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1.
BMJ Glob Health ; 7(Suppl 3)2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1909732

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study is to evaluate Iraq's health facility preparedness for the surge of hospitalised cases associated with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In this article, we review pandemic preparedness at both general and tertiary hospitals throughout all districts of Iraq. COVID-19 pandemic preparedness, for the purpose of this review, is defined as: (1) staff to patient ratio, (2) personal protective equipment (PPE) to staff ratio, (3) infection control measures training and compliance and (4) laboratory and surveillance capacity. Despite the designation of facilities as COVID-19 referral hospitals, we did not find any increased preparedness with regard to staffing and PPE allocation. COVID-19 designated hospital reported an increased mean number of respiratory therapists as well as sufficient intensive care unit staff, but this did not reach significant levels. Non-COVID-19 facilities tended to have higher mean numbers of registered nurses, cleaning staff and laboratory staff, whereas the COVID-19 facilities were allocated additional N-95 masks (554.54 vs 147.76), gowns (226.72 vs 104.14) and boot coverings (170.48 vs 86.8) per 10 staff, but none of these differences were statistically significant. Though COVID-19 facilities were able to make increased requisitions for PPE supplies, all facility types reported unfulfilled requisitions, which is more likely a reflection of global storage rather than Iraq's preparedness for the pandemic. Incorporating future pandemic preparedness into health system strengthening efforts across facilities, including supplies, staffing and training acquisition, retention and training, are critical to Iraq's future success in mitigating the ongoing impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Delivery of Health Care , Hospitals , Humans , Iraq
2.
JCO Glob Oncol ; 8: e2200001, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1745403

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Mortality because of COVID-19 infections is continuously increasing among the high-risk groups, namely, elderly patients and those with underlying comorbidities including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, respiratory problems, and cancer. The study aimed to assess the impact of COVID-19 on affected individuals in Iraq, focusing on the characteristics of COVID-19 deceased cases, with special emphasis on cancer as the associated comorbidity. PATIENTS AND METHODS: This is a retrospective review of the data collected from 15,852 case investigation records of deceased patients with COVID-19, from all over Iraq, between March 20, 2020, and December 20, 2021. The analyzed variables included patients' age, sex, duration of stay in hospital, use of mechanical ventilation, and associated morbidities. Comparisons of having comorbidities and cancer with the characteristics were carried out using the chi-square test of independence. The chi-square test of goodness of fit was used to describe the distribution of the characteristics of the deceased COVID-19 patients; P values < .05 were considered statistically significant. RESULTS: Overall, 62% were ≥ 60 years with a predominance of male (63.2%). Patients with cancer were significantly younger (41.5% were ≥ 60) with no difference concerning sex distribution. Almost 70% of patients who died from COVID-19 infection had associated comorbidities. Cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, and cancer constituted 49.7%, 39.3%, 2.9%, and 1.1%, respectively. Patients with a history of cancer had a significantly longer duration of stay in hospital with no statistical association regarding the use of ventilation. CONCLUSION: In Iraq, patients with cancer infected with COVID-19 were younger and spent longer durations in the hospital before they died than patients with other comorbidities. The pandemic has revealed significant gaps in the health information and surveillance systems that demand prompt strengthening as part of the emergency preparedness.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neoplasms , Aged , Comorbidity , Female , Humans , Iraq/epidemiology , Male , Neoplasms/therapy , Retrospective Studies
3.
J Public Health (Oxf) ; 43(Suppl 3): iii1-iii11, 2021 12 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1607646

