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BMJ ; 380: 392, 2023 02 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2252263
Lancet Infect Dis ; 23(5): e185-e189, 2023 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2165975


Recurrent disease outbreaks caused by a range of emerging and resurging pathogens over the past decade reveal major gaps in public health preparedness, detection, and response systems in Africa. Underlying causes of recurrent disease outbreaks include inadequacies in the detection of new infectious disease outbreaks in the community, in rapid pathogen identification, and in proactive surveillance systems. In sub-Saharan Africa, where 70% of zoonotic outbreaks occur, there remains the perennial risk of outbreaks of new or re-emerging pathogens for which no vaccines or treatments are available. As the Ebola virus disease, COVID-19, and mpox (formerly known as monkeypox) outbreaks highlight, a major paradigm shift is required to establish an effective infrastructure and common frameworks for preparedness and to prompt national and regional public health responses to mitigate the effects of future pandemics in Africa.

COVID-19 , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Public Health , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/epidemiology , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/prevention & control , Africa South of the Sahara
BMJ ; 379: o2999, 2022 12 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2161839

Forecasting , Humans , Africa
Glob Health Sci Pract ; 10(Suppl 1)2022 09 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2145172
Am J Trop Med Hyg ; 2022 Nov 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2119370


COVID-19 underscores the need to reimagine North-South partnerships and redefine best practices for building public health and research capacity to address emergent health threats and pandemic preparedness in low- and-middle income countries (LMICs). Historically, outbreak and emergency responses have failed to ensure that the Global South has the autonomy and capacity to respond to public health threats in a timely and equitable manner. The COVID-19 response, however, has demonstrated that innovations and solutions in the Global South can not only fill resource and capacity gaps in LMICs but can also provide solutions to challenges globally. These innovations offer valuable lessons about strengthening local manufacturing capacity to produce essential diagnostic, treatment, and prevention tools; implementing high-quality research studies; expanding laboratory and research capacity; and promoting effective cooperation and governance. We discuss specific examples of capacity-building from Rwanda, South Africa, and Senegal. To fulfill promises made to the Global South during the COVID-19 pandemic, restore and resume health service delivery, and effectively prevent and respond to the next health threat, we need to prioritize equitable access to local manufacturing of basic health tools while building health systems capacities in the Global South.

Nature ; 611(7935): 332-345, 2022 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2106424


Despite notable scientific and medical advances, broader political, socioeconomic and behavioural factors continue to undercut the response to the COVID-19 pandemic1,2. Here we convened, as part of this Delphi study, a diverse, multidisciplinary panel of 386 academic, health, non-governmental organization, government and other experts in COVID-19 response from 112 countries and territories to recommend specific actions to end this persistent global threat to public health. The panel developed a set of 41 consensus statements and 57 recommendations to governments, health systems, industry and other key stakeholders across six domains: communication; health systems; vaccination; prevention; treatment and care; and inequities. In the wake of nearly three years of fragmented global and national responses, it is instructive to note that three of the highest-ranked recommendations call for the adoption of whole-of-society and whole-of-government approaches1, while maintaining proven prevention measures using a vaccines-plus approach2 that employs a range of public health and financial support measures to complement vaccination. Other recommendations with at least 99% combined agreement advise governments and other stakeholders to improve communication, rebuild public trust and engage communities3 in the management of pandemic responses. The findings of the study, which have been further endorsed by 184 organizations globally, include points of unanimous agreement, as well as six recommendations with >5% disagreement, that provide health and social policy actions to address inadequacies in the pandemic response and help to bring this public health threat to an end.

