USask Researchers’ Projects Aim to Address the Problems of the COVID-19 Pandemic – Saskatoon | The Canadian News

A trio of researchers from the University of Saskatchewan (USask) School of Medicine have ongoing projects based on the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A $ 445,000 grant from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) is funding the projects.

Each researcher continues to find answers and responses to the pandemic crisis based on discoveries that use science.

USask vice president for research Baljit Singh says these projects and the university’s scientists are tackling problems head-on as they arise.

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The new funding for a professor at the Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Nazeem Muhajarine, will allow the second round of testing for his mental health-related project to take place later this winter.

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“We want to understand directly from children and young people, how COVID-19 has altered their lives, how they are coping with it, but also the perspective of the caregiver,” Muharjarine said.

Muhajarine says that there are four main questions that need to be asked and answered:

  1. Are the mental health and quality of life outcomes for children and youth different in 2022 compared to the results from April to July 2021?
  2. What coping strategies are used, if any, and what is the association between these coping strategies and mental health and quality of life outcomes?
  3. What role have mental health services played in helping young people meet the challenges of the pandemic?
  4. How are sociodemographic characteristics (eg, sex at birth, self-reported gender, disability, family income, culture / ethnicity, immigrant status) associated with these variables?

The ultimate goal is to provide evidence-based recommendations to decision makers and professionals that, if taken into account, will improve the mental well-being of children and youth in Saskatchewan.

USask School of Medicine professor Dr. Cory Neudorf is also working on a project.

Its focus is on youth immunization programs that are catching up due to the pandemic, such as vaccinations for youth in schools against diseases such as hepatitis B. The project aims to help them become more resilient in the face of future school disruptions. . Researchers are partnering with health officials in Alberta and Quebec to discuss what happened to school vaccines during the pandemic and the impacts of the drop in vaccine coverage rates.

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“If you end up with a drop in immunity for these kids in those middle years, that can cause an outbreak in the community. We have seen this in the past with things like whooping cough, “Neudorf told Global News.

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Each project will receive just under $ 150,000 in funding.

Muhajarine says that it is essential that they understand the full picture of mental health not only for children but also for their parents.

“Understand their experience with anxiety, depression, young children’s emotional regulation, quality of life, their need for mental health services.”

Neudorf says keeping staff and time to administer necessary vaccinations at school could help eliminate cervical cancer.

“To reach that goal, we need to get immunization rates of 90 percent of all children along with some delighted testing. In fact, it could eliminate cancer during our lifetime, which is amazing, ”Neudorf said.

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The final project will be led by Dr. Anne Leis from the Faculty of Medicine.

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His team will investigate how French-speaking families and children living in minority language situations in Western Canada have been affected by COVID-19. The results will drive the focus of health interventions, including in schools, day care centers and family support.

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