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1.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 28(10): 2016-2026, 2022 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2103284

ABSTRACT

Data on social contact patterns are widely used to parameterize age-mixing matrices in mathematical models of infectious diseases. Most studies focus on close contacts only (i.e., persons spoken with face-to-face). This focus may be appropriate for studies of droplet and short-range aerosol transmission but neglects casual or shared air contacts, who may be at risk from airborne transmission. Using data from 2 provinces in South Africa, we estimated age mixing patterns relevant for droplet transmission, nonsaturating airborne transmission, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis transmission, an airborne infection where saturation of household contacts occurs. Estimated contact patterns by age did not vary greatly between the infection types, indicating that widespread use of close contact data may not be resulting in major inaccuracies. However, contact in persons >50 years of age was lower when we considered casual contacts, and therefore the contribution of older age groups to airborne transmission may be overestimated.


Subject(s)
Mycobacterium tuberculosis , Respiratory Aerosols and Droplets , Aerosols , Models, Theoretical , South Africa/epidemiology
2.
Lancet Glob Health ; 9(7): e967-e976, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1271838

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There has been remarkable progress in the treatment of HIV throughout sub-Saharan Africa, but there are few data on the prevalence and overlap of other significant causes of disease in HIV endemic populations. Our aim was to identify the prevalence and overlap of infectious and non-communicable diseases in such a population in rural South Africa. METHODS: We did a cross-sectional study of eligible adolescents and adults from the Africa Health Research Institute demographic surveillance area in the uMkhanyakude district of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The participants, who were 15 years or older, were invited to participate at a mobile health camp. Medical history for HIV, tuberculosis, hypertension, and diabetes was established through a questionnaire. Blood pressure measurements, chest x-rays, and tests of blood and sputum were taken to estimate the population prevalence and geospatial distribution of HIV, active and lifetime tuberculosis, elevated blood glucose, elevated blood pressure, and combinations of these. FINDINGS: 17 118 adolescents and adults were recruited from May 25, 2018, to Nov 28, 2019, and assessed. Overall, 52·1% (95% CI 51·3-52·9) had at least one active disease. 34·2% (33·5-34·9) had HIV, 1·4% (1·2-1·6) had active tuberculosis, 21·8% (21·2-22·4) had lifetime tuberculosis, 8·5% (8·1-8·9) had elevated blood glucose, and 23·0% (22·4-23·6) had elevated blood pressure. Appropriate treatment and optimal disease control was highest for HIV (78·1%), and lower for elevated blood pressure (42·5%), active tuberculosis (29·6%), and elevated blood glucose (7·1%). Disease prevalence differed notably by sex, across age groups, and geospatially: men had a higher prevalence of active and lifetime tuberculosis, whereas women had a substantially high prevalence of HIV at 30-49 years and an increasing prevalence of multiple and poorly controlled non-communicable diseases when older than 50 years. INTERPRETATION: We found a convergence of infectious and non-communicable disease epidemics in a rural South African population, with HIV well treated relative to all other diseases, but tuberculosis, elevated blood glucose, and elevated blood pressure poorly diagnosed and treated. A public health response that expands the successes of the HIV testing and treatment programme to provide multidisease care targeted to specific populations is required to optimise health in such settings in sub-Saharan Africa. FUNDING: Wellcome Trust, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the South African Department of Science and Innovation, South African Medical Research Council, and South African Population Research Infrastructure Network. TRANSLATION: For the isiZulu translation of the abstract see Supplementary Materials section.


Subject(s)
Diabetes Mellitus/epidemiology , Epidemics , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Hypertension/epidemiology , Rural Health/statistics & numerical data , Tuberculosis/epidemiology , Adolescent , Adult , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Multimorbidity , Prevalence , South Africa/epidemiology
3.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 7(5): e26073, 2021 05 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1249617

