamara Giles-Vernick is coordinator of Sonar-Global. She is Director of Research and Unit head of the Anthropology and Ecology of Disease Emergence Unit – the Institut Pasteur’s first social sciences research unit. A specialist in the medical anthropology and history of central and west Africa, her current research focuses on emerging zoonotic diseases and epidemics. She is conducting a national study for preparedness and response for UNICEF in the Central African Republic. She also directs the MICROTONE study, which offers a pre-history of zoonotic disease emergence; the study brings together anthropological-historical analyses with comparisons of microbial and viral profiles among people, domesticated animals and wild animals along an ecological gradient in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She has also led a three-country study on the anthropology, history and geography of human-nonhuman primate contact and emerging zoonotic diseases in central Africa. In addition, she has published on viral hepatitis (diagnostics, linkage to care, vaccination), Ebola, Buruli ulcer, the historical emergence of HIV in Africa, global health in Africa, the history of influenza pandemics, and environmental history.