QMU crises health research has global impact

By Press Office

Queen Margaret University’s (QMU) Institute for Global Health and Development, alongside six other universities leading in global health research, have contributed to COVID-19 guidance for health ministries around the world following a request from the UK Department for International Development and National Institute for Health Research.

Alastair Ager, Director at QMU’s Institute for Global Health & Development (IGHD), said: “pandemics are a time of disruption, threat and insecurity for health system staff and users alike. Practical, evidence-based guidance is crucial in such circumstances to protect access to services.”

The guidance draws on research conducted by QMU staff and colleagues at the London School of Tropical Medicine, University of Leeds, King's College London, University of Cape Town and Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.

Dr Karin Diaconu, who coordinated QMU’s input to the guidance said: “We reviewed experiences and outcomes from our work in other crisis situations, including how best to secure provision of health services in conflict affected areas and during epidemics like Ebola. Building on this evidence we identified practical principles which can help ministries of health and frontline health providers, particularly those in low-income or humanitarian settings, to cope with the shock and changing circumstances brought about by COVID-19.”

“The guidance highlights the importance of anticipation and preparation for health system resilience. Cultivating effective partnerships and networks to support disrupted services and building trust with local communities are vital to ensuring health services are delivered and utilised by those in need. Health systems coming under massive pressure during a pandemic can benefit from prioritising and adapting their delivery of health services too. The guidance also highlights the likely strains on frontline health providers and emphasises the need for managers and broader systems to consistently support, recognise and encourage their staff,” Dr Diaconu said.

“This guidance has been shared widely by the UK Department for International Development and National Institute for Health Research through their global networks, including to country offices supporting national Ministries of Health in planning their COVID-19 response.”

“We’re really proud the work we’ve been doing here at QMU can contribute to something with real world value and a clear path of action between words on paper and what needs to be done on the ground,” Dr Diaconu added.

Read the full report (external PDF)

Notes to Editor

For further media enquiries, please contact Amy McGregor-Dainton (Interim Media Relations and Content Officer) at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh on amcgregor-dainton@qmu.ac.uk 

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