The organization Evidence Aid, a UK-based charity with international roots, has collated and translated more than 270 COVID-19 studies, research papers to aid clinicians, policymakers and other decision-makers around the world both in high and low resource settings.
Evidence Aid published summaries of more than 270 papers related to COVID-19 – each translated into one or more of seven languages – Arabic, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish (soon to be eight to include German). Since the COVID-19 collection was launched, more than 70,000 people have used the website. Every day more summaries are being added to the collection and more translations uploaded.
Written by volunteers (including professors, doctors, nurses, medical writers, PhD students and undergraduates), the information is quality checked by a panel of experts.
- The most popular resources are those on the effectiveness of facemasks and quarantine.
- Studies summarized and translated on the open access website range from infection prevention and control (including for healthcare workers) to social issues, mental health and the impact on levels of domestic violence.
- The collection includes summaries of systematic reviews that might be relevant to the direct impact of COVID-19 (including reviews of emerging research as well a reviews of relevant treatments) on health and other outcomes, and,
- The impact of COVID-19 response on other conditions and longer terms issues to consider for the recovery period after COVID-19.
Although urgent action is needed now, the issue goes much deeper than COVID-19, says Evidence Aid. They would like to see better coordination between organizations rather than funding a massive number of new studies.
It is important that COVID-19 allows us to learn from our mistakes and invest in better systems for the future whilst not forgetting research done in the past.
With COVID-19 and other science research challenges in the disaster sector Evidence Aid says that funding of many studies that often don’t answer key questions and that overlap or repeat what has been done before. It would be better and less expensive if evidence-based study outcomes were brought together and made quickly available in a range of languages.
Evidence Aid was established by people linked to Cochrane, the internationally respected medical research body. It has provided research custodianship, synthesis and communication in clear accessible formats to the humanitarian and disaster sectors for 15 years, being established after the Indian Ocean tsunami.