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: This study aimed to compare knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) regarding COVID-19 between public health workers (PHWs) attended field epidemiology training program (FETP-trained) and those who did not attend FETP (non-FETP trained). METHODS: Multi-country cross-sectional survey was conducted among PHWs who participated in COVID-19 pandemic in 10 countries at EMR. Online questionnaire that included demographic information, KAP regarding COVID-19 pandemic was distributed among HCWs. Scoring system was used to quantify the answers, bivariate and Multivariate analysis performed to compare FETP-trained with non-FETP trained PHWs. RESULTS: Overall, 1337 PHWs participated, with 835 (62.4%) < 40 years of age, and 851 (63.6%) males. Of them, 423 (31.6%) had FETP, including that 189 (44.7%) had advanced level, 155 (36.6%) intermediate and 79 (18.7%) basic level training. Compared with non-FETP trained, FETP trained were older, having higher KAP scores. FETP participation was low in infection control, and PH laboratories. KAP mean scores for intermediate level attendees are comparable to advanced level. CONCLUSIONS: FETP-trained are having better KAP than non-FETP PHWs. Expanding the intermediate level, maintain the Rapid Response training and introduce the laboratory component are recommended to maximize the benefit from FETP. Infection control, antimicrobial resistance and coordination are areas where training should include.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cross-Sectional Studies , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
4.
J Public Health (Oxf) ; 43(Suppl 3): iii34-iii42, 2021 12 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1605007

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Healthcare workers (HCWs) fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic are under incredible pressure, which puts them at risk of developing mental health problems. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of depression, anxiety, and stress among HCWs responding to COVID-19 and its associated factors. METHODS: A multi-country cross-sectional study was conducted during July-August 2020 among HCWs responding to COVID-19 in nine Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) countries. Data were collected using an online questionnaire administered using KoBo Toolbox. Mental problems were assessed using the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale (DASS-21). RESULTS: A total of 1448 HCWs from nine EMR countries participated in this study. About 51.2% were male and 52.7% aged ≤ 30 years. Of all HCWs, 57.5% had depression, 42.0% had stress, and 59.1% had anxiety. Considering the severity, 19.2%, 16.1%, 26.6% of patients had severe to extremely severe depression, stress, and anxiety, respectively. Depression, stress, anxiety, and distress scores were significantly associated with participants' residency, having children, preexisting psychiatric illness, and being isolated for COVID-19. Furthermore, females, those working in a teaching hospital, and specialists had significantly higher depression and stress scores. Married status, current smoking, diabetes mellitus, having a friend who died with COVID-19, and high COVID-19 worry scores were significantly associated with higher distress scores. CONCLUSIONS: Mental problems were prevalent among HCWs responding to COVID-19 in EMR. Therefore, special interventions to promote mental well-being among HCWs responding to COVID-19 need to be immediately implemented.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Anxiety/epidemiology , Child , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression/epidemiology , Female , Health Personnel , Humans , Male , Mental Health , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
5.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 8(3): e32831, 2022 03 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1502234

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The establishment of empirical evidence in the Eastern Mediterranean Region necessitates the implementation of wide-scale studies to describe the demographic, clinical features, and severity profile of patients with COVID-19. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to assess the patterns of COVID-19 severity and mortality in seven countries, and to determine the risk factors of COVID-19 severity and mortality. METHODS: This multicountry study was based on a retrospective review of medical records of hospitalized patients confirmed to have COVID-19. This study includes data from Iraq, Pakistan, Sudan, Somalia, Morocco, Egypt, and Yemen. All demographic and clinical data were extracted from hospital records (paper files) by trained data collectors. RESULTS: A total of 4141 patients were included in this study from seven countries. Comorbidities were reported by nearly half of the patients, with hypertension (n=1021, 24.7%) and diabetes (n=939, 22.7%) being the most common. Older age, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and heart diseases were significantly associated with COVID-19 severity and mortality. Ever smoking and renal diseases were significantly associated with severity but not mortality, while male gender, respiratory diseases, and malignancy were significantly associated with mortality but not severity. CONCLUSIONS: The study confirms the role of comorbidities and demographic features on the severity and mortality of COVID-19. Understanding the contributing factors ensures attentive care and informs clinical management of patients with poorer prognoses in the early stages of diseases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Egypt , Humans , Male , Mediterranean Region , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors
6.
J Public Health (Oxf) ; 43(Suppl 3): iii19-iii28, 2021 12 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1470167

