Masaryk University Joins International Effort To Fight Covid-19

In an effort to improve our collective understanding of Covid-19, transforming evidence into policy and practice, researchers from all fields have joined an international project which strives to create a live map of the latest evidence and expert recommendations for prevention and care of the disease. Masaryk University’s Faculty of Medicine is among the participants. Photo credit: Masaryk University. 

Czech Rep., Dec 17 (BD) – Partnership and cooperation have been major factors in the effort to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic. Led by Cochrane Canada and the World Health Organisation’s Collaborating Center for Infectious Diseases, Research Methods and Recommendations at McMaster University, researchers from all six continents came together to create a live map of the latest evidence regarding the coronavirus. The goal is to help translate recommendations from experts around the world into policy, assisting governments and organizations to respond to the crisis with better prevention and care of the disease.  

Masaryk University’s (MU) Faculty of Medicine has been involved in this project through its international research centers. “It is through these unique partnerships that we are able to contribute to a growing body of evidence in meaningful and effective ways”, explained Dr. Miloslav Klugar, project co-investigator and director of Czech Cochrane, JBI and GRADE centers at the faculty.

The map will be gradually rolled out from December 2020, and represents a continuation of the team’s previous work, building on the previously developed database of WHO recommendations for prevention and care. The map, hosted on a freely-accessible digital platform, has provided decision-makers and health professionals in all corners of the world with a collection of trustworthy and peer-reviewed scientific evidence in English and French. The goal is to make information accessible as fast as possible, so that it can advise better policy choices and an efficient response. 

The final version of the map allows users to access information fully tailored to their needs, providing detailed information at the local, national and international level. “Users will simply need to define the population and intervention to find recommendations on the map that best suit their needs,” said Dr. Jitka Klugarová, deputy director of Czech Cochrane, JBI and GRADE centers at the MU faculty, who is also collaborating on the project.

In short, the goal of the COVID-19 Recommendation Map is to provide evidence-based recommendations, accessible to everyone around the world. The ambitious project was the result of concerted efforts from researchers worldwide, as Dr. Klugar points out: 

“Together, we have mobilized in a very short time. We hope that by providing access to these recommendations and their underlying evidence, we will reduce research waste by leveraging the efforts already made. Awareness of what exists can also help decide what further best practices should be developed, and will help effectively manage the use of funds for further COVID-19 research.”

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