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In March 2020, South Africa implemented strict nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to contain the spread of COVID-19. Over the subsequent 5 months, NPI policies were eased in stages according to a national strategy. COVID-19 spread throughout the country heterogeneously; the disease reached rural areas by July and case numbers peaked from July to August. A second COVID-19 wave began in late 2020. Data on the impact of NPI policies on social and economic well-being and access to health care are limited. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to determine how rural residents in three South African provinces changed their behaviors during the first COVID-19 epidemic wave. METHODS: The South African Population Research Infrastructure Network nodes in the Mpumalanga (Agincourt), KwaZulu-Natal, (Africa Health Research Institute) and Limpopo (Dikgale-Mamabolo-Mothiba) provinces conducted up to 14 rounds of longitudinal telephone surveys among randomly sampled households from rural and periurban surveillance populations every 2-3 weeks. Interviews included questions on the following topics: COVID-19-related knowledge and behaviors, the health and economic impacts of NPIs, and mental health. We analyzed how responses varied based on NPI stringency and household sociodemographics. RESULTS: In total, 5120 households completed 23,095 interviews between April and December 2020. Respondents' self-reported satisfaction with their COVID-19-related knowledge and face mask use rapidly rose to 85% and 95%, respectively, by August. As selected NPIs were eased, the amount of travel increased, economic losses were reduced, and the prevalence of anxiety and depression symptoms fell. When the number of COVID-19 cases spiked at one node in July, the amount of travel dropped rapidly and the rate of missed daily medications doubled. Households where more adults received government-funded old-age pensions reported concerns about economic matters and medication access less often. CONCLUSIONS: South Africans complied with stringent, COVID-19-related NPIs despite the threat of substantial social, economic, and health repercussions. Government-supported social welfare programs appeared to buffer interruptions in income and health care access during local outbreaks. Epidemic control policies must be balanced against the broader well-being of people in resource-limited settings and designed with parallel support systems when such policies threaten peoples' income and access to basic services.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Epidemics/prevention & control , Health Behavior , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Income/statistics & numerical data , Public Policy , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Prospective Studies , Rural Population/statistics & numerical data , South Africa/epidemiology , Surveys and Questionnaires
4.
BMJ Open ; 11(3): e047961, 2021 03 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1143052

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To assess the effect of lockdown during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic on daily all-cause admissions, and by age and diagnosis subgroups, and the odds of all-cause mortality in a hospital in rural KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). DESIGN: Observational cohort. SETTING: Referral hospital for 17 primary care clinics in uMkhanyakude District. PARTICIPANTS: Data collected by the Africa Health Research Institute on all admissions from 1 January to 20 October: 5848 patients contributed to 6173 admissions. EXPOSURE: Five levels of national lockdown in South Africa from 27 March 2020, with restrictions decreasing from levels 5 to 1, respectively. OUTCOME MEASURES: Changes and trends in daily all-cause admissions and risk of in-hospital mortality before and at each stage of lockdown, estimated by Poisson and logistic interrupted time series regression, with stratification for age, sex and diagnosis. RESULTS: Daily admissions decreased during level 5 lockdown for infants (incidence rate ratio (IRR) compared with prelockdown 0.63, 95% CI 0.44 to 0.90), children aged 1-5 years old (IRR 0.43, 95% CI 028 to 0.65) and respiratory diagnoses (IRR 0.57, 95% CI 0.36 to 0.90). From level 4 to level 3, total admissions increased (IRR 1.17, 95% CI 1.06 to 1.28), as well as for men >19 years (IRR 1.50, 95% CI 1.17 to 1.92) and respiratory diagnoses (IRR 4.26, 95% CI 2.36 to 7.70). Among patients admitted to hospital, the odds of death decreased during level 5 compared with prelockdown (adjusted OR 0.48, 95% CI 0.28 to 0.83) and then increased in later stages. CONCLUSIONS: Level 5 lockdown is likely to have prevented the most vulnerable population, children under 5 years and those more severely ill from accessing hospital care in rural KZN, as reflected by the drop in admissions and odds of mortality. Subsequent increases in admissions and in odds of death in the hospital could be due to improved and delayed access to hospital as restrictions were eased.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hospital Mortality/trends , Hospitalization/trends , Pandemics , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Child , Child, Preschool , Communicable Disease Control , Female , Hospitals , Humans , Infant , Interrupted Time Series Analysis , Male , Middle Aged , South Africa/epidemiology , Young Adult
5.
Wellcome Open Res ; 5: 109, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1027389

