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1.
BMJ Glob Health ; 7(6)2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1909743
2.
BMJ Glob Health ; 7(6)2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1909740

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has underlined the need to partner with the community in pandemic preparedness and response in order to enable trust-building among stakeholders, which is key in pandemic management. Citizen science, defined here as a practice of public participation and collaboration in all aspects of scientific research to increase knowledge and build trust with governments and researchers, is a crucial approach to promoting community engagement. By harnessing the potential of digitally enabled citizen science, one could translate data into accessible, comprehensible and actionable outputs at the population level. The application of citizen science in health has grown over the years, but most of these approaches remain at the level of participatory data collection. This narrative review examines citizen science approaches in participatory data generation, modelling and visualisation, and calls for truly participatory and co-creation approaches across all domains of pandemic preparedness and response. Further research is needed to identify approaches that optimally generate short-term and long-term value for communities participating in population health. Feasible, sustainable and contextualised citizen science approaches that meaningfully engage affected communities for the long-term will need to be inclusive of all populations and their cultures, comprehensive of all domains, digitally enabled and viewed as a key component to allow trust-building among the stakeholders. The impact of COVID-19 on people's lives has created an opportune time to advance people's agency in science, particularly in pandemic preparedness and response.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Citizen Science , Community Participation , Data Collection , Humans , Pandemics
5.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-330771

ABSTRACT

The World Health Organization (WHO) notifies the global community about disease outbreaks through the Disease Outbreak News (DON). These online reports tell important stories about both outbreaks themselves and the high-level decision making that governs information sharing during public health emergencies. However, they have been used only minimally in global health scholarship to date. Here, we collate all 2,789 of these reports from their first use through the start of the Covid-19 pandemic (January 1996 to December 2019), and develop an annotated database of the subjective and often inconsistent information they contain. We find that these reports are dominated by a mix of persistent worldwide threats (particularly influenza and cholera) and persistent epidemics (like Ebola virus disease in Africa or MERS-CoV in the Middle East), but also document important periods in history like the anthrax bioterrorist attacks at the turn of the century, the spread of chikungunya and Zika virus to the Americas, or even recent lapses in progress towards polio elimination. We present three simple vignettes that show how researchers can use these data to answer both qualitative and quantitative questions about global outbreak dynamics and public health response. However, we also find that the retrospective value of these reports is visibly limited by inconsistent reporting (e.g., of disease names, case totals, mortality, and actions taken to curtail spread). We conclude that sharing a transparent rubric for which outbreaks are considered reportable, and adopting more standardized formats for sharing epidemiological metadata, might help make the DON more useful to researchers and policymakers.

6.
BMJ Glob Health ; 7(3)2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1745702

ABSTRACT

Following the identification of the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in late November 2021, governments worldwide took actions intended to minimise the impact of the new variant within their borders. Despite guidance from the WHO advising a risk-based approach, many rapidly implemented stringent policies focused on travel restrictions. In this paper, we capture 221 national-level travel policies issued during the 3 weeks following publicisation of the Omicron variant. We characterise policies based on whether they target travellers from specific countries or focus more broadly on enhanced screening, and explore differences in approaches at the regional level. We find that initial reactions almost universally focused on entry bans and flight suspensions from Southern Africa, and that policies continued to target travel from these countries even after community transmission of the Omicron variant was detected elsewhere in the world. While layered testing and quarantine requirements were implemented by some countries later in this 3-week period, these enhanced screening policies were rarely the first response. The timing and conditionality of quarantine and testing requirements were not coordinated between countries or regions, creating logistical complications and burdening travellers with costs. Overall, response measures were rarely tied to specific criteria or adapted to match the unique epidemiology of the new variant.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Mass Screening , SARS-CoV-2 , Travel
7.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-329753

ABSTRACT

Introduction: The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria (the Global Fund) pivoted investments to support countries in their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Recently, the Global Fund's Board approved global pandemic preparedness and response as part of their new six-year strategy from 2023-2028. Methods: Prior research estimated that US$124 billion is required, globally, to build sufficient country-level capacity for health security, with US$76 billion needed over an initial three-year period. Action-based cost estimates generated from that research were coded as directly, indirectly, or unrelated to systems strengthening efforts applicable to HIV, TB, and/or malaria. Results: Of approximately US$76 billion needed for country level capacity-building over the next three-year allocation period, we estimate that US$66 billion is needed in Global Fund-eligible countries, and over one-third relates directly or indirectly (US$6 billion and US$21 billion, respectively) to health systems strengthening efforts applicable to HIV, TB, and/or malaria disease programs currently supported by the Global Fund. Among these investments, cost drivers include financing for surveillance and laboratory systems, to combat antimicrobial resistance, and for training, capacity-building, and ongoing support for the healthcare and public health workforce. Conclusion: This work highlights a potential strategic role for the Global Fund to contribute to health security while remaining aligned with its core mission. It demonstrates the value of action-based costing estimates to inform strategic investment planning in pandemic preparedness.

