The need for COVID-19 research in low- and middle-income countries

Madhu Gupta, Brian Wahl, Binita Adhikari, Naor Bar-Zeev, Sudip Bhandari, Alexandra Coria, Daniel J. Erchick, Nidhi Gupta, Shreya Hariyani, E. Wangeci Kagucia, Japhet Killewo, Rupali Jayant Limaye, Eric D. McCollum, Raghukul Pandey, William S. Pomat, Krishna D. Rao, Mathuram Santosham, Molly Sauer, Rhoda K. Wanyenze, David H. Peters

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


In the early months of the pandemic, most reported cases and deaths due to COVID-19 occurred in high-income countries. However, insufficient testing could have led to an underestimation of true infections in many low- and middle-income countries. As confirmed cases increase, the ultimate impact of the pandemic on individuals and communities in low- and middle-income countries is uncertain. We therefore propose research in three broad areas as urgently needed to inform responses in low- and middle-income countries: transmission patterns of SARS-CoV-2, the clinical characteristics of the disease, and the impact of pandemic prevention and response measures. Answering these questions will require a multidisciplinary approach led by local investigators and in some cases additional resources. Targeted research activities should be done to help mitigate the potential burden of COVID-19 in low- and middle-income countries without diverting the limited human resources, funding, or medical supplies from response activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number33
JournalGlobal Health Research and Policy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • COVID-19
  • Global health
  • Research agenda

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Epidemiology
  • Health(social science)
  • Medicine(all)


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