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1.
PLOS global public health ; 2(9), 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2260594

ABSTRACT

Governments around the world have implemented non-pharmaceutical interventions to limit the transmission of COVID-19. Here we assess if increasing NPI stringency was associated with a reduction in COVID-19 cases in Ghana. While lockdowns and physical distancing have proven effective for reducing COVID-19 transmission, there is still limited understanding of how NPI measures are reflected in indicators of human mobility. Further, there is a lack of understanding about how findings from high-income settings correspond to low and middle-income contexts. In this study, we assess the relationship between indicators of human mobility, NPIs, and estimates of Rt, a real-time measure of the intensity of COVID-19 transmission. We construct a multilevel generalised linear mixed model, combining local disease surveillance data from subnational districts of Ghana with the timing of NPIs and indicators of human mobility from Google and Vodafone Ghana. We observe a relationship between reductions in human mobility and decreases in Rt during the early stages of the COVID-19 epidemic in Ghana. We find that the strength of this relationship varies through time, decreasing after the most stringent period of interventions in the early epidemic. Our findings demonstrate how the association of NPI and mobility indicators with COVID-19 transmission may vary through time. Further, we demonstrate the utility of combining local disease surveillance data with large scale human mobility data to augment existing surveillance capacity to monitor the impact of NPI policies.

2.
Afr J Lab Med ; 12(1): 1844, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2267174

ABSTRACT

Background: Integrated health systems with strong laboratory networks are critical in improving public health. The current study assessed the laboratory network in Ghana and its functionality using the Assessment Tool for Laboratory Services (ATLAS). Intervention: A national-level laboratory network survey was conducted among stakeholders of the Ghanaian laboratory network in Accra. Face-to-face interviews were conducted from December 2019 to January 2020, with follow-up phone interviews between June and July 2020. Also, we reviewed supporting documents provided by stakeholders for supplementary information and transcribed these to identify themes. Where possible, we completed the Laboratory Network scorecard using data obtained from the ATLAS. Lessons learnt: The Laboratory Network (LABNET) scorecard assessment was a valuable addition to the ATLAS survey as it quantified the functionality of the laboratory network and its overall advancement toward achieving International Health Regulations (2005) and Global Health Security Agenda targets. Two significant challenges indicated by respondents were laboratory financing and delayed implementation of the Ghana National Health Laboratory Policy. Recommendations: Stakeholders recommended a review of the country's funding landscape, such as funding laboratory services from the country's internally generated funds. Also, they recommended laboratory policy implementation to ensure adequate laboratory workforce and standards.

3.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 29(4): 862-865, 2023 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2248116

ABSTRACT

To assess dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 in Greater Accra Region, Ghana, we analyzed SARS-CoV-2 genomic sequences from persons in the community and returning from international travel. The Accra Metropolitan District was a major origin of virus spread to other districts and should be a primary focus for interventions against future infectious disease outbreaks.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Ghana/epidemiology , Biological Evolution , Disease Outbreaks
4.
PLoS One ; 17(11): e0277057, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2098771

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The declaration of COVID-19 as a pandemic on March 11 2020, by the World Health Organisation prompted the need for a sustained and a rapid international response. In a swift response, the Government of Ghana, in partnership with Zipline company, launched the use of Unmanned Automated Vehicles (UAV) to transport suspected samples from selected districts to two foremost testing centres in the country. Here, we present the experiences of employing this technology and its impact on the transport time to the second largest testing centre, the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine (KCCR) in Kumasi, Ghana. METHODS: Swab samples collected from suspected COVID-19 patients were transported to the Zipline office by health workers. Information on the samples were sent to laboratory personnel located at KCCR through a WhatsApp platform to get them ready to receive the suspected COVID-19 samples while Zipline repackaged samples and transported them via drone. Time of take-off was reported as well as time of drop-off. RESULTS: A total of 2537 COVID-19 suspected samples were received via drone transport from 10 districts between April 2020 to June 2021 in 440 deliveries. Ejura-Sekyedumase District Health Directorate delivered the highest number of samples (765; 30%). The farthest district to use the drone was Pru East, located 270 km away from KCCR in Kumasi and 173 km to the Zipline office in Mampong. Here, significantly, it took on the average 39 minutes for drones to deliver samples compared to 117 minutes spent in transporting samples by road (p<0.001). CONCLUSION: The use of drones for sample transport during the COVID-19 pandemic significantly reduced the travel time taken for samples to be transported by road to the testing site. This has enhanced innovative measures to fight the pandemic using technology.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Unmanned Aerial Devices , Humans , Ghana , Pandemics
5.
Ghana medical journal ; 55(2 Suppl):38-47, 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1710960

