Valeriani G, Sarajlic Vukovic I, Lindegaard T, Felizia R, Mollica R, Andersson G
Healthcare (Basel) 8 (4) - [2020-11-01; online 2020-11-01]
Since its early stages, the COVID-19 pandemic has interacted with existing divides by ethnicity and socioeconomic statuses, exacerbating further inequalities in high-income countries. The Swedish public health strategy, built on mutual trust between the government and the society and giving the responsibility to the individual, has been criticized for not applying a dedicated and more diverse strategy for most disadvantaged migrants in dealing with the pandemic. In order to mitigate the unequal burden on the marginalized members of society, increasing efforts have been addressed to digital health technologies. Despite the strong potential of providing collective public health benefits, especially in a highly digitalized context as Sweden, need for a stronger cooperation between the public health authorities and migrant community leaders, representatives of migrant associations, religious leaders and other influencers of disadvantaged groups has emerged. Suggestions are presented on more culturally congruent, patient-centered health care services aimed to empower people to participate in a more effective public health response to the COVID-19 crisis.