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BMJ Glob Health ; 8(3)2023 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2264222


The functionality and performance of public health programmes at all levels of government play a critical role in preventing, detecting, mitigating and responding to public health threats, including infectious disease outbreaks. Multiple and concurrent outbreaks in recent years, such as COVID-19, Ebola and Zika, have highlighted the importance of documenting lessons learnt from public health responses of national and global agencies. In February 2020, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Center for Global Health (CGH) activated the Measles Incident Management System (MIMS) to accelerate the ability to detect, mitigate and respond to measles outbreaks globally and advance progress towards regional measles elimination goals. The activation was triggered by a global resurgence in reported measles cases during 2018-2019 and supported emergency response activities conducted by partner organisations and countries. MIMS leadership decided early in the response to form an evaluation team to design and implement an evaluation approach for producing real-time data to document progress of response activities and inform timely decision-making. In this manuscript, we describe how establishing an evaluation unit within MIMS, and engaging MIMS leadership and subject matter experts in the evaluation activities, was critical to monitor progress and document lessons learnt to inform decision making. We also explain the CDC's Framework for Evaluation in Public Health Practice applied to evaluate the dynamic events throughout the MIMS response. Evaluators supporting emergency response should use a flexible framework that can be adaptable in dynamic contexts and document response activities in real-time.

COVID-19 , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola , Measles , Zika Virus Infection , Zika Virus , United States/epidemiology , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/epidemiology , Measles/epidemiology , Measles/prevention & control , Zika Virus Infection/epidemiology , Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 28(13): S203-S207, 2022 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2162896


Global emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 curtailed vaccine-preventable disease (VPD) surveillance activities, but little is known about which surveillance components were most affected. In May 2021, we surveyed 214 STOP (originally Stop Transmission of Polio) Program consultants to determine how VPD surveillance activities were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic throughout 2020, primarily in low- and middle-income countries, where program consultants are deployed. Our report highlights the responses from 154 (96%) of the 160 consultants deployed to the World Health Organization African Region, which comprises 75% (160/214) of all STOP Program consultants deployed globally in early 2021. Most survey respondents observed that VPD surveillance activities were somewhat or severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Reprioritization of surveillance staff and changes in health-seeking behaviors were factors commonly perceived to decrease VPD surveillance activities. Our findings suggest the need for strategies to restore VPD surveillance to prepandemic levels.

COVID-19 , Poliomyelitis , Vaccine-Preventable Diseases , Humans , Vaccine-Preventable Diseases/epidemiology , Vaccine-Preventable Diseases/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Poliomyelitis/epidemiology , World Health Organization
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 69(49): 1868-1872, 2020 Dec 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389861


The Head Start program, including Head Start for children aged 3-5 years and Early Head Start for infants, toddlers, and pregnant women, promotes early learning and healthy development among children aged 0-5 years whose families meet the annually adjusted Federal Poverty Guidelines* throughout the United States.† These programs are funded by grants administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families (ACF). In March 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act,§ which appropriated $750 million for Head Start, equating to approximately $875 in CARES Act funds per enrolled child. In response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, most states required all schools (K-12) to close or transition to virtual learning. The Office of Head Start gave its local programs that remained open the flexibility to use CARES Act funds to implement CDC-recommended guidance (1) and other ancillary measures to provide in-person services in the early phases of community transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in April and May 2020, when many similar programs remained closed. Guidance included information on masks, other personal protective equipment, physical setup, supplies necessary for maintaining healthy environments and operations, and the need for additional staff members to ensure small class sizes. Head Start programs successfully implemented CDC-recommended mitigation strategies and supported other practices that helped to prevent SARS-CoV-2 transmission among children and staff members. CDC conducted a mixed-methods analysis to document these approaches and inform implementation of mitigation strategies in other child care settings. Implementing and monitoring adherence to recommended mitigation strategies reduces risk for COVID-19 transmission in child care settings. These approaches could be applied to other early care and education settings that remain open for in-person learning and potentially reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission.

COVID-19/prevention & control , Child Day Care Centers/organization & administration , Schools, Nursery/organization & administration , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. , Child, Preschool , Guidelines as Topic , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , United States/epidemiology