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1.
Pharmaceutics ; 14(5)2022 May 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1855746

ABSTRACT

To prevent the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and aid restoration to prepandemic normality, global mass vaccination is urgently needed. Inducing herd immunity through mass vaccination has proven to be a highly effective strategy for preventing the spread of many infectious diseases, which protects the most vulnerable population groups that are unable to develop immunity, such as people with immunodeficiencies or weakened immune systems due to underlying medical or debilitating conditions. In achieving global outreach, the maintenance of the vaccine potency, transportation, and needle waste generation become major issues. Moreover, needle phobia and vaccine hesitancy act as hurdles to successful mass vaccination. The use of dissolvable microneedles for COVID-19 vaccination could act as a major paradigm shift in attaining the desired goal to vaccinate billions in the shortest time possible. In addressing these points, we discuss the potential of the use of dissolvable microneedles for COVID-19 vaccination based on the current literature.

2.
J Multidiscip Healthc ; 15: 869-881, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1817689

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Frontline health workers (FHW) are working relentlessly to combat the COVID-19 pandemic globally. This is particularly challenging for low- and middle-income countries such as Bangladesh because of resource scarcity. Therefore, it is critical to understand the challenges of healthcare providers to help shaping a contextual pandemic response plan address current and future similar crises. Aim: This study aimed to describe the challenges faced by FHWs in Bangladesh in terms of information on COVID-19, managing patients with COVID-19, and what motivated them to continue providing service during the pandemic. Methods: This qualitative study explored the experiences of 18 FHWs who were purposely recruited from different health interventions of a development organization in Bangladesh. In-depth interviews and focus group discussions were conducted during July-August 2020 using a semi-structured interview guide. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and content analysis was used to analyze the data which led to four categories. Results: Four main categories and ten sub-categories emerged from the analysis. Categories derived from the analysis were as follows: i) experiences of the FHWs regarding information on COVID-19: "Working in the dark", ii) experience of providing care: "Patients are grateful", iii) impact on personal/family life: "Life is still in lockdown" and iv) motivation to carry on providing care. Conclusion: FHWs desire a stable information source to prepare themselves for future health care crises. Organizational support is essential for them to overcome physical and mental struggles and keep themselves motivated to continue service provision during pandemics.

3.
Int J Soc Psychiatry ; : 207640211065670, 2021 Dec 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1582774

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Students are one of the most vulnerable groups to suicide. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, a Bangladeshi study was conducted assessing their suicide patterns regarding gender-based associations. But how has the pandemic changed the Bangladeshi students' suicide patterns is not studied yet, which is investigated herein. Besides, for the first time, this study provides GIS-based distribution of suicide cases across the country's administrative district. METHODS: As Bangladesh has no suicide surveillance system, this study utilized media reporting suicide cases following the prior studies. A total of 127 students' suicide cases from March 2020 to March 2021 were finally analyzed after eliminating the duplicate ones, and data were synthesized following the prior studies. Arc-GIS was also used to distribute the suicide cases across the administrative district. RESULTS: Results revealed that female (72.4%; n = 92/127) was more prone to die by suicide than males. About 42.5% of the cases were aged between 14 and 18 years (mean age 16.44 ± 3.512 years). The most common method of suicide was hanging (79.5%; n = 101), whereas relationship complexities (15.7%), being emotional (12.6%), not getting the desired one (11%), conflict with a family member (9.4%), academic failure (9.4%), mental health problem (8.7%), sexual complexities (6.3%), scolded or forbidden by parents (3.9%) were the prominent suicide causalities. In respect to gender and suicide patterns, only the suicide stressor was significantly distributed, whereas the method of suicide was significantly associated with GIS-based distribution. However, a higher number of suicide cases was documented in the capital (i.e. Dhaka) and the northern region than in its surrounding districts. CONCLUSIONS: The findings reported herein are assumed to be helpful to identify the gender-based suicide patterns and suicide-prone regions in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic to initiate suicide prevention programs of the risky students.

