February 19, 2021, Canstar Community News, part of Winnipeg Free Press
University of Manitoba researchers recently launched an app designed to support Indigenous communities around the world as they act on their own health and well-being during the pandemic.
The COVID-19 Indigenous app is designed to be easily adapted to the diverse needs and priorities of individual communities while adhering to the principles of data sovereignty and community ownership, control, access and possession of information, according to a press release. No one outside of any given community will have access to the data without their express permission.
“We know that one-size-fits-all does not work for Indigenous communities,” Dr. Myrle Ballard, a University of Manitoba researcher from Lake St. Martin First Nation in Manitoba, said. Ballard is one of the co-leads on the COVID-19 Indigenous app initiative.
The web and mobile apps were designed to maximize community control at every phase of the process so that local health workers can decide what are the important questions to ask.
The information gathered through the questionnaires on the COVID-19 Indigenous app will help local health directors and leadership in rolling out effective programming for their communities, including COVID-19 vaccination programs if they so desire.