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1.
Pediatrics ; 149(Suppl 5)2022 05 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1833768

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To identify effective interventions that promote healthy screen time use and reduce sedentary behavior in school-age children and adolescents (SACA) in all settings, over the last 20 years. METHODS: Searches were conducted from 2000 until March 2021 using PubMed, Embase, Medline, PsycINFO, Ovid SP, The Cochrane Library, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Cochrane Methodology Register, and the WHO regional databases, including Google Scholar and reference lists of relevant articles and reviews. Randomized-controlled trials and quasi-experimental studies assessing interventions to reduce sedentary behaviors and screen time in healthy SACA (aged 5-19.9 years) globally. Data were extracted by 2 reviewers and where possible, pooled with a random-effects model. RESULTS: The review included 51 studies, of which 23 were included in meta-analyses with 16 418 children and adolescents. Nondigital randomized-controlled trials reported a small, but significant reduction of TV-specific screen time (minutes per day) (mean difference, -12.46; 95% confidence interval, -20.82 to -4.10; moderate quality of evidence) and sedentary behavior (minutes per day) (mean difference, -3.86; 95% confidence interval, -6.30 to -1.41; participants = 8920; studies = 8; P = .002; moderate quality of evidence) as compared with control groups. For quasi-experimental studies, nondigital interventions may make little or no difference on screen time (minutes per day) or sedentary behavior (minutes per day), given the high uncertainty of evidence. Most studies were conducted in a high-income country. Generalizability of results to low- and middle- income countries remain limited. CONCLUSIONS: Public health policies and programs will be necessary to reduce excessive sedentary behavior and screen time, especially in the post-coronavirus disease 2019 reality.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Internet , Adolescent , Child , Exercise , Health Status , Humans , Sedentary Behavior
3.
Lancet ; 399(10337): 1810-1829, 2022 05 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1829701

ABSTRACT

Progress has been made globally in improving the coverage of key maternal, newborn, and early childhood interventions in low-income and middle-income countries, which has contributed to a decrease in child mortality and morbidity. However, inequities remain, and many children and adolescents are still not covered by life-saving and nurturing care interventions, despite their relatively low costs and high cost-effectiveness. This Series paper builds on a large body of work from the past two decades on evidence-based interventions and packages of care for survival, strategies for delivery, and platforms to reach the most vulnerable. We review the current evidence base on the effectiveness of a variety of essential and emerging interventions that can be delivered from before conception until age 20 years to help children and adolescents not only survive into adulthood, but also to grow and develop optimally, support their wellbeing, and help them reach their full developmental potential. Although scaling up evidence-based interventions in children younger than 5 years might have the greatest effect on reducing child mortality rates, we highlight interventions and evidence gaps for school-age children (5-9 years) and the transition from childhood to adolescence (10-19 years), including interventions to support mental health and positive development, and address unintentional injuries, neglected tropical diseases, and non-communicable diseases.


Subject(s)
Child Mortality , Delivery of Health Care , Adolescent , Adult , Child , Child, Preschool , Evidence-Based Medicine , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Morbidity , Poverty , Young Adult
4.
Lancet ; 399(10337): 1830-1844, 2022 05 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1829700

ABSTRACT

Despite health gains over the past 30 years, children and adolescents are not reaching their health potential in many low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs). In addition to health systems, social systems, such as schools, communities, families, and digital platforms, can be used to promote health. We did a targeted literature review of how well health and social systems are meeting the needs of children in LMICs using the framework of The Lancet Global Health Commission on high-quality health systems and we reviewed evidence for structural reforms in health and social sectors. We found that quality of services for children is substandard across both health and social systems. Health systems have deficits in care competence (eg, diagnosis and management), system competence (eg, timeliness, continuity, and referral), user experience (eg, respect and usability), service provision for common and serious conditions (eg, cancer, trauma, and mental health), and service offerings for adolescents. Education and social services for child health are limited by low funding and poor coordination with other sectors. Structural reforms are more likely to improve service quality substantially and at scale than are micro-level efforts. Promising approaches include governing for quality (eg, leadership, expert management, and learning systems), redesigning service delivery to maximise outcomes, and empowering families to better care for children and to demand quality care from health and social systems. Additional research is needed on health needs across the life course, health system performance for children and families, and large-scale evaluation of promising health and social programmes.


