COVID-19, health and social inequalities

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a major impact on our lives. That is why OPIK has also included the analysis of the pandemic as one of our lines of work.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the measures adopted for its management and control have occurred in a social context of pre-existing health inequalities. The development of the disease and its consequences, both in terms of health, as well as economic and social, require an approach that addresses the unequal distribution of social determinants to understand the impact of this crisis, not only in relation to one's own COVID-19 disease, but also to the health and living conditions of the population from a more comprehensive perspective.

The measures implemented for the management and control of the pandemic have unavoidably affected the social determinants of health, so it is highly relevant to analyse this impact to understand the consequences for health that it is having in the short, medium and long term. The analysis focuses not only on the impact of the disease, but also the policies adopted both to control it and to mitigate the economic and social effects of it, so that we can improve the future response to this crisis or other similar ones.

From this perspective, at OPIK we are developing several studies to try to provide information and evidence in the following areas:

  • Analysis of the impact on health and the social determinants of health of the measures for the management and control of the pandemic:

    • Effects of confinement on the health of the child population

      Study on the impact of confinement on health and social inequalities in health of the child population in Spain. You can access the information and publications of the study here.

    • Health Impact Assessment of the measures adopted for the control and management of COVID-19 in Navarra

      Exploratory analysis of the impacts in health, health inequalities and their social determinants of the measures adopted to contain the spread of COVID-19 in Navarra. The study was promoted and financed by the General Directorate of Health of the Government of Navarra between the months of May to July 2020. You can access the executive summary here.

    • Health Impact Assessment of COVID-19 management and control measures in Euskadi and New Aquitaine

      Study on the impact on health and social inequalities in health and their determinants, of the set of confinement and de-escalation measures adopted to contain the expansion of COVID-19 in the regions of Basque Country and New Aquitaine. Funded by the call for projects Euskampus Resilience COVID 19. You can access all the information about the project here.

    • Non-face-to-face health care in times of COVID-19

      In order to carry out an assessment of the potential impact on access and inequalities in access to health care of the change to non-face care, a qualitative study is being carried out in the framework of the Basque Country.

  • Gender inequalities in COVID-19:

The COVID-19 pandemic is not indifferent in terms of gender, nor in relation to infections, complications and mortality, nor in relation to its management, exacerbating widely known gender inequalities. In this sense, the following articles have been published:

Bacigalupe A, Cabezas-Rodríguez A, Giné-March A, Jiménez M Invisibilidad de género en la gestión de la COVID-19: ¿quién toma las decisiones políticas durante la pandemia? Gaceta Sanitaria, 2021.

Bacigalupe A, Martín U, Jimenez M  Covid-19 y género: certezas e incertidumbres en la monitorización de la pandemia Revista Española de Salud Pública,  2021;  1 - 11.

Likewise, it has participated in different dissemination forums.