D 12 - Health Inequalities & Youth: The COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond
9 months ago
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted and exacerbated pre-existing health inequalities across the world. The pandemic has pushed health systems to their core causing an unequal distribution of deaths due to COVID in vulnerable populations such as older people, people living in densely populated areas, those with poor access to healthcare, people with lower socioeconomic status, migrants and minorities. Whilst these inequalities have impacted all members of the public, young people have faced extreme challenges in their education where it has been completely halted, delayed or continued with poor support to those with limited technological access, mental health, limited access to key health services such as sexual health clinics, and for the health workforce the pandemic has brought about inequalities in access to adequate PPE, COVID-19 vaccination and managing mental health during this health emergency. Young people and future healthcare professionals make up the future health workforce being deployed in critical healthcare settings to manage the demand the pandemic has put on health infrastructure. The voice of youth needs to be heard to ensure health and education systems have the best infrastructure for future pandemics. This session aims to: - Highlight and educate participants on the inequalities faced in these different sectors; education, mental health, access to services and health workforce, - Showcase the work that has been done by advocacy organisations to fight against the unequal impact of the pandemic - Identify key areas of improvement/calls to action for stakeholders to strengthen these pillars to build back and stronger health systems in post COVID-19 recovery and for future pandemics.