Subject(s)
Developing Countries , Health Promotion , Adolescent , Child , Humans , Mental Health , Poverty , Social Work
5.
Lancet ; 399(10336): 1741-1752, 2022 04 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1805366

ABSTRACT

The survival and nutrition of children and, to a lesser extent, adolescents have improved substantially in the past two decades. Improvements have been linked to the delivery of effective biomedical, behavioural, and environmental interventions; however, large disparities exist between and within countries. Using data from 95 national surveys in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs), we analyse how strongly the health, nutrition, and cognitive development of children and adolescents are related to early-life poverty. Additionally, using data from six large, long-running birth cohorts in LMICs, we show how early-life poverty can have a lasting effect on health and human capital throughout the life course. We emphasise the importance of implementing multisectoral anti-poverty policies and programmes to complement specific health and nutrition interventions delivered at an individual level, particularly at a time when COVID-19 continues to disrupt economic, health, and educational gains achieved in the recent past.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Developing Countries , Adolescent , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Humans , Poverty , Research
6.
PLoS One ; 17(2): e0261773, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1793545

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The COVID-19 pandemic and associated risk-mitigation strategies have altered the social contexts in which adolescents in low- and middle-income countries live. Little is known, however, about the impacts of the pandemic on displaced populations, and how those impacts differ by gender and life stage. We investigate the extent to which the pandemic has compounded pre-existing social inequalities among adolescents in Jordan, and the role support structures play in promoting resilience. METHODS: Our analysis leverages longitudinal quantitative survey data and in-depth qualitative interviews, collected before and after the onset of COVID-19, with over 3,000 Syrian refugees, stateless Palestinians and vulnerable Jordanians, living in camps, host communities and informal tented settlements. We utilize mixed-methods analysis combining multivariate regression with deductive qualitative tools to evaluate pandemic impacts and associated policy responses on adolescent wellbeing and mental health, at three and nine months after the pandemic onset. We also explore the role of support systems at individual, household, community, and policy levels. FINDINGS: We find the pandemic has resulted in severe economic and service disruptions with far-reaching and heterogenous effects on adolescent wellbeing. Nine months into the pandemic, 19.3% of adolescents in the sample presented with symptoms of moderate-to severe depression, with small signs of improvement (3.2 percentage points [pp], p<0.001). Two thirds of adolescents reported household stress had increased during the pandemic, especially for Syrian adolescents in host communities (10.7pp higher than any other group, p<0.001). Social connectedness was particularly low for girls, who were 13.4 percentage points (p<0.001) more likely than boys to have had no interaction with friends in the past 7 days. Adolescent programming shows signs of being protective, particularly for girls, who were 8.8 percentage points (p<0.01) more likely to have a trusted friend than their peers who were not participating in programming. CONCLUSIONS: Pre-existing social inequalities among refugee adolescents affected by forced displacement have been compounded during the COVID-19 pandemic, with related disruptions to services and social networks. To achieve Sustainable Development Goal targets to support healthy and empowered development in adolescence and early adulthood requires interventions that target the urgent needs of the most vulnerable adolescents while addressing population-level root causes and determinants of psychosocial wellbeing and resilience for all adolescent girls and boys.


Subject(s)
Adolescent Health/trends , COVID-19/psychology , Refugees/psychology , Adolescent , Child , Female , Humans , Jordan/epidemiology , Male , Mental Health , Pandemics , Psychology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Social Environment , Socioeconomic Factors , Young Adult
7.
PLoS Med ; 19(3): e1003924, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1759818

ABSTRACT

Zulfiqar A. Bhutta discusses prevention and treatment strategies for optimization of community-based management of severe acute malnutrition in children.


Subject(s)
Child Nutrition Disorders , Malnutrition , Severe Acute Malnutrition , Child , Child Nutrition Disorders/prevention & control , Humans , Infant , Malnutrition/prevention & control , Severe Acute Malnutrition/prevention & control
8.
Ann Nutr Metab ; : 1-11, 2022 Mar 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1745594

