Many of Canada’s most pressing public health issues are complex and significantly affected by factors such as gender and sexism, systemic racism, economic inequality, and other social determinants. African, Caribbean, and Black (ACB) communities have long been unfairly affected by health inequity due to historic racism and on-going disparities built into governmental, financial, and educational institutions.
Dr. Moneca Sinclaire is a member of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation bordering the Saskatchewan River in Northern Manitoba. Having recently completed a postdoctorate under Professor Stephane McLachlan in the department of Environment and Geography at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Dr. Sinclaire has been an integral member of the team responsible for Our Data Indigenous, a one-of-a-kind mobile app that collects important survey data that Indigenous communities can use to address health and wellness concerns.
According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, the total number of COVID-19 cases reached a high of 71,486 as of May 13, 2020 — with Ontario and Quebec collectively accounting for 83% of all cases and 92% of the Canadian death toll. With a mortality rate of 3.4%, COVID-19 has created an unprecedented — and growing — demand for a vaccine.
Near downtown Montréal, the Little Burgundy neighbourhood reveals many contrasts. In the south, it touches the Lachine Canal, a beautiful 14-kilometre cycling and pedestrian pathway that sees millions of visitors every year. In the north, it is bordered by the busy and grey Ville-Marie Expressway. One of the most multicultural communities in the city, Little Burgundy is home to upscale restaurants and boutiques, but also to a vulnerable population that struggles with food insecurity.
When Annalena Felber made the journey from Germany to the University of Saskatchewan in the summer of 2017 to work with Assistant Professor Marguerite Koole, the pair had an entirely different summer research project planned.
Mental health changes over time, even more so than physical health. It is deeply influenced by our relationships with our friends, family, colleagues, and our general environment — making each person’s concerns unique. According to the B.C. Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions, suicide has become the ninth leading cause of death in Canada, with British Columbia holding the highest rate of hospitalization due to mental illness and substance use. Research suggests that the social stigma that surrounds mental health prevents 40 percent of people from seeking proper care.
Florian Mayer, a Mitacs Globalink intern who spent his summer at Ryerson University in Toronto, wants to figure out how cities and roads can be built to reduce traffic, while working to improve long-term health outcomes in the world’s busiest cities. Researching alongside Associate Professor Leila Farah, Florian examined how the urban environment affects public health and how planners can work with communities to improve it on a local level.
Led by Professor Pascale Tremblay in the university’s Department of Rehabilitation, the project has provided a unique research opportunity for Anne-Christine Bricaud, who travelled from France to spend the summer as a Mitacs Globalink research intern. She’s working with a team at Laval to determine the effects of group singing on communication and brain health, especially among senior citizens.
Anwesha Pathi is a student of Development Studies at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, but for 12 weeks this summer, she’s working with grad students, postdocs, and faculty at the Université de Montréal (UdeM), as a Mitacs Globalink research intern. Her project aims to identify and better understand the contextual factors around women’s decisions to seek health care following experiences such as sexual assault outside the domestic arena — subliminal tensions underlying the provision of ethically just and equity-driven health care become apparent.