Letter to Prime Minister Trudeau
The purpose of this letter is to encourage the Canadian government to lift travel bans placed on African countries where scientists worked tirelessly to identify Omicron and openly communicate with the global community. Given that the variant has currently been identified in over 57 countries including over 80 cases in Canada, placing a travel ban exclusively on African countries is not an evidence-based measure to limit infection transmission. Improved border testing and management of all inbound travellers will be a better approach. This travel ban sets a dangerous precedence for medical researchers regarding transparency of data and continues to limit scientific advancements as researchers in these countries face restrictions to receive their testing reagents.
Excerpt from a letter written by Dr. Kwadwo Owusu-Akyaw
You have overcome near insurmountable obstacles to reach this point. Undoubtedly, your community of family, friends, mentors, advocates and allies is overwhelmed with pride in your accomplishments. We hope to not only to add to the chorus of congratulations, but to ignite a fire of self-determination in the very depth of your being. We need you. We need you, because past and present injustices contribute to the denial of basic human rights in Black communities, even in a country celebrated as the standard bearer for equality and freedom. We need you, because access to medical education for Black individuals is at a historic low. We need you, because Black bodies continue to be underestimated, undervalued and under-treated at a level tantamount to a public health crisis.
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