A study of Caabuqa-Corona in the Somali Diaspora: histories of covid-19, male elders and communtiy responses in Tower Hamlets and the East End of London

Grant number: COV19\201292

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Key facts

  • Disease

  • Known Financial Commitments (USD)

  • Funder

    British Academy
  • Principle Investigator

  • Research Location

    United Kingdom, Europe
  • Lead Research Institution

    London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Research Category

    Epidemiological studies

  • Research Subcategory

    Disease surveillance & mapping

  • Special Interest Tags


  • Study Subject


  • Clinical Trial Details


  • Broad Policy Alignment


  • Age Group

    Adults (18 and older)Older adults (65 and older)

  • Vulnerable Population

    Minority communities unspecified

  • Occupations of Interest



Preliminary official statistics and popular perceptions suggest Covid-19 has disproportionately impacted BMAE communities in Britain. This research addresses the urgent need to respond to the likely high death rates among the Somali diaspora. It seeks to provide a detailed case-study of Somali male elders and their families in some of the poorest London boroughs, by reconstructing personal histories of Covid-19 through five phases: initial responses, illness, deaths, recovery, and moving forward - a biography of a pandemic weathered by transnational migrants. Specifically it seeks to uncover the extent of mortality and illness among male elders: what factors shaped their understanding of the disease; their responses; immediate impact; their long-term health; the role of community mobilisation; and how this experience has changed (or not) their views, behaviour and attitudes to 'home' . The aim is to provide evidence and analysis to help formulate national policies to increase pandemic resilience.