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1.
Nature ; 618(7965): 575-582, 2023 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20241955

ABSTRACT

Poverty is an important social determinant of health that is associated with increased risk of death1-5. Cash transfer programmes provide non-contributory monetary transfers to individuals or households, with or without behavioural conditions such as children's school attendance6,7. Over recent decades, cash transfer programmes have emerged as central components of poverty reduction strategies of many governments in low- and middle-income countries6,7. The effects of these programmes on adult and child mortality rates remains an important gap in the literature, however, with existing evidence limited to a few specific conditional cash transfer programmes, primarily in Latin America8-14. Here we evaluated the effects of large-scale, government-led cash transfer programmes on all-cause adult and child mortality using individual-level longitudinal mortality datasets from many low- and middle-income countries. We found that cash transfer programmes were associated with significant reductions in mortality among children under five years of age and women. Secondary heterogeneity analyses suggested similar effects for conditional and unconditional programmes, and larger effects for programmes that covered a larger share of the population and provided larger transfer amounts, and in countries with lower health expenditures, lower baseline life expectancy, and higher perceived regulatory quality. Our findings support the use of anti-poverty programmes such as cash transfers, which many countries have introduced or expanded during the COVID-19 pandemic, to improve population health.


Subject(s)
Child Mortality , Developing Countries , Mortality , Poverty , Adult , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Child Mortality/trends , COVID-19/economics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Developing Countries/economics , Poverty/economics , Poverty/prevention & control , Poverty/statistics & numerical data , Life Expectancy , Health Expenditures/statistics & numerical data , Public Health/methods , Public Health/statistics & numerical data , Public Health/trends , Mortality/trends
2.
SSM - population health ; 2023.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2254176

ABSTRACT

Disruptions in health service delivery and utilization during the COVID-19 pandemic may have caused many children worldwide to not receive vital preventative health services. We investigate the pandemic's effects on routine childhood vaccinations in India, which has the world's largest child immunization program. Using data from the Government of India's health management information system and interrupted time series analyses, we estimate district-level changes in routine child vaccinations during the pandemic relative to typical monthly vaccinations in the pre-pandemic period. Our results indicate there were significant reductions in child vaccinations during the pandemic, with declines being extremely large in April 2020 when a strict national lockdown was in place. For example, district-level administration of the final required dose in the polio series declined by about 60% in April 2020 relative to the typical monthly vaccination levels observed prior to the pandemic. Vaccinations subsequently increased but largely remained below levels observed before the outbreak of COVID-19. Additional declines in vaccinations occurred in 2021 during the second wave of COVID-19 infections in India. Heterogeneity analyses suggest that vaccinations declined the most in districts with the strictest lockdowns and in districts with low health system capacity at baseline. There is a vital need for corrective actions, such as catch-up vaccination campaigns, to limit the deleterious consequences that will arise for the children who missed routine immunizations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

3.
SSM Popul Health ; 22: 101383, 2023 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2254177

ABSTRACT

Disruptions in health service delivery and utilization during the COVID-19 pandemic may have caused many children worldwide to not receive vital preventative health services. We investigate the pandemic's effects on routine childhood vaccinations in India, which has the world's largest child immunization program. Using data from the Government of India's health management information system and interrupted time series analyses, we estimate district-level changes in routine child vaccinations during the pandemic relative to typical monthly vaccinations in the pre-pandemic period. Our results indicate there were significant reductions in child vaccinations during the pandemic, with declines being extremely large in April 2020 when a strict national lockdown was in place. For example, district-level administration of the final required dose in the polio series declined by about 60% in April 2020 relative to the typical monthly vaccination levels observed prior to the pandemic. Vaccinations subsequently increased but largely remained below levels observed before the outbreak of COVID-19. Additional declines in vaccinations occurred in 2021 during the second wave of COVID-19 infections in India. Heterogeneity analyses suggest that vaccinations declined the most in districts with the strictest lockdowns and in districts with low health system capacity at baseline. There is a vital need for corrective actions, such as catch-up vaccination campaigns, to limit the deleterious consequences that will arise for the children who missed routine immunizations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

