Abstracts are provided in the language submitted.

Covid 19 has had a disproportionate impact on the Black community living in Toronto, Canada. Mainstream communication campaigns have not been effective at reaching this community. Using an approach which centers the community as opposed to the nuclear family unit, we hypothesize that “virtual aunting” will be an effective intervention to support the health and wellness of the Black community during this pandemic. The Auntie Betty initiative aims to support the Toronto based East African community by using culturally safe voice notes via whatsapp to share Covid related health guidance. The award-winning LAM Sisterhood was engaged to develop the character of Auntie Betty. Tonally and culturally appropriate voice notes were recorded by Auntie Betty in Swahili/English and community ambassadors in Swahili and Kinyarwanda. The voice notes were downloaded by service providers 18 times in a 24 hour period. The whatsapp platform was soft launched in December 2021. Since then Auntie Betty has had 4 active users, sent 25 messages and received 27 messages. Auntie Betty has provided approx over 150 N95 masks, information/referrals to Vaxfacts in Swahili, lysol wipes, surgical masks to the Black community in Toronto. Preliminary results have shown that voice notes and the virtual aunting have the potential to provide support and evidence based public health guidance to the East African community in Toronto.

Amanda Ottley