ABSTRACT

Undernutrition is still highly prevalent in developing countries and leads to a multitude of problems as it weakens the immune system, which leads to increased risk of infections and diet-related diseases. COVID-19 has worsened the existing situation and has resulted in unprecedented health, social, and economic disruptions across the world. Before COVID-19, about 54% children under 5 years were moderately or seriously malnourished, and after the COVID-19 pandemic, early estimates suggest that an additional 2.6 million children were stunted; 9.3 million were wasted, with an addition of 2.1 million maternal anemia cases; 168,000 child deaths; and USD 29.7 billion in productivity losses. This review is mainly focused on the health and nutrition sectors and highlights the impact of COVID-19 on malnutrition, food system and industry, and it also discusses the various measures implemented across the world to cater the burden of maternal and child malnutrition. Movement restrictions and lockdowns within and across the countries/borders have imposed an unprecedented stress and shock on the food supply chain, affecting harvest, food processing, supply, logistics, food demand, shortages, and cost. Many countries have implemented interventions such as cash transfers, food ration distribution, insurance plans, utility subsidy, and tax exemptions to assist the population to cope with the financial and health issues caused due to the outbreak. Other than these measures, evidence recommends some essential direct and indirect interventions which could help in reducing malnutrition during COVID-19. The COVID-19 pandemic has re-demonstrated the connection between food systems, nutrition, health, and prosperity and the need for a more holistic approach.

9.
SSRN; 2022.
Preprint in English | SSRN | ID: ppcovidwho-330021

ABSTRACT

Background: COVID-19 related disease morbidity and mortality has varied worldwide. We investigated antibody and T cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 in COVID-19 cases and exposed but healthy individuals further compared with pre-pandemic controls in a high infectious disease burden setting. Methods: IgG antibodies against Spike and Spike Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) were determined by ELISA in a Health Care cohort (HC;n=304), COVID-19 cases (n=163) and Pre-Pandemic Controls (PPC;n=114). Neutralizing antibody assays and T cell ELISpot assays were also conducted. Findings: IgG anti Spike proteins and RBD were present in all three groups albeit at varying levels. The highest rate of positivity was observed in COVID-19 cases (87.7% to Spike;53.9% to RBD);followed by HC (35% to Spike;21.3% to RBD) and PPC (12.2% to Spike;10.50% to RBD). Antibody positivity in HC rose from 4.5% in October 2020 to 61% in January 2021. Levels of IgG antibodies to Spike and RBD strongly correlated in COVID-19 and HC but not in PPC. IgG to RBD was associated with neutralizing activity against SARS-CoV-2. Spike reactive T cells were identified in COVID-19 patients (6/18), HC (2/7) and but only one PPC (1/6). Interpretation: IgG to Spike and RBD in pre-pandemic sera is likely associated with cross-protection induced by other pathogens. The increasing percentage of IgG antibody positivity in HCC over the pandemic period may be due to expansion of cross-reactive B cells as observed in PPC, due either to exposure or asymptomatic subclinical infection with SARS-CoV-2. Neutralizing activity of RBD IgG antibodies and reactive T cells to Spike in PPC suggests the presence of memory B and T cells to cross-reactive epitopes that can expand quickly, jumpstarting protection against SARS-CoV-2. Funding Information: This work was supported by the Provost’s Academic Priorities Fund, Aga Khan University. Funding support was also received through Swedish Research Council project SRL 4-182/2019. We acknowledge the support for recombinant protein provided by IBET, NOVA University, Portugal. MV was supported by the European Union H2020 ERA project (No 667824 – EXCELLtoINNOV). Declaration of Interests: The authors have no competing interests to declare. Ethics Approval Statement: This study was approved by the Ethical Review Committee of The Aga Khan University (projects #2020-5152-11688 and 2020-3687-10181).

13.
Lancet ; 398(10313): 1837-1850, 2021 11 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1510434

ABSTRACT

Type 1 diabetes is on the rise globally; however, the burden of mortality remains disproportionate in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs). As 2021 marks 100 years since the discovery of insulin, we revisit progress, global burden of type 1 diabetes trends, and understanding of the pathogenesis and management practices related to the disease. Despite much progress, inequities in access and availability of insulin formulations persist and are reflected in differences in survival and morbidity patterns related to the disease. Some of these inequities have also been exacerbated by health-system challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. There is a clear opportunity to improve access to insulin and related essential technologies for improved management of type 1 diabetes in LMICs, especially as a part of universal health coverage. These improvements will require concerted action and investments in human resources, community engagement, and education for the timely diagnosis and management of type 1 diabetes, as well as adequate health-care financing. Further research in LMICs, especially those in Africa, is needed to improve our understanding of the burden, risk factors, and implementation strategies for managing type 1 diabetes.


