Investigating COVID-19 in Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities
A new study we’re funding seeks to understand why people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities are so badly impacted by COVID-19 and how we can address lower uptake of the vaccine among these groups.
Investigating COVID-19 in Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities

People from racial minorities are more likely to become very unwell or die from COVID-19 than those of white ethnicity. Compared to the general population, those of Black African heritage are 3.24 times more likely to die from COVID-19 and Bangladeshi populations are 2.41 times more likely to die.

38-year-old Nurul Islam from Forest Gate contracted the virus in February. He says: “I’ve never felt anything like it. One night I woke up suffocating. So many things came into my mind, I was scared and panicking. But what worried me most was my children – our 14-month-old daughter also contracted COVID-19 and was unwell”.

COVID-19 Patient Nurul Islam
COVID-19 Patient Nurul Islam

Now, research led by Queen Mary University of London and Barts Health NHS Trust will focus on East London, a densely urbanised, multi-ethnic area which has some of the UK’s highest incidence and death rates of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The study will gain deep insight into the causes of COVID-19 based on the lived experience of East London’s racially diverse communities, through interviews and questionnaires. The researchers will work directly with local residents to understand their life before, and during, COVID-19.

The research will also address the lower vaccine uptake by people from racial minorities. The team are already working with a number of boroughs on how trust around the vaccine can be built, and this study will help them to better understand and unpick the hesitancy within these groups.

The researchers are planning further studies into the treatment and outcomes of 3,000 patients from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds treated for COVID-19 at Barts Health NHS Trust, cross-referenced with local authority data from Tower Hamlets and Newham to explore factors like socioeconomic status, household density, and geographic health factors such as pollution.

It’s expected that the research will help the NHS and policymakers develop strategies to reduce the damaging impact of COVID-19 on Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities and could also provide useful insights for the many other health issues where ethnic differences exist.

The project is led by Professor Chloe Orkin and Dr Vanessa Apea, NIHR BME clinical co-leads for COVID-19. As clinical lead for COVID-19 Research for Barts Health NHS Trust, Professor Orkin has recently played a crucial role in setting up a COVID-19 vaccine trials centre at Bethnal Green Library.

Dr Apea, who was born in East London herself, says: “Poorer health outcomes in racially minoritized groups are not new, but have been revealed more starkly than ever by COVID-19, and must be urgently addressed. Authentic community engagement and co-creation of solutions are key to achieving health equity.”

Project Lead Dr Vanesa Apea
Project Lead Dr Vanessa Apea

Our funding for this study forms part of a suite of seed grants to help provide insight into a number of conditions affecting the health of East Londoners, including COVID-19.

Our Chief Executive Fiona Miller Smith says: “As a charity dedicated to supporting the health of East Londoners, we are no strangers to the stark effects of health inequalities. And providing funding to better understand and ultimately overcome these inequalities is really important for us. As we are by no means out of the woods yet when it comes to COVID-19, we are rightly proud to be backing this very valuable contribution.”

Register your interest in taking part in the study at

The study has been featured in the Evening Standard.

You might also like

2016, TAG Heuer Marking Heuer Aquaracer collection Reloaded, launched a new Aquaracer Aquaracer timepieces, to further enhance their natural overall richard mille replica performance and design. Scenario extended from the earlier 41-43 mm. Clay bezel re-designed etched sterling silver coloring stats, its date window zoomed present (re-introduced recently, to adhere to this season), preparing the actual sophisticated persona. The new situation is equipped Calibre A few Programmed activity, for your watch provides established reliability.

Royal Parks Half Marathon - Charity place registration

Thank you for registering for one of our charity places – and welcome to the Barts Charity team!

By submitting this form you are agreeing for us to contact you with race-day information, training and fundraising tips in relation to the Royal Parks Half Marathon 2022. This may include email, phone call or text message. You can of course update your preferences at any time, and we will fully respect your wishes (see below for more information).

Application information

*¹Please note we will do our best to match your wishes to the most relevant fund, but we cannot guarantee that sponsorship will be used to fund specific items

We may take photos on the day at the event, which could be used in Barts Charity communications and marketing activity, including but not limited to our website, social media, digital or printed materials, and press. If you are not happy for your image to be used in this way, please contact us on the details below. You can change how you hear from us at any time – contact, or call 020 7618 1720. We collect and process your data to administer our Royal Parks Half Marathon 2022 places and to send you updates. For more information about how we use and protect the information you’re kindly sharing with us, see our privacy policy.

Hospital staff holding sign that says 'Thank you!'
Your're signed up!

Thanks – look in your inbox soon for updates on our work and how your support is making the difference.

Hospital staff holding sign that says 'Thank you!'
Thank you for registering your details, we will get back to you soon.

If you have any queries in the mean time please email: 

Hospital staff holding sign that says 'Thank you!'
Thank you for subscribing!

We’ll send our latest news straight to your inbox each month, keeping you up-to-date with how your support is helping more people across our community and beyond receive extraordinary healthcare. In the meantime you may like to find out how you can get involved to help change lives, or to read our latest news.

Let us know at anytime if you have any questions or would like
more information on our work.

Thanks again for your support – it makes all the difference.

Thank you for your interest in becoming a Barts Charity Champion!

Please enter your details and a member of the team will be in touch soon.

Can we keep in touch?

Sign up here to receive our e-news for staff of the Barts Health Hospitals and Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry. Our fortnightly email will keep you updated on how staff are using our funding to make a difference, as well as ways that you can get involved with fundraising.

You can unsubscribe at any time.

To find out how we look after and use the information that you give us, take a look at our privacy policy.

Hospital staff holding sign that says 'Thank you!'
Thank you for your donation!
From innovative research to day-to-day comforts, you’re helping us to do more for the patients in the hospitals we support. We will email you confirmation of your donation within two working days.
Thank you again.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Your donation

You’re making a single donation of


Where would you like your donation to go?

Is this donation in memory of anyone?

What motivated you to give/fundraise?

We like to share feedback with our NHS colleagues when they have inspired someone.

What did you do to fundraise?

Your details

You are generously donating £5.00

Personal information

We’re currently updating our payment processes; you can make a donation via PayPal or if you wish to make a donation by card please check back in a few days.

Payment details

You are generously donating £5.00

Payment card details

Sign up to our e-news

Our fortnightly email is full of the latest news about the healthcare innovation that we fund, and ways you might want to get involved. You’ll be able to unsubscribe at anytime.

To find out how we look after and use the information you give us, take a look at our privacy policy.

Main form heading

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.