The Global Platform focusses specifically on COVID-19 and older people in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). As part of our activity, we have been highly critical about the governments of several LMICs, whose policies sometimes entail implicit or explicit discrimination against their older citizens.
Opinions and contributions
The first wave of COVID-19 hit Nepal back in 2020. As in India and elsewhere in the region, the effects of this first wave were relatively mild. The country is now dealing with a much more severe second wave, driven by the delta variant.
By mid-May 2021, around 40 per cent of people aged 60 or more in India had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccination coverage of the older population could have been much higher if the country had adopted a more age-focussed approach.
The direct and indirect effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on older people in low and middle-income countries: one year on
In March 2020, the BMJ published a comment on the potential effects that the COVID-19 pandemic might have on older adults in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) . This predicted that older people in LMICs would account for a large share of COVID-19 mortality, since these countries contain around 70 per cent of the global population aged 60 or more and there is less access to effective health interventions than in high-income countries.
The Global Platform has drawn attention to previous proposals to exclude or de-prioritise older people in COVID-19 vaccination programmes in countries such as Indonesia and Peru.
Several Global Platform blogs and related publications draw attention to the limited quality and availability of age-disaggregated data on COVID-19 mortality in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). Sometimes researchers have to do the best they can with questionable data, perhaps adding a caveat or two as an insurance policy. But sometimes the data are so flawed that researchers should disengage.