Clinical Pharmacologist at the University of the West Indies, Dr. Kenneth Connell says the COVID19 Pandemic has heightened inequalities faced by many in society.

Dr. Connell says the increased risk of mortality due to the high incidence of Non-Communicable Diseases, NCDs among the poor, and those of African descent have been brought into sharp focus.

He was speaking this afternoon during a University of the West Indies Symposium on Class, Race and COVID19.

Data from the United States suggest that rates of death due to COVID19 is a lot higher among African Americans due to the high incidence of pre-existing conditions such as obesity and hypertension.

This could potentially be devastating in the Caribbean where the NCD burden is particularly high.

However, Dr. Connell says with the attention of the world locked solely on COVID19 now is the time to advocate for change and tackle many of the historic issues leading to negative health outcomes.

He also says the pandemic provides a perfect opportunity to call for reparatory justice in order to address long-standing burdens carried down from post-colonial society.

Dr. Kenneth Connell, Clinical Pharmacologist at the University of the West Indies.