LMIC Research Council Response to the COVID-19 pandemic
The steering committee of the newly formed ISPAH LMIC Council is compiling a response document to share within LMIC settings and more broadly, with the WHO, regarding physical activity during and after the COVID pandemic. Prior to this, the steering committee met with the Programme Manager in the Department of Prevention NCD at WHO, Fiona Bull, and discussed how the council could support the WHO mandate.
The response document, in progress, highlights the need for multi-country research in LMIC settings to measure the change in activity levels as result of COVID and the underlying real differences in multi-level factors (e.g. “lived experiences” of overcrowding, lack of water and sanitation, and competing priorities). Along with this, engagement with multiple stakeholders is required to develop locally relevant messages and opportunities that address their unique challenges posed by economic burden of physical inactivity and health inequities associated with COVID.
In addition, members of the council have offered to support the formulation of locally relevant messages to support and promote physical activity during lockdowns, while accounting for the different circumstances in economically advantaged countries and LMIC settings.
Post-COVID research could focus on an evaluation of the implementation of the WHO guidelines for physical activity in LMICs.