Micronesian community response to COVID-19
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Institute for Collective Health, University of Hawaii Cancer Center, United States
Department of Health, Missouri Coalition for Oral Health (MCOH), United States
Publication date: 2023-04-27
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A348
Background and Objective: The beginning of 2020 in Hawaii symbolized a time consumed with fear, despair, and confusion. Micronesians, historically excluded in Hawaii, often experienced discrimination and stigmatization. This population vastly emerged, with a population size of 18504 from 2013 to 2017, approximately 1.3% of the state population. Unfortunately, the influx migration of Micronesians pressured the state economy. Many have depended on government assistance, especially during the transiting time. In 2017, Hawaiis spending on COFA migrants was $363 million. Due to Hawaiis high cost of living, most Micronesians live together to make ends meet. When COVID hit, Micronesians suffered, but with resiliency fabricated in their cultural heritage, they persevered through racism and hardships associated with COVID. Methods: The resiliency of the Micronesian community was obvious with the robust planning and implementations throughout COVID. There are two grassroots that emerged in response to the needs of the people. Some performances were executed to help the communities through food distribution, supplies distribution, and other COVID-19 assistance—Micronesian champions engaged in different entities tackling COVID challenges to alleviate their communities. Leaders were out in the community, raising awareness about COVID and the vaccine. Results: The resilience of Micronesians is obvious in withstanding challenges against racism, language barriers, healthcare, and COVID. Micronesians persevered above and beyond societal expectations. The number of cases and vaccinated participants can prove the hard work of the community. The latest report on COVID cases stated that about 54 patients were diagnosed in August 2022 and significantly dropped to 19 in November 2022. The COVID mortality rate reported in August was one person and none in November. Conclusions: In conclusions, the robustness and resilience of this community in tackling COVID-19 should be highlighted and used for a future roadmap to guide the community in any health crisis.
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