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Understanding how communities respond to COVID-19: experiences from the Orthodox Jewish communities of Antwerp city.
Vanhamel, Jef; Meudec, Marie; Van Landeghem, Ella; Ronse, Maya; Gryseels, Charlotte; Reyniers, Thijs; Rotsaert, Anke; Ddungu, Charles; Manirankunda, Lazare; Katsuva, Deogratias; Grietens, Koen Peeters; Nöstlinger, Christiana.
  • Vanhamel J; Department of Public Health, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Nationalestraat 155, B-2000, Antwerp, Belgium. jvanhamel@itg.be.
  • Meudec M; Department of Public Health, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Nationalestraat 155, B-2000, Antwerp, Belgium.
  • Van Landeghem E; Outbreak Research Team, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Nationalestraat 155, B-2000, Antwerp, Belgium.
  • Ronse M; Department of Public Health, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Nationalestraat 155, B-2000, Antwerp, Belgium.
  • Gryseels C; Department of Public Health, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Nationalestraat 155, B-2000, Antwerp, Belgium.
  • Reyniers T; Department of Public Health, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Nationalestraat 155, B-2000, Antwerp, Belgium.
  • Rotsaert A; Department of Public Health, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Nationalestraat 155, B-2000, Antwerp, Belgium.
  • Ddungu C; Department of Public Health, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Nationalestraat 155, B-2000, Antwerp, Belgium.
  • Manirankunda L; Department of Public Health, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Nationalestraat 155, B-2000, Antwerp, Belgium.
  • Katsuva D; Department of Public Health, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Nationalestraat 155, B-2000, Antwerp, Belgium.
  • Grietens KP; Department of Public Health, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Nationalestraat 155, B-2000, Antwerp, Belgium.
  • Nöstlinger C; Department of Public Health, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Nationalestraat 155, B-2000, Antwerp, Belgium.
Int J Equity Health ; 20(1): 78, 2021 03 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1136225
Semantic information from SemMedBD (by NLM)
1. Community LOCATION_OF IMPACT gene
Subject
Community
Predicate
LOCATION_OF
Object
IMPACT gene
2. Qualitative Research USES Exploration procedure
Subject
Qualitative Research
Predicate
USES
Object
Exploration procedure
3. Qualitative Research USES Participative approach
Subject
Qualitative Research
Predicate
USES
Object
Participative approach
4. Uptake AFFECTS Community
Subject
Uptake
Predicate
AFFECTS
Object
Community
5. Community LOCATION_OF IMPACT gene
Subject
Community
Predicate
LOCATION_OF
Object
IMPACT gene
6. Qualitative Research USES Exploration procedure
Subject
Qualitative Research
Predicate
USES
Object
Exploration procedure
7. Qualitative Research USES Participative approach
Subject
Qualitative Research
Predicate
USES
Object
Participative approach
8. Uptake AFFECTS Community
Subject
Uptake
Predicate
AFFECTS
Object
Community
ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND:

The importance of community involvement in the response against disease outbreaks has been well established. However, we lack insights into local communities' experiences in coping with the current COVID-19 pandemic. This study explored both the impact of, and response to, COVID-19 within the Orthodox Jewish communities of Antwerp (Belgium) during the first lockdown period (March 2020 - May 2020).

METHODS:

We conducted an explorative qualitative study using a participatory approach. First, we performed a community mapping to identify relevant stakeholders. Through the active involvement of a community advisory board and based on qualitative interviews with key-informants and community members, we elicited lived experiences, attitudes, and perceptions towards COVID-19. Interviews were conducted both face-to-face and using online web conferencing technology. Data were analyzed inductively according to the principles of thematic analysis.

RESULTS:

Government-issued outbreak control measures presented context-specific challenges to the Orthodox Jewish communities in Antwerp. They related mainly to the remote organization of religious life, and practicing physical distancing in socially and culturally strongly connected communities. Existing community resources were rapidly mobilized to adapt to the outbreak and to self-organize response initiatives within communities. The active involvement of community and religious leaders in risk communication proved to be of great importance to facilitate the coverage and uptake of pandemic control measures while protecting essential community values and traditions. Creating bottom-up and community-adapted communication strategies, including addressing language barriers and involving Rabbis in the dissemination of prevention messages, fostered a feeling of trust in government's response measures. However, unmet information and prevention needs were also identified, such as the need for inclusive communication by public authorities and the need to mitigate the negative effects of stigmatization.

CONCLUSION:

The experiences of Orthodox Jewish communities in Antwerp demonstrate a valuable example of a feasible community-centered approach to health emergencies. Increasing the engagement of communities in local decision-making and governance structures remains a key strategy to respond to unmet information and prevention needs.
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Keywords

Full text: Available Collection: International databases Database: MEDLINE Main subject: Jews / Communicable Disease Control / Community Participation / Trust / COVID-19 Type of study: Qualitative research Limits: Adult / Aged / Female / Humans / Male / Middle aged Country/Region as subject: Europa Language: English Journal: Int J Equity Health Year: 2021 Document Type: Article Affiliation country: S12939-021-01417-2

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Full text: Available Collection: International databases Database: MEDLINE Main subject: Jews / Communicable Disease Control / Community Participation / Trust / COVID-19 Type of study: Qualitative research Limits: Adult / Aged / Female / Humans / Male / Middle aged Country/Region as subject: Europa Language: English Journal: Int J Equity Health Year: 2021 Document Type: Article Affiliation country: S12939-021-01417-2