Poor Nations Need COVID-19 Research To Avoid System 'breakdown'
Faizan Hashmi Published April 03, 2020 | 04:35 PM
Research on the prevention of treatment of COVID-19 in poor and developing nations is urgently needed to avert a "complete breakdown" of health services, a coalition of more than 70 scientific bodies said Friday
Paris, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 3rd Apr, 2020 ) :Research on the prevention of treatment of COVID-19 in poor and developing nations is urgently needed to avert a "complete breakdown" of health services, a coalition of more than 70 scientific bodies said Friday.
While there are over 600 clinical trials focused on COVID-19 testing, treatment and vaccines, there are virtually none planned in resource-poor countries.
In addition, many health workers lack the necessary protective equipment and training in handling infectious diseases.
"Disruption or complete breakdown of those healthcare systems would result in high direct and indirect mortality since care of all illness would be affected," said the authors of a letter published Friday in The Lancet.
The COVID-19 Clinical Reserarch Coalition -- an unprecedented consortium of scientists, policymakers, public health experts and researchers -- is to make it easier for developing nations to access research data to help inform their response.
It will also facilitate approvals for fast-tracked imports of medical supplies, and speed up ethical and regulatory reviews, as occurred during the 2014 Ebola epidemic.
This will be accompanied by mass data sharing and dissemination of research before peer-review and publication.
The fear of health experts is not just that COVID-19 will kill many people in poorer nations, but that it will also exacerbate existing problems such as poverty, poor infrastructure and other communicable diseases.
Many poorer nations still have confirmed case numbers in the dozens, but there's no way of knowing the true extent of infection widespread testing.
Commenting on the research initiative, Soumya Swaminathan, chief scientist at the World Health Organization, said:"Although the epicentre is today elsewhere, we must prepare now for the consequences of this pandemic in more resource-constrained settings or we stand to lose many more lives."