Résilience - COVID-19 - Résilience - Coronavirus disease 2019

Study on management and learnings of the fight against infection and contamination by the Covid-19 in squats – EGALITES-Covid

EGALITES-COVID

Study of management and learning in the control of infection and transmission of the Covid-19 in squats.

To document and analyze the effects of COVID-19 on populations living in poverty squats

COVID-19 has led to exceptional measures, both health and legal, around the world. In France, the containment that began in March 2020 was the first step in a series of binding and extensive decisions applying to the entire population throughout the country, to contain the pandemic. These measures have provoked and continue to provoke much debate. Although they were initially presented by the authorities under the seal of universality, as the contamination spread, the first results of epidemiological and social science surveys revealed the differential effects of the incidence of COVID-19 according to the populations. It is therefore appropriate to question the unequal effects that the application of these measures may have generated. <br />Territorial and socio-demographic inequalities have thus been highlighted, which still need to be clarified by additional studies. One of the challenges of current research is to better understand the modes of transmission, the socio-demographic criteria and the living conditions that make certain populations more vulnerable in terms of contamination and care, further complicating the interventions intended to contain the epidemic. These approaches, which are essential for a better understanding of the effects of health measures, are mainly quantitative at present. However, there is a lot of evidence to show that the reasons for inequalities in infection are multiple and interrelated. These quantitative studies must therefore be supplemented and deepened by qualitative research, which is carried out in specific areas, with defined populations, chosen because they accumulate different forms of social and economic fragility, and experience multiple vulnerabilities (professional, residential, administrative, etc.).<br />Using theoretical and methodological approaches from anthropology and sociology, and through an analytical framework also borrowing from political science, this interdisciplinary research project proposes to analyse the effects of COVID-19 on populations living in poverty squats. The objective is to document the practices put in place by the occupants of illegal squats (collective or family) during the pandemic period to protect themselves and others from contamination and to understand the differential, multifaceted and diachronic appropriation of sanitary measures among this precarious population, which is mostly migrant.

The research is based on a qualitative field survey through observations and ethnographic interviews that allows us to 1) retrace the care trajectories of contaminated people or «contact cases« during the different stages of the health emergency (first confinement, curfew period, second confinement) and to analyze, within them 2) to better understand the role of public authorities, humanitarian associations and militant groups in the support and social and health care of these populations living in squats (transmission of medical information, implementation of health protocols, management of cases of contamination, etc.).
Repeated observations and an assiduous presence in the field give access to a great deal of information and also facilitate the building of relationships of trust with the residents. It is through these relationships and by «snowballing« that the various interviews with both migrants living in the area and actors in the field (associations, institutions or activists) are set up.

The expected results aim at a better understanding of the effects of sanitary measures in socially disadvantaged environments to see the evolution of these effects since the first confinement of March 2020. Based on an in-depth qualitative investigation, it is important to understand the experiences, information and networks that have developed the current sanitary practices in certain non-legalized housing areas: squats.
These results will have to be the object of various forms of restitution or transfer of knowledge to the actors in the field, in order to feed the reflection on the improvement of preventive practices and care for these populations.

The approach is part of a perspective of understanding the social processes at work during a pandemic and to decipher the operating logics specific to a vulnerable population in the face of COVID-19, which are necessary to envisage and promote prevention actions aimed at the populations most affected by social inequalities in health. If prevention through the social and health care of squats is the object of this research, it also represents an intervention issue that our results will clarify and reinforce. The impact of our survey is therefore also fully in line with a praxeological approach: to produce knowledge to improve prevention and support practices in the face of COVID-19. This research focuses on the transfer of knowledge and the possibilities of appropriation of the results by the different actors working with this population.

Oral presentations and papers:
- Gregory Beltran, Accessing migrant populations through a generalist qualitative investigation of the effects of confinement: Methodological discussion and initial results, July 6, 2021, Seminar of the working group «Migrations in times of Covid-19«, Marc Bloch Center.
- Sarah Nicaise, presentation of the project and the survey protocol to the partners during the inter-associative meeting on squats and shantytowns, July 08, 2021 at the Ducuing Hospital in Toulouse.
- Sarah Nicaise, presentation of the ANR EGALITES-Covid research project at the LaSSP seminar, October 22, 2021 at the IEP Toulouse 1.

Publications:
Two article proposals accepted (in progress) for the n°128 of the journal Empan entitled La santé des pauvres. Social inequalities in health at the time of the Covid-19:
- Sarah Nicaise, Alfonsina Faya Robles, Supporting in Times of Crisis. Reconfigurations of aid to precarious populations during the first containment.
- Grégory Beltran, Access to healthcare for migrant populations and the pandemic: established inequalities, aggravated difficulties.

Based on theoretical and methodological approaches from anthropology and sociology, and through an analytical framework borrowing from political science, this interdisciplinary research project proposes to analyze the effects of COVID-19 on populations living in poverty squats. Our objective is to document the practices put in place by the occupants of these illegal places (collective or family) during the pandemic period to protect themselves and others from contamination and to understand the differential, multifaceted and diachronic health measures among this poor and mainly migrant population.
The main purpose of this fieldwork will be 1) to trace the care trajectories of infected people or "contact cases" during the different stages of the health emergency (first confinement, curfew period, second confinement) and to analyze how the forms taken by health socialization during this period were in continuity with previous practices or got reorganized, 2) to better understand the role of public authorities, humanitarian associations and activist groups in the support and socio-health care of these populations living in squats (transmission of medical information, establishment of health protocols, management of cases of contamination, etc.).
It is important to conduct this investigation while the epidemic is still active, in order to collect reliable and precise data through observations and interviews. This investigation will also examine discourse and practices around vaccination and its accessibility for eligible people living in these places.

Project coordination

Christine Mennesson (Institut Fédératif d'Etudes et de Recherches Interdisciplinaires Santé Société)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.

Partner

CERPOP (ex-LEASP) Centre d'Epidémiologie et de Recherche en santé des POPulations
IFERISS Institut Fédératif d'Etudes et de Recherches Interdisciplinaires Santé Société
IHPST Institut d'Histoire et de Philosophie des Sciences et des Techniques

Help of the ANR 77,421 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: May 2021 - 12 Months

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