Research Project (Ongoing)

Impact of COVID-19 Measures on the Essential Health Care Service in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

This study is part of a research project called “COVID-19 Study for Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and Resilient Society.”

As the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has spread around the world since the beginning of 2020, many countries have taken strict measures in order to contain the spread of the virus, including restrictions on domestic travel, public transportation shutdowns, and workplace closures. There has been concern since the early days of the pandemic that such strict measures would also reduce people's access to health care services, potentially leading to increased health risks. However, even in 2021, the second year of the pandemic, few studies have definitively verified the realities. Negative effects in low- and middle-income countries, with inherently weak health systems and limited access to health care services, are of particular concern.

This study explores the impact of COVID-19, along with various background factors—such as disparities between urban and regional areas, areas with and without the spread of COVID-19, the strength of cooperation between regional health care systems and hospitals, and awareness on the part of residents at regional hospitals in low- and middle-income countries—and considers how to address challenges.

This study eventually aims to propose a course for achieving UHC in low- and middle-income countries that have encountered setbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and to derive suggestions on how to further prepare for various health crises going forward.