The disparate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic across cities of the Americas

Monday, October 23, 2023 16:00to17:00

Usama Bilal, PhD, MPH, MD

Assistant Professor
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics | Drexel University

WHERE: Hybrid | 2001 McGill College, Rm 1140 | Zoom

Note: Usama Bilal will be presenting from Drexel


The COVID-19 pandemic was one of the most impactful health events of the last century, only behind the 1918 influenza pandemic in terms of its impacts on mortality. However, the pandemic has not affected everyone equally, and has had heterogeneous impacts by place. In this talk, I will summarize three years of work examining the disparate impacts of the pandemic across cities of the Americas, focusing on the US and Latin American cities. I will show studies examining disparities in COVID-19 outcomes by neighborhood, including incidence, mortality, and vaccinations. I will also introduce new research examining excess mortality across more than 900 cities of the region to highlight how the pandemic has affected different regions.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this session, attendees will:

  • Review how characteristics of cities can impact the public’s health and health disparities;
  • Understand the estimation of excess mortality during disasters (including pandemics);
  • Discuss potential interventions to reduce health disparities in cities.

Speaker Bio

Usama Bilal is an assistant professor in the Urban Health Collaborative and the department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics at Drexel's Dornsife School of Public Health. His primary research interest is the macrosocial determinants of health, with an interest in describing health inequities in urban environments, specifically urban health in Latin American cities; the health consequences of urban and neighborhood dynamics; and the effect of mass-influences (e.g., macroeconomic change) on health and policy modifiers that mitigate/exacerbate these effects. He earned a PhD in Cardiovascular Epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, an MPH from the Universidad de Alcala in Spain, and MD from the Universidad de Oviedo in Spain.

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