COVID-19 , Delphi Technique , International Cooperation , Public Health , Humans , COVID-19/economics , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Government , Pandemics/economics , Pandemics/prevention & control , Public Health/economics , Public Health/methods , Organizations , COVID-19 Vaccines , Communication , Health Education , Health Policy , Public Opinion
Glob Health Action ; 15(1): 2104319, 2022 12 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1991953


BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has had disproportionate impacts across race, social class, and geography. Insufficient attention has been paid to addressing the massive inequities worsened by COVID-19. In July 2020, Partners In Health (PIH) and the University of Global Health Equity (UGHE) delivered a four-module short course, 'An Equity Approach to Pandemic Preparedness and Response: Emerging Insights from COVID-19 Global Response Leaders.' OBJECTIVE: We describe the design and use of a case-based, short-course education model to transfer knowledge and skills in equity approaches to pandemic preparedness and response. METHODS: This course used case studies of Massachusetts and Navajo Nation in the US, and Rwanda to highlight examples of equity-centered pandemic response. Course participants completed a post-session assessment survey after each of the four modules. A mixed-method analysis was conducted to elucidate knowledge acquisition on key topics and assess participants' experience and satisfaction with the course. RESULTS: Forty-four percent of participants identified, 'Immediate need for skills and information to address COVID-19' as their primary reason for attending the course. Participants reported that they are very likely (4.75 out of 5) to use the information, tools, or skills from the course in their work. The average score for content-related questions answered correctly was 82-88% for each session. Participants (~70-90%) said their understanding was Excellent or Very Good for each session. Participants expressed a deepened understanding of the importance of prioritizing vulnerable communities and built global solidarity. CONCLUSION: The training contributed to a new level of understanding of the social determinants of health and equity issues surrounding pandemic preparedness and response. This course elucidated the intersection of racism and wealth inequality; the role of the social determinants of health in pandemic preparedness and response; and the impacts of neocolonialism on pandemic response in low- and middle-income countries.

COVID-19 , Health Equity , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Learning , Pandemics/prevention & control , Surveys and Questionnaires
Nat Microbiol ; 7(3): 361-362, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1758242

Disease Outbreaks
BMJ Glob Health ; 6(12)2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1597863


Despite the exponential growth of global health partnerships (GHPs) over the past 20 years, evidence for their effectiveness remains limited. Furthermore, many partnerships are dysfunctional as a result of inequitable partnership benefits, low trust and accountability and poor evaluation and quality improvement practices. In this article, we describe a theoretical model for partnerships developed by seven global health experts. Through semistructured interviews and an open-coding approach to data analysis, we identify 12 GHP pillars spanning across three interconnected partnership levels and inspired by Maslow's hierarchy of needs. The transactional pillars are governance, resources and expertise, power management, transparency and accountability, data and evidence and respect and curiosity. The collaborative pillars (which build on the transactional pillars) are shared vision, relationship building, deep understanding and trust. The transformational pillars (which build on the collaborative pillars and allow partnerships to achieve their full potential) are equity and sustainability. The theoretical model described in this article is complemented by real-life examples, which outline both the cost incurred when GHPs fail to live up to these pillars and the benefits gained when GHPs uphold them. We also provide lessons learnt and best practices that GHPs should adopt to further increase their strength and improve their effectiveness in the future. To continue improving health outcomes and reducing health inequities globally, we need GHPs that are transformational, not just rhetorically but de facto. These actualised partnerships should serve as a catalyst for the greater societal good and not simply as a platform to accrue and exchange organisational benefits.

Global Health , Trust , Humans
Lancet Glob Health ; 10(1): e142-e147, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575199


There is increasing evidence that elimination strategies have resulted in better outcomes for public health, the economy, and civil liberties than have mitigation strategies throughout the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. With vaccines that offer high protection against severe forms of COVID-19, and increasing vaccination coverage, policy makers have had to reassess the trade-offs between different options. The desirability and feasibility of eliminating SARS-CoV-2 compared with other strategies should also be re-evaluated from the perspective of different fields, including epidemiology, public health, and economics. To end the pandemic as soon as possible-be it through elimination or reaching an acceptable endemic level-several key topics have emerged centring around coordination, both locally and internationally, and vaccine distribution. Without coordination it is difficult if not impossible to sustain elimination, which is particularly relevant in highly connected regions, such as Europe. Regarding vaccination, concerns remain with respect to equitable distribution, and the risk of the emergence of new variants of concern. Looking forward, it is crucial to overcome the dichotomy between elimination and mitigation, and to jointly define a long-term objective that can accommodate different political and societal realities.

COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/epidemiology , Disease Eradication/methods , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
BMJ Glob Health ; 6(8)2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1356936

COVID-19 , Pandemics , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
Ann Glob Health ; 87(1): 57, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1305870


Globally, 10-20% of children and adolescents experience mental health conditions, but most of them do not receive the appropriate care when it is needed. The COVID-19 deaths and prevention measures, such as the lockdowns, economic downturns, and school closures, have affected many communities physically, mentally, and economically and significantly impacted the already-neglected children and adolescents' mental health. As a result, evidence has shown that many children and adolescents are experiencing psychological effects such as depression and anxiety without adequate support. The consequences of not addressing the mental health conditions in children and adolescents extend through adulthood and restrict them from reaching their full potential. The effects of COVID-19 on children and adolescents' mental health highlight the urgent need for multisectoral home-grown solutions to provide early diagnosis and treatment and educate caregivers on home-based interventions and community outreach initiatives to address children and adolescents' mental health challenges during this pandemic and beyond.

COVID-19 , Community Mental Health Services , Early Medical Intervention/organization & administration , Mental Disorders , Quarantine/psychology , Adolescent , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Child , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Community Mental Health Services/methods , Community Mental Health Services/trends , Education, Distance , Global Health , Health Services Needs and Demand , Humans , Intersectoral Collaboration , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Mental Disorders/therapy , Mental Health/trends , Psychosocial Deprivation , Rwanda/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
Ann Glob Health ; 87(1): 42, 2021 04 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1225916


The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed critical inequities in global healthcare supply chains and the need for these systems to be analyzed and reoriented with an equity lens. Implementation research methodology can guide the use of evidence-based interventions to re-orient health supply chains towards equity and optimize health outcomes. Using this approach, private and public sector entities can adapt their strategies to focus not just on efficiency and cost savings but ensuring that vulnerable populations have access to essential medications, vaccines, and supplies. Findings can inform regulations that address supply chain inequities at the global level, strengthen existing systems to fill structural gaps at the national level, and address contextual challenges at the subnational level. This methodology can help account for historical practices from prior health initiatives, identify contemporary barriers and facilitators for positive change, and have applicability to the Covid-19 pandemic and ongoing vaccine distribution efforts. An implementation research approach is critical in equipping health supply chains with a path for more resilient and equitable distribution of necessary supplies, vaccines, and delivery of care.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Equipment and Supplies/supply & distribution , Health Equity , Implementation Science , Manufacturing and Industrial Facilities/supply & distribution , COVID-19/economics , Commerce/economics , Equipment and Supplies/economics , Humans , Manufacturing and Industrial Facilities/economics , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Vulnerable Populations
Int J Health Policy Manag ; 11(2): 100-102, 2022 Feb 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1217219


The rapid development of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines has not been met with the assurance of an effective and equitable global distribution mechanism. Low-income countries are especially at-risk, with the price of the vaccines and supply shortages limiting their ability to procure and distribute the vaccines. While the COVAX initiative is one of the solutions to these challenges, vaccine nationalism has resulted in the hoarding of vaccines and the signing of parallel bilateral deals, undermining this formerly promising initiative. Moreover, inequity in local distribution also remains a problem, with clear discrimination of minorities and lack of logistical preparation in some countries. As we continue to distribute the COVID-19 vaccines, pharmaceutical companies should share their technology to increase supply and reduce prices, governments should prioritize equitable distribution to the most at-risk in all nations and low-income countries should bolster their logistical capacity in preparation for mass vaccination campaigns.

COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , COVID-19/prevention & control , Global Health , Humans , Moral Obligations , SARS-CoV-2