8.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327192

ABSTRACT

Following the identification of the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in late November 2021, governments worldwide took actions intended to minimize the impact of the new variant within their borders. Despite guidance from the World Health Organization advising a risk-based approach, many rapidly implemented stringent policies focused on travel restrictions. In this paper, we capture 221 national-level travel policies issued during the three weeks following publicization of the Omicron variant. We characterize policies based upon whether they target travelers from specific countries or focus more broadly on enhanced screening, and explore differences in approaches at the regional level. We find that initial reactions almost universally focused on entry bans and flight suspensions from Southern Africa, and that policies continued to target travel from these countries even after community transmission of the Omicron variant was detected elsewhere in the world. While layered testing and quarantine requirements were implemented by some countries later in this three-week period, these enhanced screening policies were rarely the first response. The timing and conditionality of quarantine and testing requirements were not coordinated between countries or regions, creating logistical complications and burdening travelers with costs. Overall, response measures were rarely tied to specific criteria or adapted to match the unique epidemiology of the new variant.

9.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-307775

ABSTRACT

In light of the urgency raised by the COVID-19 pandemic, global investment in wildlife virology is likely to increase, and new surveillance programs will identify hundreds of novel viruses that might someday pose a threat to humans. Our capacity to identify which viruses are capable of zoonotic emergence depends on the existence of a technology—a machine learning model or other informatic system—that leverages available data on known zoonoses to identify which animal pathogens could someday pose a threat to global health. We synthesize the findings of an interdisciplinary workshop on zoonotic risk technologies to answer the following questions: What are the prerequisites, in terms of open data, equity, and interdisciplinary collaboration, to the development and application of those tools? What effect could the technology have on global health? Who would control that technology, who would have access to it, and who would benefit from it? Would it improve pandemic prevention? Could it create new challenges?

10.
Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci ; 376(1837): 20200358, 2021 11 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1429384

ABSTRACT

In the light of the urgency raised by the COVID-19 pandemic, global investment in wildlife virology is likely to increase, and new surveillance programmes will identify hundreds of novel viruses that might someday pose a threat to humans. To support the extensive task of laboratory characterization, scientists may increasingly rely on data-driven rubrics or machine learning models that learn from known zoonoses to identify which animal pathogens could someday pose a threat to global health. We synthesize the findings of an interdisciplinary workshop on zoonotic risk technologies to answer the following questions. What are the prerequisites, in terms of open data, equity and interdisciplinary collaboration, to the development and application of those tools? What effect could the technology have on global health? Who would control that technology, who would have access to it and who would benefit from it? Would it improve pandemic prevention? Could it create new challenges? This article is part of the theme issue 'Infectious disease macroecology: parasite diversity and dynamics across the globe'.


Subject(s)
Disease Reservoirs/virology , Global Health , Pandemics/prevention & control , Zoonoses/prevention & control , Zoonoses/virology , Animals , Animals, Wild , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/veterinary , Ecology , Humans , Laboratories , Machine Learning , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Viruses , Zoonoses/epidemiology
11.
Ann N Y Acad Sci ; 1489(1): 17-29, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1280366

ABSTRACT

For years, experts have warned that a global pandemic was only a matter of time. Indeed, over the past two decades, several outbreaks and pandemics, from SARS to Ebola, have tested our ability to respond to a disease threat and provided the opportunity to refine our preparedness systems. However, when a novel coronavirus with human-to-human transmissibility emerged in China in 2019, many of these systems were found lacking. From international disputes over data and resources to individual disagreements over the effectiveness of facemasks, the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed several vulnerabilities. As of early November 2020, the WHO has confirmed over 46 million cases and 1.2 million deaths worldwide. While the world will likely be reeling from the effects of COVID-19 for months, and perhaps years, to come, one key question must be asked, How can we do better next time? This report summarizes views of experts from around the world on how lessons from past pandemics have shaped our current disease preparedness and response efforts, and how the COVID-19 pandemic may offer an opportunity to reinvent public health and healthcare systems to be more robust the next time a major challenge appears.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Delivery of Health Care , Pandemics , Public Health , Congresses as Topic , Humans
12.
World Med Health Policy ; 14(1): 102-120, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1226207

ABSTRACT

Natural disasters, disease outbreaks, famine, and human conflict have strained communities everywhere over the course of human existence. However, modern changes in climate, human mobility, and other factors have increased the global community's vulnerability to widespread emergencies. We are in the midst of a disruptive health event, with the COVID-19 pandemic testing our health provider systems globally. This study presents a qualitative analysis of published literature, obtained systematically, to examine approaches health providers are taking to prepare for and respond to mass casualty incidents around the globe. The research reveals emerging trends in the weaknesses of systems' disaster responses while highlighting proposed solutions, so that others may better prepare for future disasters. Additionally, the research examines gaps in the literature, to foster more targeted and actionable contributions to the literature.