ABSTRACT

A coordinated system of disease surveillance will be critical to effectively control the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic. Such systems enable rapid detection and mapping of epidemics and inform allocation of scarce prevention and intervention resources. Although many lower- and middle-income settings lack infrastructure for optimal disease surveillance, health and demographic surveillance systems (HDSS) provide a unique opportunity for epidemic monitoring. This protocol describes a surveillance program at the Africa Health Research Institute's Population Intervention Platform site in northern KwaZulu-Natal. The program leverages a longstanding HDSS in a rural, resource-limited setting with very high prevalence of HIV and tuberculosis to perform Covid-19 surveillance. Our primary aims include: describing the epidemiology of the Covid-19 epidemic in rural KwaZulu-Natal; determining the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak and non-pharmaceutical control interventions (NPI) on behaviour and wellbeing; determining the impact of HIV and tuberculosis on Covid-19 susceptibility; and using collected data to support the local public-sector health response. The program involves telephone-based interviews with over 20,000 households every four months, plus a sub-study calling 750 households every two weeks. Each call asks a household representative how the epidemic and NPI are affecting the household and conducts a Covid-19 risk screen for all resident members. Any individuals screening positive are invited to a clinical screen, potential test and referral to necessary care - conducted in-person near their home following careful risk minimization procedures. In this protocol we report the details of our cohort design, questionnaires, data and reporting structures, and standard operating procedures in hopes that our project can inform similar efforts elsewhere.

6.
BMJ Open ; 10(10): e043763, 2020 10 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-835490

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: We evaluated whether implementation of lockdown orders in South Africa affected ambulatory clinic visitation in rural Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN). DESIGN: Observational cohort SETTING: Data were analysed from 11 primary healthcare clinics in northern KZN. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 46 523 individuals made 89 476 clinic visits during the observation period. EXPOSURE OF INTEREST: We conducted an interrupted time series analysis to estimate changes in clinic visitation with a focus on transitions from the prelockdown to the level 5, 4 and 3 lockdown periods. OUTCOME MEASURES: Daily clinic visitation at ambulatory clinics. In stratified analyses, we assessed visitation for the following subcategories: child health, perinatal care and family planning, HIV services, non-communicable diseases and by age and sex strata. RESULTS: We found no change in total clinic visits/clinic/day at the time of implementation of the level 5 lockdown (change from 90.3 to 84.6 mean visits/clinic/day, 95% CI -16.5 to 3.1), or at the transitions to less stringent level 4 and 3 lockdown levels. We did detect a >50% reduction in child healthcare visits at the start of the level 5 lockdown from 11.9 to 4.7 visits/day (-7.1 visits/clinic/day, 95% CI -8.9 to 5.3), both for children aged <1 year and 1-5 years, with a gradual return to prelockdown within 3 months after the first lockdown measure. In contrast, we found no drop in clinic visitation in adults at the start of the level 5 lockdown, or related to HIV care (from 37.5 to 45.6, 8.0 visits/clinic/day, 95% CI 2.1 to 13.8). CONCLUSIONS: In rural KZN, we identified a significant, although temporary, reduction in child healthcare visitation but general resilience of adult ambulatory care provision during the first 4 months of the lockdown. Future work should explore the impacts of the circulating epidemic on primary care provision and long-term impacts of reduced child visitation on outcomes in the region.


Subject(s)
Ambulatory Care/statistics & numerical data , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Health Services Accessibility/trends , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Primary Health Care , Public Health , Adult , Age Factors , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Family Planning Services/statistics & numerical data , Female , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Pediatrics/statistics & numerical data , Primary Health Care/methods , Primary Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Public Health/methods , Public Health/statistics & numerical data , Rural Population , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Wellcome Open Res ; 5:109-109, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-721642

ABSTRACT

A coordinated system of disease surveillance will be critical to effectively control the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic. Such systems enable rapid detection and mapping of epidemics and inform allocation of scarce prevention and intervention resources. Although many lower- and middle-income settings lack infrastructure for optimal disease surveillance, health and demographic surveillance systems (HDSS) provide a unique opportunity for epidemic monitoring. This protocol describes a surveillance program at the Africa Health Research Institute's Population Intervention Platform site in northern KwaZulu-Natal. The program leverages a longstanding HDSS in a rural, resource-limited setting with very high prevalence of HIV and tuberculosis to perform Covid-19 surveillance. Our primary aims include: describing the epidemiology of the Covid-19 epidemic in rural KwaZulu-Natal;determining the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak and non-pharmaceutical control interventions (NPI) on behaviour and wellbeing;determining the impact of HIV and tuberculosis on Covid-19 susceptibility;and using collected data to support the local public-sector health response. The program involves telephone-based interviews with over 20,000 households every four months, plus a sub-study calling 750 households every two weeks. Each call asks a household representative how the epidemic and NPI are affecting the household and conducts a Covid-19 risk screen for all resident members. Any individuals screening positive are invited to a clinical screen, potential test and referral to necessary care - conducted in-person near their home following careful risk minimization procedures. In this protocol we report the details of our cohort design, questionnaires, data and reporting structures, and standard operating procedures in hopes that our project can inform similar efforts elsewhere.

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