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1.
J Public Health (Oxf) ; 43(Suppl 3): iii1-iii11, 2021 12 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1607646

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: This study aimed to compare knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) regarding COVID-19 between public health workers (PHWs) attended field epidemiology training program (FETP-trained) and those who did not attend FETP (non-FETP trained). METHODS: Multi-country cross-sectional survey was conducted among PHWs who participated in COVID-19 pandemic in 10 countries at EMR. Online questionnaire that included demographic information, KAP regarding COVID-19 pandemic was distributed among HCWs. Scoring system was used to quantify the answers, bivariate and Multivariate analysis performed to compare FETP-trained with non-FETP trained PHWs. RESULTS: Overall, 1337 PHWs participated, with 835 (62.4%) < 40 years of age, and 851 (63.6%) males. Of them, 423 (31.6%) had FETP, including that 189 (44.7%) had advanced level, 155 (36.6%) intermediate and 79 (18.7%) basic level training. Compared with non-FETP trained, FETP trained were older, having higher KAP scores. FETP participation was low in infection control, and PH laboratories. KAP mean scores for intermediate level attendees are comparable to advanced level. CONCLUSIONS: FETP-trained are having better KAP than non-FETP PHWs. Expanding the intermediate level, maintain the Rapid Response training and introduce the laboratory component are recommended to maximize the benefit from FETP. Infection control, antimicrobial resistance and coordination are areas where training should include.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cross-Sectional Studies , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
2.
J Public Health (Oxf) ; 43(Suppl 3): iii34-iii42, 2021 12 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1605007

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Healthcare workers (HCWs) fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic are under incredible pressure, which puts them at risk of developing mental health problems. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of depression, anxiety, and stress among HCWs responding to COVID-19 and its associated factors. METHODS: A multi-country cross-sectional study was conducted during July-August 2020 among HCWs responding to COVID-19 in nine Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) countries. Data were collected using an online questionnaire administered using KoBo Toolbox. Mental problems were assessed using the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale (DASS-21). RESULTS: A total of 1448 HCWs from nine EMR countries participated in this study. About 51.2% were male and 52.7% aged ≤ 30 years. Of all HCWs, 57.5% had depression, 42.0% had stress, and 59.1% had anxiety. Considering the severity, 19.2%, 16.1%, 26.6% of patients had severe to extremely severe depression, stress, and anxiety, respectively. Depression, stress, anxiety, and distress scores were significantly associated with participants' residency, having children, preexisting psychiatric illness, and being isolated for COVID-19. Furthermore, females, those working in a teaching hospital, and specialists had significantly higher depression and stress scores. Married status, current smoking, diabetes mellitus, having a friend who died with COVID-19, and high COVID-19 worry scores were significantly associated with higher distress scores. CONCLUSIONS: Mental problems were prevalent among HCWs responding to COVID-19 in EMR. Therefore, special interventions to promote mental well-being among HCWs responding to COVID-19 need to be immediately implemented.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Anxiety/epidemiology , Child , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression/epidemiology , Female , Health Personnel , Humans , Male , Mental Health , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
3.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 7(12): e32203, 2021 12 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1572241

