New app gives Indigenous people voice during COVID-19 pandemic

February 15, 2021, The Graphic Leader

An app created by University of Manitoba researchers will give Indigenous community members a voice during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 Indigenous app, now available for download on iOS and Android, permits local health directors to gather information through questionnaires, allowing them to roll out effective programming for their communities, including COVID-19 vaccination programs.

Data collected can be used by communities to advocate for policy-making changes concerning COVID-19 and set an example of the effectiveness of digital tools to support and promote Indigenous health and data sovereignty.

“We started working on this initiative in April 2020. The more we got into it, the more we saw that there was a need for First Nations to collect their own data,” said Dr. Myrle Ballard, one of the co-leads on the COVID-19 Indigenous app initiative on Friday.

“This is an app that is available for all Indigenous communities. It is going to be there for them for long-term use. Health directors can modify the questions as they please according to their needs.”

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