14.
Health Policy Plan ; 36(3): 357-359, 2021 Apr 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1045868

ABSTRACT

Recent years have witnessed cities establishing themselves as major players in addressing global issues, often taking collective action through international city networks and organizations. These networks are important, as they amplify the voices of municipal officials, who are often excluded from high-level decision-making, and can also provide a platform for officials from low- or middle-income nations to participate in higher-level political forums. The global response to the COVID-19 pandemic has included traditional public health stakeholders-including supranational organizations, international non-governmental organizations and national authorities-but has also featured mayors and city networks, in an unprecedented fashion. Existing networks without an explicit focus on health have shifted their focuses to prioritize pandemic response and several new networks have been created. These developments are significant, not only because they represent a shift in health governance and policy, but also because cities and urban networks more broadly have exhibited a nimbleness and pragmatism unmatched by higher levels of governance. These characteristics could prove beneficial for addressing the current pandemic, as well as future health issues and emergencies. Furthermore, given the relative lack of engagement with health security issues before the COVID-19 pandemic, the drastic health and economic impacts associated with it, and the demonstrable value added by strong city leadership, there are an open policy window and a compelling case for continued city engagement in health security.


Subject(s)
Health Policy , Leadership , Local Government , Public Health , Urban Health , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cities , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
15.
Lancet Glob Health ; 9(2): e181-e188, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1036096

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is a robust vertical global health programme. The extent to which vertical programmes financially support health security has not been investigated. We, therefore, endeavoured to quantify the extent to which the budgets of this vertical programme support health security. We believe this is a crucial area of work as the global community works to combine resources for COVID-19 response and future pandemic preparedness. METHODS: We examined budgets for work in Kenya, Uganda, Vietnam, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guatemala, Guinea, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone from January, 2014 to December, 2020. These ten countries were selected because of the robustness of investments and the availability of data. Using the International Health Regulations Joint External Evaluation (JEE) tool as a framework, we mapped budget line items to health security capacities. Two researchers independently reviewed each budget and mapped items to the JEE. Budgets were then jointly reviewed until a consensus was reached regarding if an item supported health security directly, indirectly, or not at all. The budgets for the study countries were inputted into a single Microsoft Excel spreadsheet and line items that mapped to JEE indicators were scaled up to their respective JEE capacity. Descriptive analyses were then done to determine the total amount of money budgeted for activities that support health security, how much was budgeted for each JEE capacity, and how much of the support was direct or indirect. FINDINGS: The research team reviewed 37 budgets. Budgets totalled US$6 927 284 966, and $2 562 063 054 (37·0%) of this mapped to JEE capacities. $1 330 942 712 (19·2%) mapped directly to JEE capacities and $1 231 120 342 (17·8%) mapped indirectly to JEE capacities. Laboratory systems, antimicrobial resistance, and the deployment of medical countermeasures and personnel received the most overall budgetary support; laboratory systems, antimicrobial resistance, and workforce development received the greatest amount of direct budgetary support. INTERPRETATION: Over one-third of the Global Fund's work also supports health security and the organisation has budgeted more than $2 500 000 000 for activities that support health security in ten countries since 2014. Although these funds were not budgeted specifically for health security purposes, recognising how vertical programmes can synergistically support other global health efforts has important implications for policy related to health systems strengthening. FUNDING: Resolve to Save Lives: An Initiative of Vital Strategies.


Subject(s)
Financing, Organized/economics , Global Health/economics , International Cooperation , Budgets , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Developing Countries , Government Programs/economics , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , United States
16.
BMJ Glob Health ; 5(6)2020 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-603210

ABSTRACT

Urbanisation will be one of the defining demographic trends of the 21st century-creating unique opportunities for sustainable capacity development, as well as substantial risks and challenges for managing public health and health emergencies. Plans and policies for responding to public health emergencies are generally framed at higher levels of governance, but developing, improving and sustaining the capacities necessary for implementing these policies is a direct function of local-level authorities. Evaluating local-level public health capacities is an important process for identifying strengths and weaknesses that can impact the preparedness for, detection of and response to health security threats. However, while various evaluations and assessments exist for evaluating capacities at other levels, currently, there are no readily available health security assessments for the local-level. In this paper, we describe a tool-the Rapid Urban Health Security Assessment (RUHSA) Tool-that is based on a variety of other relevant assessments and guidance documents. Assessing capacities allow for local-level authorities to identify the strengths and weaknesses of their local health security systems, create multiyear action plans and prioritise opportunities for improving capacities, effectively engage with development partners to target resources effectively and develop compelling narratives and a legacy of leadership. While the RUHSA Tool was not designed to be used in the midst of a public health emergency, such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it may also be adapted to inform a checklist for prioritising what capacities and activities a city needs to rapidly develop or to help focus requests for assistance.


Subject(s)
Disaster Planning/standards , Public Health/standards , Risk Assessment/methods , Urban Health/standards , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections , Humans , Influenza, Human , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , SARS-CoV-2
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