Subject(s)
Developing Countries , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1/epidemiology , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1/pathology , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1/therapy , Global Burden of Disease/trends , Hypoglycemic Agents/therapeutic use , Insulin/therapeutic use , Adolescent , Child , Child, Preschool , Disease Management , History, 20th Century , History, 21st Century , Humans , Hypoglycemic Agents/economics , Hypoglycemic Agents/history , Insulin/economics , Insulin/history , Life Expectancy , Universal Health Insurance
14.
Wellcome Open Res ; 6: 21, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1497928

ABSTRACT

Preterm birth is the leading cause of infant death worldwide, but the causes of preterm birth are largely unknown. During the early COVID-19 lockdowns, dramatic reductions in preterm birth were reported; however, these trends may be offset by increases in stillbirth rates. It is important to study these trends globally as the pandemic continues, and to understand the underlying cause(s). Lockdowns have dramatically impacted maternal workload, access to healthcare, hygiene practices, and air pollution - all of which could impact perinatal outcomes and might affect pregnant women differently in different regions of the world. In the international Perinatal Outcomes in the Pandemic (iPOP) Study, we will seize the unique opportunity offered by the COVID-19 pandemic to answer urgent questions about perinatal health. In the first two study phases, we will use population-based aggregate data and standardized outcome definitions to: 1) Determine rates of preterm birth, low birth weight, and stillbirth and describe changes during lockdowns; and assess if these changes are consistent globally, or differ by region and income setting, 2) Determine if the magnitude of changes in adverse perinatal outcomes during lockdown are modified by regional differences in COVID-19 infection rates, lockdown stringency, adherence to lockdown measures, air quality, or other social and economic markers, obtained from publicly available datasets. We will undertake an interrupted time series analysis covering births from January 2015 through July 2020. The iPOP Study will involve at least 121 researchers in 37 countries, including obstetricians, neonatologists, epidemiologists, public health researchers, environmental scientists, and policymakers. We will leverage the most disruptive and widespread "natural experiment" of our lifetime to make rapid discoveries about preterm birth. Whether the COVID-19 pandemic is worsening or unexpectedly improving perinatal outcomes, our research will provide critical new information to shape prenatal care strategies throughout (and well beyond) the pandemic.

16.
Nature ; 597(7878): 595, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1450272
18.
East Mediterr Health J ; 27(8): 798-805, 2021 Aug 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1395698

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has affected the world in an unprecedented manner and South Asian countries were among the first to experience imported cases. Pakistan's response to COVID-19 has been under scrutiny for its granularity, reach and impact. AIMS: to evaluate objectively the chronology and depth of the response to COVID-19 in Pakistan. METHODS: We evaluated available national and subnational epidemiological and burden information on COVID-19 cases and deaths in Pakistan, including projection models available to the Government at an early stage of the pandemic. RESULTS: Pakistan, with a population of 215 million and considerable geographic diversity, experienced case introduction from pilgrims returning from the Islamic Republic of Iran, followed by widespread community transmission. The National Command and Operations Centre, established through civilian and military partnership, was critical in fast tracking logistics, information gathering, real-time reporting and smart lockdowns, coupled with a massive cash support programme targeting the poorest sections of society. Cases peaked in June 2020 but the health system was able to cope with the excess workload. Since then, although testing rates remain low (> 300 000 cases confirmed to date), case fatality rates have stabilized, and with 6300 deaths, Pakistan seems to have flattened the COVID-19 curve. CONCLUSION: Despite notable successes in controlling the pandemic, several weaknesses remain and there are risks of rebound as the economy and educational systems reopen. There is continued need for strong technical and programmatic oversight, linked to civic society engagement and working with religious scholars to ensure nonpharmacological intervention compliance.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communicable Disease Control , Public Policy , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Pakistan/epidemiology
19.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(17)2021 09 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1390645

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the global imperative to address health inequities. Observational studies are a valuable source of evidence for real-world effects and impacts of implementing COVID-19 policies on the redistribution of inequities. We assembled a diverse global multi-disciplinary team to develop interim guidance for improving transparency in reporting health equity in COVID-19 observational studies. We identified 14 areas in the STROBE (Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology) checklist that need additional detail to encourage transparent reporting of health equity. We searched for examples of COVID-19 observational studies that analysed and reported health equity analysis across one or more social determinants of health. We engaged with Indigenous stakeholders and others groups experiencing health inequities to co-produce this guidance and to bring an intersectional lens. Taking health equity and social determinants of health into account contributes to the clinical and epidemiological understanding of the disease, identifying specific needs and supporting decision-making processes. Stakeholders are encouraged to consider using this guidance on observational research to help provide evidence to close the inequitable gaps in health outcomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Equity , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Justice
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