L4L Research Team Abstracts

Note: This is not a full list of all Lives for Literacy Research Team studies.

Identifying factors correlated to differences in COVID-19 vaccination rates, vaccine hesitancy, and public health education between low- and high-income countries: A Literature Review 

Radha Sharma, Esha Chopra, Michelle Wong, Simran Athwal, Dileesha Fernando, Suzana Parveen

There are disparities in resource acquisition, distribution and access between low-, middle- and high-income countries. Financial burdens in low-and lower-middle income countries are exacerbated by other social determinants of health. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to increased unemployment, changes to social infrastructure, and poor health outcomes in countries all over the world. Global involvement in the scientific community has allowed for the rapid production and distribution of vaccines. We hypothesize that various socioeconomic and cultural factors have led to differences in vaccine rates, public health education and vaccine hesitancy between low- and high-income countries. Data searches were done using keywords, “(COVID-19 or coronavirus) and (vaccine or vaccination or shot) and (rate or distribut* or plan) and (income or resource)” in four electronic databases, and articles were screened using various eligibility criteria. 22 correlational peer-reviewed publications were analyzed to identify differences in key themes. Analysis of themes revealed relationships between higher education, greater government subsidy, lower political upheaval, and higher vaccination rates. Lower vaccination rates were seen in marginalized communities and regions where vaccine supply and distribution were low. Vaccine hesitancy was observed when misinformation about vaccinations was prevalent. Overall, there were differences in vaccination rates and hesitancy between low- and high-income areas. The review highlights factors involved in vaccination inequality, provides a framework to address pandemics and gives context for novel quantitative studies that can be conducted in the future.

The Impact of Xenophobic COVID-19 News Headers on Anti-Asian Hate Crime Rates in the USA, Canada and UK

Muambeh Muntoh Eugene, Ramsha Farooqi, Gustavsi Tasi, Chaya Friedlander-Abramovitch, Bryan Joseph Hilanga, Annie Garabedian

Anti-Asian hate crime is a human right challenge which has existed well over a long period of time across different parts of the world. However, this situation has witnessed a new trend ever since the outbreak of COVID-19 in Wuhan China in 2019. The role of the media has been enormous in propagating anti-Asian hate sentiments, coupled with xenophobic news headers   from   different   news   outlets. It is against   this backdrop that this study seeks to determine the percentage of xenophobic news articles with words ‘‘China virus’’, ‘‘Chinese virus’’ or ‘‘Wuhan virus’’ in the following news outlets: CNN, BBC, FOX NEWS, VOA, France 24, RFI et al. The study also sets out to compare the target audience of these news outlets with the amount of anti-Asian hate crimes in these areas by analysing the trend in these incidents   from before the pandemic to now. In order to achieve this goal, the researchers made plea to some designated primary and secondary sources and the qualitative and quantitative research methods  were helpful in analysing data collected  for the study. From this analysis, findings revealed that anti-Asian hate sentiments is not a new phenomenon, it is a social problem which has transcend different historical epoch in diverse perspectives. It is also revealed that news organs have been very instrumental in the increase rate of anti-Asian hate crimes ever since the outbreak of the Covid 19 pandemic.

Identifying gaps in literacy intervention by analyzing causes of illiteracy in Canada

Julianna Botros, Arani Sivakumar

Released on the Statistics Canada and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development website, it was noted that roughly four out of ten Canadian adults have literacy skills too low to be fully competent in most jobs in our modern economy. In addition, Canadian adults with low literacy skills have fewer opportunities than young Canadians to upgrade their skills because they are outside the mainstream education system. These statistics prompted an initial inquiry into the impact of low literacy rates on the well-being of Canadians as well as the main contributing factors to low literacy rates in Canada by analyzing various correlational research and studies.

Lung Cancer Mortality Rates: How it Compares Across Different Socioeconomic Environments

Ashitha Arun, Khushi Desai, Vipra Kohli

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women worldwide. It has been long claimed that the burden of cancer is disproportionately distributed across the different regions of the world, with poorer and lower income countries being more adversely affected. This is happening at a time when advances in cancer research, medical technology, and drug development are giving rise to better cancer survival rates in developed countries. This study attempts to examine the possible reasons behind this asymmetrical distribution of disease burden. The correlation of lung cancer mortality, incidence, and prevalence with region-specific socioeconomic development (measured through the prosperity and social progress indices) has been studied to gauge cancer outcomes relative to factors such as education, infrastructure, and living conditions, among others. Linear and multiple regression analyses using the SPSS software generated data that shed light on the relationship between these variables. The results and implications of this study are discussed in this paper. The analyses have brought to light the effect socio-economic factors have on lung cancer rates. This data can be helpful in the administration of appropriate preventative measures, and can assist in the quest to find ways to improve the socio-economic environments of the lesser endowed nations of the world in order to help the global fight against cancer.

The Changing Significance of Local Spirit (nat) Culture in Myanmar in the 21st Century

Hninn Thit

Nat (spirit) culture has long been worshipedworshipped by the people of Myanmar and as the country has experienced huge shifts in the past few years, its purposes and occurrences have differed largely from what they used to be. Although there is limited existing  research, this research paper seeks to analyze the various perspectives on nat culture in the 21st century and identify its possible prospects in the near future through qualitative data and personal experiences concerning nat culture. Findings indicate that nat spirits continue to play a somewhat subtle yet pivotal role in the daily lives of Burmese people; however, its influence and scope have been changing as external factors, such as increased globalization, awareness and technology have accelerated Myanmar into a more free and socially-conscious society.

The Prevalence and Psychological Impact of Screen Fatigue during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Aiman P Afsar, Saesha Kukreja, Priyanka Singh

The Effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic on People Living with ADHD

Saloni Mitra, Vipra Kohli, Arpit Mago, Sampada Patil

The Impact of Hypoxia on Telomerase Activity and Potential Implications on Cancer Therapies

Siya Patel, Ebonnee Almeida, Amber Shin, Valerie Chow, Olivia Huang

The Effects of Caffeine on Neuroblastoma, Glioblastoma, Lung, and Liver Cancer Cell Lines

Jeremy Steen, Alexandra Palumbo, Amy Wang, Ankush Sharma, Chu Yi Yu, Isha Masood, Jennifer Lam