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Confl Health ; 15(1): 88, 2021 Dec 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1551217


BACKGROUND: For almost a decade now, Mali has been facing a security crisis that led to the displacement of thousands of people within the country. Since March 2020, a health crisis linked to the COVID-19 pandemic also surfaced. To overcome this health crisis, the government implemented some physical distancing measures but their adoption proved difficult, particularly among internally displaced people (IDPs). The objective of this study is to identify the challenges relating to the implementation and adoption of physical distancing measures and to determine the main mitigation measures taken by IDPs to adjust to these new policies. METHODS: An exploratory qualitative research was conducted in Bamako and Ségou, two of the ten regions of Mali. The study counted 68 participants including 50 IDPs, seven administrative and health authorities, and 11 humanitarian actors. Sampling was guided by the principle of saturation and diversification, and data was collected through semi-structured individual interviews (n = 36) and focus groups (n = eight). Analysis was based on thematic content analysis through NVivo software. RESULTS: The main challenges identified concerning the implementation and adoption of physical distancing measures include the proximity in which IDPs live, their beliefs and values, the lack of toilets and safe water on sites, IDPs habits and economic situation, humanitarian actors' lack of financial resources and authority, and social pressure from religious leaders. Implemented mitigation measures include the building of new shelters or their compartmentalization, the creation of income-generating activities and food banks, psychosocial support, promoting awareness of IDPs, and nightly police patrols and surveillance to discourage IDPs from going out. Finally, a call for action is suggested for the actors involved in IDPs support and management. CONCLUSIONS: The study demonstrates the difficulty for IDPs to follow most of the physical distancing measures and informs about the risk of disease spreading among IDPs with its potential consequences. It also shows the inability of mitigation measures to control the outbreak and suggests actions to be considered.

Front Public Health ; 9: 671833, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1295723


The magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic challenged societies around our globalized world. To contain the spread of the virus, unprecedented and drastic measures and policies were put in place by governments to manage an exceptional health care situation while maintaining other essential services. The responses of many governments showed a lack of preparedness to face this systemic and global health crisis. Drawing on field observations and available data on the first wave of the pandemic (mid-March to mid-May 2020) in Quebec (Canada), this article reviewed and discussed the successes and failures that characterized the management of COVID-19 in this province. Using the framework of Palagyi et al. on system preparedness toward emerging infectious diseases, we described and analyzed in a chronologically and narratively way: (1) how surveillance was structured; (2) how workforce issues were managed; (3) what infrastructures and medical supplies were made available; (4) what communication mechanisms were put in place; (5) what form of governance emerged; and (6) whether trust was established and maintained throughout the crisis. Our findings and observations stress that resilience and ability to adequately respond to a systemic and global crisis depend upon preexisting system-level characteristics and capacities at both the provincial and federal governance levels. By providing recommendations for policy and practice from a learning health system perspective, this paper contributes to the groundwork required for interdisciplinary research and genuine policy discussions to help health systems better prepare for future pandemics.

COVID-19 , Pandemics , Canada , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Quebec/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
BMJ Glob Health ; 5(7)2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-689115


It is very exceptional that a new disease becomes a true pandemic. Since its emergence in Wuhan, China, in late 2019, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19, has spread to nearly all countries of the world in only a few months. However, in different countries, the COVID-19 epidemic takes variable shapes and forms in how it affects communities. Until now, the insights gained on COVID-19 have been largely dominated by the COVID-19 epidemics and the lockdowns in China, Europe and the USA. But this variety of global trajectories is little described, analysed or understood. In only a few months, an enormous amount of scientific evidence on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 has been uncovered (knowns). But important knowledge gaps remain (unknowns). Learning from the variety of ways the COVID-19 epidemic is unfolding across the globe can potentially contribute to solving the COVID-19 puzzle. This paper tries to make sense of this variability-by exploring the important role that context plays in these different COVID-19 epidemics; by comparing COVID-19 epidemics with other respiratory diseases, including other coronaviruses that circulate continuously; and by highlighting the critical unknowns and uncertainties that remain. These unknowns and uncertainties require a deeper understanding of the variable trajectories of COVID-19. Unravelling them will be important for discerning potential future scenarios, such as the first wave in virgin territories still untouched by COVID-19 and for future waves elsewhere.

Coronavirus Infections , Global Health , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , China/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Europe/epidemiology , Humans , Infection Control , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype , Influenza Pandemic, 1918-1919 , Influenza, Human , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology