Covid-19 response

Projects to aid pandemic effort in poorest countries

More than 20 projects have collectively received £1.5m to help understand and fight Covid-19 in some of the world’s poorest regions.

The 24 initiatives will create partnerships between the University of Edinburgh and universities, government agencies and civil society in low and middle income countries to help them better prepare for and treat the disease in their local area. 

Global spread

Projects include researching the use of technology in Sierra Leone to mitigate the pandemic, assessing the Kenyan government’s policies, and investigating the relationship between the disease and extreme heat in poor urban areas.

Other commissioned schemes involve developing a response for vulnerable communities in India and exploring the impact of Covid-19 on mental health in Malawi and its knock-on effect on the economy and society.

Urgent funding

The urgent funding round was created in response to the spread of the coronavirus in low and middle income countries.

While the number of cases is still relatively low, experts say the pandemic is just beginning in these regions and that health systems may struggle to deal with an outbreak on the scale of China, Europe or USA.

The projects – which come from across the University’s three Colleges – have been funded from the University’s Scottish Funding Council Global Challenges Research Fund allocation. This strategic resource supports partnership to improve the economic and social welfare of partner countries.

I’m delighted we are making such a large investment in supporting innovative projects that - researched and delivered with our partners - contribute to our global and local responses to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Professor James SmithVice Principal International

[Image: hadynyah via Getty images]