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1.
Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal ; 28(7):465-468, 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1980169

ABSTRACT

Monkeypox (MPX) is a viral zoonotic disease that is endemic in some countries of Central and Western Africa. Since 1 January 2022, cases of MPX have been reported to WHO by 74 Member States across all 6 WHO regions. Due to this unforeseen widespread of MPX, WHO declared on 23 July 2022 that the global MPX outbreak represents a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) (2), signaling a stronger global response to MPX outbreak, which has spread to over 70 countries in just a few weeks. Since 13 May 2022, a higher proportion of MPX cases has been reported by countries that previously had no documented monkeypox transmission. Most reported MPX cases, so far, have been identified while providing sexual health or other health care services in primary or secondary facilities and have involved mainly, but not exclusively, Men who have Sex with Men (MSM) (1,3,4). [...]WHO has made a set of temporary recommendations for 4 different groups of States Parties, based on their epidemiological situation, patterns of transmission, and capacities (2).

2.
East Mediterr Health J ; 28(6): 395-396, 2022 Jun 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1924929

ABSTRACT

Globalization, integration, digitization, and engagement have become commonly used terminologies reflecting the strategic and forward-looking nature of public health in the 21st Century, as public health programmes aim to make impact globally while acting locally.The World Health Organization (WHO) Constitution had laid the foundation 75 years ago in a visionary way of the important functions of the Organisation, the scope of support to countries, and the potential role country offices should play. Member States are at the centre of WHO's work across the globe, and technical assistance to them is channeled primarily through country offices, which attempt to foster decentralization of WHO's work across the globe and provide avenues to consult directly with in-country stakeholders and agree on priority health needs.


Subject(s)
Health Priorities , Public Health , Humans , Qatar , World Health Organization
3.
BMJ Glob Health ; 7(Suppl 4)2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1909726

ABSTRACT

The WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) is characterised by a large range in routine immunisation coverage. We reviewed progress in access, deployment efforts, and use of COVID-19 vaccines in the EMR to identify bottlenecks and propose recommendations. We compiled and analysed data reported to WHO regarding the number of vaccines provided emergency use authorisation (EUA) in each country, the number of vaccine doses allocated and delivered by COVAX, the number of vaccine doses received bilaterally, the date of initiation of vaccination, vaccine usage rate and overall vaccination coverage. In June-July and October-November 2021, we conducted two rounds of a regional survey to assess vaccine acceptance and calculated the weighted proportion of individuals who would get vaccinated once a vaccine is available and recommended. We stratified the analysis according to four groups based on their participation status in COVAX, from the highest to lowest income, that is, (1) fully self-financing high-income countries (group 1), (2) fully self-financing upper middle-income countries (group 2), (3) Advance Market Commitment (AMC) countries not eligible to receive Gavi support (group 3) and (4) AMC countries eligible for Gavi support (group 4). As of 31 December 2021, the median number of vaccines provided with EUA was 6 for group 1, 11 for group 2, 8 for group 3 and 9 for group 4. On the same date, COVAX had delivered 179 793 310 doses to EMR countries. Vaccination started on 10 December 2020 in group 1, on 13 December 2020 in group 2, on 30 December 2020 in group 3 and on 20 January 2021 in group 4. The regional acceptance survey (first round) pointed to higher vaccine acceptance in group 1 (96%), than in others, including group 2 (73.9%), group 3 (78.8%) and group 4 (79.3%), with identical patterns in the second round (98%, 78%, 84% and 76%), respectively. Usage of vaccine allocated by COVAX to participating countries was 89% in group 1, 75% in group 2, 78% in group 3 and 42% in group 4. The full dose and partial dose coverage decreased with the income groups of countries, from 70% and 6% in group 1, to 43% and 8% in group 2, to 33% and 11% in group 3, and 20% and 8% in group 4. All 22 EMR countries introduced COVID-19 vaccines by 21 April 2021, but with major inequities in coverage. Additional efforts are needed to address the determinants of unequal vaccine coverage at all stages of the result chain to improve vaccine equity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Immunization Programs , World Health Organization
4.
East Mediterr Health J ; 28(3): 173-174, 2022 Mar 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1812015

ABSTRACT

The World Health Organization has noted the important synergies between health and peace since its very inception, both in its foundational document and in its work globally. The WHO Constitution remarks that the "health of all peoples is fundamental to the attainment of peace and security and is dependent on the fullest co-operation of individuals and States". In addition, peace is noted as being one of the fundamental conditions to promote health in the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion in 1986. The Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) has been contending with the challenges borne of conflict and insecurity for decades. Currently, nine out of the 22 countries and territories in the Eastern Mediterranean Region are represented in the World Bank's List of Fragile and Conflict Affected States ranging from acute conflict to high institutional fragility.


Subject(s)
Health Promotion , Humans , Mediterranean Region , World Health Organization
5.
East Mediterr Health J ; 27(11): 1031-1033, 2021 Dec 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1595705

ABSTRACT

The Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) faces massive challenges that threaten people's livelihood and health due to multiple factors, including socioeconomic disparities, conflicts and emergencies in many countries of the Region. The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated these challenges and significantly disrupted access to essential health services. As highlighted in recent flagship reports, the region is unlikely to achieve health-related Sustainable Development Goals, unless crucial changes are made in the way the goals are pursued. Effective implementation of digital health technologies could provide opportunities to enhance the response to the pandemic, as well as improve the access to health services and develop stronger and more resilient health systems.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Humans , Mediterranean Region/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal ; 27(6):530-534, 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1305013

ABSTRACT

The report shows that availability of data for health-related SDG indicators varied considerably for the period, with huge gaps across indicators for cause-specific mortality, hepatitis prevalence, health financing and access to medicine indicators. There has been a decline in the reported number of new cases of HIV/AIDS and TB;improvements in routine vaccination coverage;sustained high proportion of births attended by skilled health workers;fewer malnourished children;and an increasing access to improved drinking-water and sanitation. [...]key decisions and actions are inevitable. [...]addressing gender equality and health inequities is essential if the Region is going to meet the health-related SDGs.