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 became a pandemic rapidly after its emergence in December 2019. It belongs to the coronavirus family of viruses, which have struck a few times before in history. Data based on previous research regarding etiology and epidemiology of other viruses from this family helped played a vital role in formulating prevention and precaution strategies during the initial stages of this pandemic. Data related to COVID-19 in Pakistan were not initially documented on a large scale. In addition, due to a weak health care system and low economic conditions, Pakistan's population, in general, already suffers from many comorbidities, which can severely affect the outcome of patients infected with COVID-19. OBJECTIVE: COVID-19 infections are coupled with a manifestation of various notable outcomes that can be documented and characterized clinically. The aim of this study was to examine these clinical manifestations, which can serve as indicators for early detection as well as severity prognosis for COVID-19 infections, especially in high-risk groups. METHODS: A retrospective observational study involving abstraction of demographic features, presenting symptoms, and adverse clinical outcomes for 1812 patients with COVID-19 was conducted. Patients were admitted to the four major hospitals in the Rawalpindi-Islamabad region of Pakistan, and the study was conducted from February to August 2020. Multivariate regression analysis was carried out to identify significant indicators of COVID-19 severity, intensive care unit (ICU) admission, ventilator aid, and mortality. The study not only relates COVID-19 infection with comorbidities, but also examines other related factors, such as age and gender. RESULTS: This study identified fever (1592/1812, 87.9%), cough (1433/1812, 79.1%), and shortness of breath (998/1812, 55.1%) at the time of hospital admission as the most prevalent symptoms for patients with COVID-19. These symptoms were common but not conclusive of the outcome of infection. Out of 1812 patients, 24.4% (n=443) required ICU admission and 21.5% (n=390) required ventilator aid at some point of disease progression during their stay at the hospital; 25.9% (n=469) of the patients died. Further analysis revealed the relationship of the presented symptoms and comorbidities with the progression of disease severity in these patients. Older adult patients with comorbidities, such as hypertension, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and asthma, were significantly affected in higher proportions, resulting in requirement of ICU admission and ventilator aid in some cases and, in many cases, even mortality. CONCLUSIONS: Older adult patients with comorbidities, such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, and chronic kidney disease, are at increased risk of developing severe COVID-19 infections, with an increased likelihood of adverse clinical outcomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Aged , Humans , Pakistan/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
4.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 8(3): e32831, 2022 03 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1502234

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The establishment of empirical evidence in the Eastern Mediterranean Region necessitates the implementation of wide-scale studies to describe the demographic, clinical features, and severity profile of patients with COVID-19. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to assess the patterns of COVID-19 severity and mortality in seven countries, and to determine the risk factors of COVID-19 severity and mortality. METHODS: This multicountry study was based on a retrospective review of medical records of hospitalized patients confirmed to have COVID-19. This study includes data from Iraq, Pakistan, Sudan, Somalia, Morocco, Egypt, and Yemen. All demographic and clinical data were extracted from hospital records (paper files) by trained data collectors. RESULTS: A total of 4141 patients were included in this study from seven countries. Comorbidities were reported by nearly half of the patients, with hypertension (n=1021, 24.7%) and diabetes (n=939, 22.7%) being the most common. Older age, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and heart diseases were significantly associated with COVID-19 severity and mortality. Ever smoking and renal diseases were significantly associated with severity but not mortality, while male gender, respiratory diseases, and malignancy were significantly associated with mortality but not severity. CONCLUSIONS: The study confirms the role of comorbidities and demographic features on the severity and mortality of COVID-19. Understanding the contributing factors ensures attentive care and informs clinical management of patients with poorer prognoses in the early stages of diseases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Egypt , Humans , Male , Mediterranean Region , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors
5.
J Public Health (Oxf) ; 43(Suppl 3): iii43-iii48, 2021 12 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1440643

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Inadvertent delays in access to appropriate therapeutic interventions in high-risk group coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients contribute to mortality in patients with severe/critical disease presentation. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to determine the effect of timely admission to the hospital on mortality of patients with severe/critical COVID-19. Another secondary aspect of this study was to observe the efficacy of time-dependent use of corticosteroids on mortality of critical/severe COVID-19 patients. METHODS: Clinical data of 659 patients with severe/critical COVID-19, admitted to four major tertiary care hospitals from the Islamabad-Rawalpindi region of Pakistan was retrospectively collected from a period February-August 2020. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was carried out to determine the predictors of mortality in severe/critical COVID-19 patients. RESULTS: Out of a total of 659 patients, 469 (71.2%) patients died. Age > 60 years, presence of hypertension, heart disease and kidney disease along with late admission (>5 days) were significant predictors of mortality in patients with severe/critical COVID-19. CONCLUSIONS: The study highlights the importance of well-timed provision of appropriate medical interventions control COVID-19-associated mortality.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hospitalization , Humans , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Steroids
6.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 7(5): e28594, 2021 05 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1261327