ABSTRACT

Summary The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak in Ghana is part of an ongoing pandemic caused by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). The first two cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Ghana on 12th March 2020. COVID-19 was consequently declared a Public Health Emergency of National Concern, triggering several response actions, including enhanced surveillance, case detection, case management and contact tracing, closure of borders, suspension of international flights, ban on social gatherings and closure of schools. Preparedness and response plans were activated for implementation at the national, regional, district and community levels. Ghana's Strategic approaches were to limit and stop the importation of cases;detect and contain cases early;expand infrastructure, logistics and capacity to provide quality healthcare for the sick;minimise disruption to social and economic life and increase the domestic capacity of all sectors to deal with existing and future shocks. The health sector strategic frame focused on testing, treatment, and tracking. As of 31st December 2020, a total of 535,168 cases, including 335 deaths (CFR: 0.61%), have been confirmed with 53,928 recoveries and 905 active cases. All the regions have reported cases, with Greater Accra reporting the highest number. The response actions in Ghana have seen high-level political commitment, appropriate and timely decisions, and a careful balance of public health interventions with economic and socio-cultural dynamics. Efforts are ongoing to intensify non-pharmaceutical interventions, sustain the gains made so far and introduce COVID-19 vaccines to reduce the public health burden of the disease in Ghana Funding None declared

6.
Ghana Med J ; 55(2 Suppl): 38-47, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1502651

ABSTRACT

The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak in Ghana is part of an ongoing pandemic caused by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). The first two cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Ghana on 12th March 2020. COVID-19 was consequently declared a Public Health Emergency of National Concern, triggering several response actions, including enhanced surveillance, case detection, case management and contact tracing, closure of borders, suspension of international flights, ban on social gatherings and closure of schools. Preparedness and response plans were activated for implementation at the national, regional, district and community levels. Ghana's Strategic approaches were to limit and stop the importation of cases; detect and contain cases early; expand infrastructure, logistics and capacity to provide quality healthcare for the sick; minimise disruption to social and economic life and increase the domestic capacity of all sectors to deal with existing and future shocks. The health sector strategic frame focused on testing, treatment, and tracking. As of 31st December 2020, a total of 535,168 cases, including 335 deaths (CFR: 0.61%), have been confirmed with 53,928 recoveries and 905 active cases. All the regions have reported cases, with Greater Accra reporting the highest number. The response actions in Ghana have seen high-level political commitment, appropriate and timely decisions, and a careful balance of public health interventions with economic and socio-cultural dynamics. Efforts are ongoing to intensify non-pharmaceutical interventions, sustain the gains made so far and introduce COVID-19 vaccines to reduce the public health burden of the disease in Ghana. FUNDING: None declared.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Ghana/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Ghana Med J ; 54(4 Suppl): 5-15, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1436189

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Describe the epidemiology of COVID-19 cases detected in the first four months of the pandemic in Ghana by person, place and time to provide an understanding of the local epidemiology of the disease. METHODS: We conducted an exploratory descriptive study of all confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ghana from March 12 to June 30, 2020. Data was merged from the country's electronic databases, cleaned and summarized using medians, proportions and geospatial analysis. DESIGN: A cross-sectional study design. SETTING: Ghana. PARTICIPANTS: All confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ghana from March 12 to June 30, 2020. INTERVENTIONS: None. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Epidemiological characterization of all confirmed COVID-19 cases recorded from March 12 - June 30, 2020 in Ghana by person, place and time. RESULTS: A total of 17,763 cases were recorded with median age (IQR) of 33years (One month to 85 years). Among the confirmed cases, 10,272 (57.8%) were males and 3,521 (19.8%) were symptomatic with cough recorded in 1,420 (40.3%) cases. The remaining 14,242 (80.2%) were asymptomatic. Greater Accra region recorded the highest number of confirmed cases 11,348 (63.9%). All 16 administrative regions had recorded cases of COVID-19 by June 30, 2020 due to internal migration between the hotspots and other regions. The epidemiological curve showed a propagated outbreak with 117 deaths (CFR= 0.67%) recorded. CONCLUSION: A propagated outbreak of COVID - 19 was confirmed in Ghana on March 12, 2020. Internal migration from hotspots to other regions led to the spread of the virus across the nation. Majority of cases were asymptomatic. FUNDING: The COVID-19 pandemic response and writing workshop by the Ghana Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme (GFELTP) was supported with funding from President Malaria Initiative - CDC, and Korea International Cooperation Agency (on CDC CoAg 6NU2GGH001876) through AFENET.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , Disease Transmission, Infectious/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Child , Child, Preschool , Cross-Sectional Studies , Emigration and Immigration/statistics & numerical data , Female , Ghana/epidemiology , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Middle Aged , Young Adult
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