8.
East Mediterr Health J ; 27(3): 217-219, 2021 Mar 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1158926

ABSTRACT

Evidence has shown that some of the major causes of health inequities arise from the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age, in addition to a wider set of forces and systems shaping individuals' and societies' health and well-being. Such conditions are known as the 'social determinants of health'. However, efforts to address these determinants have remained challenging and unsatisfactory in many parts of the world, including in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. Policies to contain the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic have further exposed and amplified the existing and even created new dimensions in social and health inequities, as we elaborate further below. Meanwhile, the pandemic offers a unique opportunity to tackle inequities and build back fairer.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Equity/organization & administration , Africa, Northern/epidemiology , Health Policy , Health Status Disparities , Humans , Middle East/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Determinants of Health , Socioeconomic Factors
9.
BMJ Glob Health ; 6(3)2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1150225

ABSTRACT

Early on in the COVID-19 pandemic, the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office recognised the importance of epidemiological modelling to forecast the progression of the COVID-19 pandemic to support decisions guiding the implementation of response measures. We established a modelling support team to facilitate the application of epidemiological modelling analyses in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) countries. Here, we present an innovative, stepwise approach to participatory modelling of the COVID-19 pandemic that engaged decision-makers and public health professionals from countries throughout all stages of the modelling process. Our approach consisted of first identifying the relevant policy questions, collecting country-specific data and interpreting model findings from a decision-maker's perspective, as well as communicating model uncertainty. We used a simple modelling methodology that was adaptable to the shortage of epidemiological data, and the limited modelling capacity, in our region. We discuss the benefits of using models to produce rapid decision-making guidance for COVID-19 control in the WHO EMR, as well as challenges that we have experienced regarding conveying uncertainty associated with model results, synthesising and comparing results across multiple modelling approaches, and modelling fragile and conflict-affected states.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control/organization & administration , Decision Making , Epidemiologic Methods , Public Health , Humans , Mediterranean Region/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
10.
East Mediterr Health J ; 27(2): 111-112, 2021 Feb 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1115635

ABSTRACT

On 25 September 2015, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly adopted and committed to a new development agenda "Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development", which translated into 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Global commitment to SDGs ushered in renewed calls to improve availability and accessibility of timely and quality information to monitor the progress towards achieving the health-related SDGs globally and in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR). Health-related targets - under SDG 3 and also within other goals - require careful measurement and monitoring in order to track progress and success in policy implementation. SDG targets requires accurate and timely reporting of diseases, risk factors, mortality and causes of deaths (ranging from maternal mortality to death from road traffic accidents) and health care and social determinants of health.


Subject(s)
Global Health , International Classification of Diseases , Humans , Mediterranean Region/epidemiology , Sustainable Development , United Nations
11.
East Mediterr Health J ; 26(12): 1436-1439, 2020 Dec 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1000864

ABSTRACT

The Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Day has been commemorated on 12 December every year since 2017. In 2019, the theme of the day was "Keep the Promise", referring to the Political Declaration on UHC endorsed by Heads of States at the United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting on 23 September 2019. In 2020, the theme is "Protect Everyone", emphasizing global and individual health security in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, attributed to SARS-CoV 2 - a virus that infected more than 4 million people in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) and left over 100 000 dead in less than 12 months (6.6% and 7.1% of the global toll, respectively). Keeping the promise of UHC, while ensuring health security, is becoming a priority agenda of policy-makers and practitioners in the EMR in order to save lives, advance health and protect livelihoods.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Universal Health Insurance , Global Health , Health Policy , Health Priorities , Healthy People Programs , Humans , Mediterranean Region/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , United Nations
13.
East Mediterr Health J ; 26(3): 254-256, 2020 Mar 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-828282

ABSTRACT

The Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) confronts unprecedented health challenges, exacerbated by demographic and epidemiologic changes, triple burden of disease, increasing healthcare costs, as well as the effects of contracted emergencies, social conflicts and massive population movements. Such challenges have repercussions on health care delivery and health research systems. Research for health is essential for developing solutions that contribute to health improvements. Investment in research for health contributes to health, economic growth and equity.


Subject(s)
Biomedical Research/organization & administration , Global Health , Health Services Research/organization & administration , Africa, Northern , Humans , Middle East
15.
East Mediterr Health J ; 26(4): 370-371, 2020 Apr 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-133996

ABSTRACT

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife. World Health Day on 7 April is dedicated to supporting nurses and midwives and highlights the central role of these professions in advancing universal health coverage, achieving health-related sustainable development goals, and the Eastern Mediterranean Region Vision 2023: Health for All by All.This year, we sadly mark World Health Day in the face of the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, which has brought to attention more than ever the crucial and invaluable role of health workers, who are working tirelessly day and night to care for patients and save lives. In fighting COVID-19, not only might they become infected and put their own lives at risk, but they also face distress and burnout because of long working hours. In addition, many health workers have to be away from their homes for prolonged periods, for fear of putting their own families at risk of acquiring the infection. Even before the pandemic, the safety and security of health workers in the Eastern Mediterranean Region has been a significant concern, as more than half of the countries of the Region face acute and protracted crises, and 70- 80% of total recorded attacks on health facilities globally occur in the Eastern Mediterranean Region.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Midwifery , Nurses , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Infection Control , Mediterranean Region , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Risk , SARS-CoV-2 , Safety
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