Neasden Temple in Oxford University tie-up to support Covid-19 trial

Neasden Temple in Oxford University tie-up to support Covid-19 trial

London’s BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, commonly known as Neasden Temple, used an online interaction with its congregation to help spread awareness within the British Indian community of the University of Oxford led trials to find effective and speedy Covid-19 treatments.

The UK’s largest Hindu temple, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, has tied up with the university to help explain details of its “Principle” clinical study – aimed at finding Covid-19 treatments for the over-50s that can be taken at home. The key message for the British Hindu community is that those with Covid-19 symptoms can join the trial online from home or via general practitioner (GP) practices across the country, without the need for face-to-face visits.

Flagship trial

Professor Chris Butler from Oxford University’s Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, co-lead of the Principle Trial, said: “BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha UK supporting promotion of this important UK-wide flagship public health trial to communities, families and individuals is a welcome and significant step in helping us to reach out to communities as widely as possible.

“We know that Covid-19 minority ethnic groups in the UK more often get severely unwell when they become ill with Covid-19. It is so important that research involves those that stand to benefit the most from possible new treatments. The Principle Trial is a truly democratic, UK-wide clinical trial and is striving to be as inclusive as possible.

“People from minority ethnic communities with Covid-19 can easily contribute to this trial and make a big difference to the evidence that supports better care for everybody.”

The university says the findings of its study will be more effective if it includes people in the trial who are representative of the UK's population as a whole, including British Indians.

Recruitment challenge

Sadhu Yogvivekdas, Head of the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Sanstha for UK & Europe, explained the details of the study as part of efforts to help recruit people from ethnic minority communities, seen a particular a challenge in the hunt for a vaccine and treatments.

Professor Mahendra G. Patel, Co-Investigator and Principle Trial’s National Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Community and Pharmacy Research Lead, said: “The Principle Trial is led by the University of Oxford to evaluate the use of commonly prescribed and established antibiotics as a treatment to help reduce the symptoms of coronavirus early on and for people aged over 50 to recover quickly and reduce their likelihood of hospital admission.

“It is important we reach out to those most affected by Covid-19, such as the BAME communities, and in this case we are delighted to collaborate with and have the support of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha UK in helping us to engage with the Hindu community through its vast network and followers.”

The overall aim of the study is to find treatments for Covid-19 for people in the community who are at higher risk of complications and find medicines that can help people get better quickly without the need of hospitalisation.

The Principle Trial is funded from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the Department of Health and Social Care through the National Institute for Health Research as part of the UK government’s rapid research response fund.

*Register here to join BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir and other temples for special sessions at DiwaliFest2020.

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