Impacts of Covid-19 on Kiwis who had virus to be studied

Source: 1News

The Ministry of Health has awarded the Victoria University of Wellington a contract to study the impact of Covid-19 on Kiwis who have had the virus.

Hospital workers treating a Covid-19 patient in the ICU (file).

The study will focus on Māori, Pasifika, people with disabilities and those people who contracted Covid-19 through their employment.

It will include those with confirmed or probable Covid-19.

Its findings are aimed at helping health authorities to be more accessible, equitable and to meet the needs of those with the virus.

"It’s important that we improve our understanding of the short and longer-term physical, psychological, and economic impacts of Covid-19 on affected people in Aotearoa New Zealand, and to highlight any equity issues faced by this cohort," the ministry's chief science advisor, Dr Ian Town, said. 

"The SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes Covid-19 is constantly evolving, as we are seeing with recent cases of the Delta variant in the community. The more we understand the different effects the disease has on people the more we can plan our health responses."

A total of $1.2 million has been granted for the study, which will be carried out over about 12 months by Te Hikuwai Rangahau Hauora — Health Services Research Centre (HSRC). 

"It is so important to get the stories out there of what it has been like for everyone who has actually contracted Covid-19," the centre's senior Māori health researcher, Dr Lynne Russell (Ngāti Kahungunu, Kāi Tahu), said.

"This research will not only give voice to the over 2500 people in Aotearoa who have had a diagnosis of Covid-19. It will also provide greater clarity for others to base their decision-making on around how best they can protect themselves and their whānau going forward."