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Since the first reports of COVID-19 infection, the foremost requirement has been to identify a treatment regimen that not only fights the causative agent but also controls the associated complications of the infection. Due to the time-consuming process of drug discovery, physicians have used readily available drugs and therapies for treatment of infections to minimize the death toll. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to provide a snapshot analysis of the major drugs used in a cohort of 1562 Pakistani patients during the period from May to July 2020, when the first wave of COVID-19 peaked in Pakistan. METHODS: A retrospective observational study was performed to provide an overview of the major drugs used in a cohort of 1562 patients with COVID-19 admitted to the four major tertiary-care hospitals in the Rawalpindi-Islamabad region of Pakistan during the peak of the first wave of COVID-19 in the country (May-July 2020). RESULTS: Antibiotics were the most common choice out of all the therapies employed, and they were used as first line of treatment for COVID-19. Azithromycin was the most prescribed drug for treatment. No monthly trend was observed in the choice of antibiotics, and these drugs appeared to be a random but favored choice throughout the months of the study. It was also noted that even antibiotics used for multidrug resistant infections were prescribed irrespective of the severity or progression of the infection. The results of the analysis are alarming, as this approach may lead to antibiotic resistance and complications in immunocompromised patients with COVID-19. A total of 1562 patients (1064 male, 68.1%, and 498 female, 31.9%) with a mean age of 47.35 years (SD 17.03) were included in the study. The highest frequency of patient hospitalizations occurred in June (846/1562, 54.2%). CONCLUSIONS: Guidelines for a targeted treatment regime are needed to control related complications and to limit the misuse of antibiotics in the management of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Adult , Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pakistan/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , Tertiary Care Centers
7.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 7(5): e27609, 2021 05 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1234631

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is known to cause severe bilateral pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome or COVID-19 in patients, which can be debilitating and even fatal. With no drugs or vaccines available yet, a wide range of treatment regimens used are being repurposed. The need of the hour is to analyze various currently available regimens and devise a treatment plan that is most effective for COVID-19. Here we describe the case of a 68-year-old man with hypertension and diabetes, exhibiting symptoms of cough and shortness of breath, who presented at the emergency department of our hospital. Chest computed tomography revealed bilateral ground glass opacities that were indicative of COVID-19, and a computed tomography score of 24 was indicative of severe pulmonary pneumonia. He tested positive for COVID-19. His treatment regimen included the use of convalescent plasma, oxygen therapy, steroids, high-dose antibiotics, broad-spectrum antiviral remdesivir, and anti-interleukin-6 monoclonal antibody (Tocilizumab) at various stages of the disease. Oxygen supplementation was required at the time of admission. The patient initially developed a cytokine release storm, and oxygen supplementation was initiated to manage his condition. Supportive care and multiple treatment regimens were used to successfully recover the patient's health. With a rapid increase in number of confirmed cases worldwide, COVID-19 has become a major challenge to our health care system. With no available vaccines currently, the establishment of a combination of therapeutic drugs that effectively reduce disease progression is of utmost importance.


Subject(s)
Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Adenosine Monophosphate/therapeutic use , Aged , Alanine/therapeutic use , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/virology , Cytokine Release Syndrome , Drug Therapy, Combination , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Male , SARS-CoV-2
8.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 7(5): e28517, 2021 05 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1194563

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 outbreak started as pneumonia in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. The subsequent pandemic was declared as the sixth public health emergency of international concern on January 30, 2020, by the World Health Organization. Pakistan could be a potential hotspot for COVID-19 owing to its high population of 204.65 million and its struggling health care and economic systems. Pakistan was able to tackle the challenge with relatively mild repercussions. The present analysis has been conducted to highlight the situation of the disease in Pakistan in 2020 and the measures taken by various stakeholders coupled with support from the community to abate the risk of catastrophic spread of the virus.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Delivery of Health Care , Government , Pandemics , Public Health , COVID-19/virology , Communicable Disease Control , Developing Countries , Disease Outbreaks , Emergencies , Humans , Internationality , Pakistan/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
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