4.
BMJ Glob Health ; 7(12)2022 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2193730

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: COVID-19 vaccination coverage in South Africa (RSA) remains low despite increased access to vaccines. On 1 November 2021, RSA introduced the Vooma Voucher programme which provided a small guaranteed financial incentive, a Vooma Voucher redeemable at grocery stores, for COVID-19 vaccination among older adults, a population most vulnerable to serious illness, hospitalisation and death. However, the association of financial incentives with vaccination coverage remains unclear. METHODS: We evaluated the association of the conditional economic incentive programme with first-dose vaccination rates among adults (aged ≥60 years) through a quasi-experimental cohort study. The Vooma Voucher programme was a nationwide vaccination incentive programme implemented for adults aged ≥60 years from 1 November 2021 to 28 February 2022. We ran ITS models to evaluate the Vooma Voucher programme at national and provincial levels. We used data between 1 October 2021 and 27 November 2021 in models estimated at the daily level. Individuals who received their first vaccine dose received a text message to access a ZAR100 ($~7) voucher that was redeemable at grocery stores. RESULTS: The Vooma Voucher programme was associated with a 7.15%-12.01% increase in daily first-dose vaccinations in November 2021 compared with late October 2021. Overall, the incentive accounted for 6476-10 874 additional first vaccine doses from 1 November to 27 November 2021, or 8.31%-13.95% of all doses administered to those aged ≥60 years during that period. This result is robust to the inclusion of controls for the number of active vaccine delivery sites and for the nationwide Vooma vaccination weekend initiative (12 November to 14 November), both of which also increased vaccinations through expanded access to vaccines and demand creation activities. CONCLUSIONS: Financial incentives for COVID-19 vaccination led to a modest increase in first-dose vaccinations among older adults in RSA. Financial incentives and expanded access to vaccines may result in higher vaccination coverage. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER SANCTR: DOH-27-012022-9116.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , Humans , Aged , Motivation , COVID-19 Vaccines , South Africa , Cohort Studies , COVID-19/prevention & control , Vaccination
7.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(6): e2113787, 2021 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1274644

ABSTRACT

Importance: COVID-19 lockdowns may affect economic and health outcomes, but evidence from low- and middle-income countries remains limited. Objective: To assess the economic security, food security, health, and sexual behavior of women at high risk of HIV infection in rural Kenya during the COVID-19 pandemic. Design, Setting, and Participants: This survey study of women enrolled in a randomized trial in a rural county in Kenya combined results from phone interviews, conducted while social distancing measures were in effect between May 13 and June 29, 2020, with longitudinal, in-person surveys administered between September 1, 2019, and March 25, 2020. Enrolled participants were HIV-negative and had 2 or more sexual partners within the past month. Surveys collected information on economic conditions, food security, health status, and sexual behavior. Subgroup analyses compared outcomes by reliance on transactional sex for income and by educational attainment. Data were analyzed between May 2020 and April 2021. Main Outcomes and Measures: Self-reported income, employment hours, numbers of sexual partners and transactional sex partners, food security, and COVID-19 prevention behaviors. Results: A total of 1725 women participated, with a mean (SD) age of 29.3 (6.8) years and 1170 (68.0%) reporting sex work as an income source before the COVID-19 pandemic. During the pandemic, participants reported experiencing a 52% decline in mean (SD) weekly income, from $11.25 (13.46) to $5.38 (12.51) (difference, -$5.86; 95% CI, -$6.91 to -$4.82; P < .001). In all, 1385 participants (80.3%) reported difficulty obtaining food in the past month, and 1500 (87.0%) worried about having enough to eat at least once. Reported numbers of sexual partners declined from a mean (SD) total of 1.8 (1.2) partners before COVID-19 to 1.1 (1.0) during (difference, -0.75 partners; 95% CI, -0.84 to -0.67 partners; P < .001), and transactional sex partners declined from 1.0 (1.1) to 0.5 (0.8) (difference, -0.57 partners; 95% CI, -0.64 to -0.50 partners; P < .001). In subgroup analyses, women reliant on transactional sex for income were 18.3% (95% CI, 11.4% to 25.2%) more likely to report being sometimes or often worried that their household would have enough food than women not reliant on transactional sex (P < .001), and their reported decline in employment was 4.6 hours (95% CI, -7.9 to -1.2 hours) greater than women not reliant on transactional sex (P = .008). Conclusions and Relevance: In this survey study, COVID-19 was associated with large reductions in economic security among women at high risk of HIV infection in Kenya. However, shifts in sexual behavior may have temporarily decreased their risk of HIV infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections/etiology , Income/statistics & numerical data , Physical Distancing , Sexual Behavior/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Female , Humans , Kenya , Longitudinal Studies , Poverty/statistics & numerical data , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Risk-Taking , Rural Population/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , Sex Work/statistics & numerical data , Sexual Partners , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
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