4.
Knowledge-Based Systems ; : 107522, 2021.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-1446923

ABSTRACT

Water utility companies in urban areas face two major challenges: ensuring there is enough water for everyone during prolonged drought and maintaining adequate water pressure during the hours of peak demand. These issues can be overcome by applying data analytics and machine learning to the data gathered from digital water meters. For water conservation and demand management strategies to be effective, utility companies need to gain a better understanding of consumer behaviours, habits and routines. To accomplish this goal, we adapted a clustering approach to reveal residential water consumption patterns within metered data. In the experiment, we used two data sets (engineered features data set as well as the times of use and weighted probabilities of use data set) based on the data collected over 10 months from 306 households in Melbourne, Australia. For the engineered features data set, first, we identified the number of optimal clusters. We then performed extensive experiments to find the best clustering approach in terms of performance evaluation and clustering quality. We chose the hierarchical agglomerative clustering technique based on the nature of the data and the objective of the study. We observed that for the engineered features data set, k-means is the best performing clustering technique after considering performance metrics. For the other data set, we found that the number of clusters varies based on the type of water-consumption event, type of day (i.e., weekday or weekend), profiling interval and probability of use. In addition, we observed that insight into tap-water usage could be used to determine the population’s adaptation of hygiene practices in an unprecedented time, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Finally, we recommend that future clustering studies also employ aligned socio-demographic data and other key features.

5.
Indoor Air ; 31(6): 1896-1912, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1322740

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need to improve understanding of droplet transport during expiratory emissions. While historical emphasis has been placed on violent events such as coughing and sneezing, the recognition of asymptomatic and presymptomatic spread has identified the need to consider other modalities, such as speaking. Accurate prediction of infection risk produced by speaking requires knowledge of both the droplet size distributions that are produced, as well as the expiratory flow fields that transport the droplets into the surroundings. This work demonstrates that the expiratory flow field produced by consonant productions is highly unsteady, exhibiting extremely broad inter- and intra-consonant variability, with mean ejection angles varying from ≈+30° to -30°. Furthermore, implementation of a physical mouth model to quantify the expiratory flow fields for fricative pronunciation of [f] and [θ] demonstrates that flow velocities at the lips are higher than previously predicted, reaching 20-30 m/s, and that the resultant trajectories are unstable. Because both large and small droplet transport are directly influenced by the magnitude and trajectory of the expirated air stream, these findings indicate that prior investigations of the flow dynamics during speech have largely underestimated the fluid penetration distances that can be achieved for particular consonant utterances.


Subject(s)
Aerosols , Air Pollution, Indoor , Mouth/physiology , Speech/physiology , COVID-19 , Humans , Research Subjects , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Vaccine ; 39(35): 4988-5001, 2021 08 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1313477

ABSTRACT

We evaluated enveloped virus-like particles (eVLPs) expressing various forms of the Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike protein and several adjuvants in an effort to identify a highly potent Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine candidate. eVLPs expressing a modified prefusion form of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein were selected as they induced high antibody binding titers and neutralizing activity after a single injection in mice. Formulation of SARS-CoV-2 S eVLPs with aluminum phosphate resulted in balanced induction of IgG2 and IgG1 isotypes and antibody binding and neutralization titers were undiminished for more than 3 months after a single immunization. A single dose of this candidate, named VBI-2902a, protected Syrian golden hamsters from challenge with SARS-CoV-2 and supports the on-going clinical evaluation of VBI-2902a as a highly potent vaccine against COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines, Virus-Like Particle , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cricetinae , Humans , Mice , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
7.
Int J Equity Health ; 20(1): 77, 2021 03 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1136224

ABSTRACT

Global response to COVID-19 pandemic has inadvertently undermined the achievement of existing public health priorities and laregely overlooked local context. Recent evidence suggests that this will cause additional maternal and childhood mortality and morbidity especially in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Here we have explored the contextual factors influencing maternal, neonatal and children health (MNCH) care in Bangladesh, Nigeria and South Africa amidst the pandemic. Our findings suggest that between March and May 2020, there was a reduction in utilisation of basic essential MNCH services such as antenatal care, family planning and immunization due to: a) the implementation of lockdown which triggered fear of contracting the COVID-19 and deterred people from accessing basic MNCH care, and b) a shift of focus towards pandemic, causing the detriment to other health services, and c) resource constraints. Taken together these issues have resulted in compromised provision of basic general healthcare. Given the likelihood of recurrent waves of the pandemic globally, COVID-19 mitigation plans therefore should be integrated with standard care provision to enhance system resilience to cope with all health needs. This commentary suggests a four-point contextualised mitigation plan to safeguard MNCH care during the pandemic using the observed countries as exemplars for LMIC health system adaptations to maintain the trajectory of progress regarding sustainable development goals (SDGs).


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Child Health Services , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Facilities and Services Utilization/trends , Maternal Health Services , Adult , Bangladesh , Child , Developing Countries , Female , Humans , Nigeria , Pregnancy , Public Health/legislation & jurisprudence , Quarantine/legislation & jurisprudence , South Africa , Vulnerable Populations
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