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Iraq has been exceptionally challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic due to the already exhausted healthcare system. OBJECTIVES: To describe the epidemiological situation of COVID-19 in Iraq, the government's response to the pandemic, and provide recommendations for further action. METHODS: A desk review of secondary data using the available reports on the epidemiological situation in Iraq as well as official governmental sources was conducted. RESULTS: The major surge in the number of COVID-19 cases occurred in the first week of June and continued to increase dramatically until mid-October when a significant decrease happened. With a few exceptions, the reproductive number R has been consistently above 1. Patients aged 30-39 years (25.6%) were the most affected, while those aged 60-69 years (26.7%) had the highest deaths rates. Iraq tried to contain the pandemic through several regulations: border control, enforcing curfew, mask-wearing, and social distancing, COVID-19 isolation centers, expanding lab capacity, contact tracing, as well as several supportive economic measures. However, the extent of implementing these regulations is questionable. CONCLUSION: Additional administrative and scientific measures with special emphasis on handling mass gathering, coordination with media and better training of healthcare workers particularly on infection prevention and control.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Humans , Iraq/epidemiology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2
7.
J Public Health (Oxf) ; 43(Suppl 3): iii29-iii33, 2021 12 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1440646

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There is no prior study of the effect of mobility-limiting measures on the occurrence of COVID-19 in Iraq. OBJECTIVES: To determine the relationship between publicly available mobility index data and the growth ratio (GR) of COVID-19. METHOD: We used Google COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports to extract Iraq's mobility data and the official Ministry of Health COVID-19 statements. We used the data to calculate the Pearson's correlation coefficient and fit a linear regression model to determine the relationship between percentage change from the baseline in the mobility indices and the GR of COVID-19 in Iraq. RESULTS: There was a moderate positive correlation between each of the mobility indices except the residential index and COVID-19 GR in Iraq. The general linear model indicated that as each of the mobility indices increases by one unit, the GR of COVID19 increases by 0.002-0.003 except for the residential index. As the residential mobility index increases by one unit, the GR decreases by 0.009. All the findings were statistically significant (P-value < 0.0001). CONCLUSION: Mobility-limiting measures may be able to reduce the growth rate of COVID-19 moderately. Accordingly, mobility-limiting measures should be combined with other public control measures particularly mass mask use.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Correlation of Data , Humans , Iraq , Population Dynamics , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Health Secur ; 19(3): 280-287, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1214454

ABSTRACT

The Arba'een pilgrimage in Iraq is now the largest annual gathering in a single place worldwide. To monitor and address the health needs of pilgrims in field clinics near the pilgrimage route, a syndromic surveillance system was designed and implemented by Global Health Development/Eastern Mediterranean Public Health Network in collaboration with Iraq Ministry of Health. This study aimed to analyze the effectiveness of the surveillance system and the data it gathered in evaluating the burden of common acute and infectious conditions, chronic conditions, and trauma and injuries during the Arba'een pilgrimage in 2018. Data were collected at 152 field clinics located across 11 governorates in Iraq at strategic points along the Arba'een pilgrimage route from all governorates to Karbala between October 8 and November 3, 2018. A team of 24 surveillance supervisors trained, oversaw, and provided technical support for 304 data collectors. The data collectors recorded data from 338,399 patients (42.5% female and 57.5% male) in the span of 26 days. The vast majority of patients were from Iraq (n = 294,260, 87.6%) and Iran (n = 34,691, 10.3%). Of the 338,399 patients whose data were recorded by the surveillance system, 246,469 (72.8%) reported acute and infectious conditions, 202,032 (59.70%) reported chronic conditions, and 6,737 (2.0%) reported traumas and injuries. Many patients reported several conditions in multiple categories. The most prevalent acute condition treated was influenza-like illness, identified through patients exhibiting a combination of fever and cough symptoms. Findings from this study will help inform future planning efforts so healthcare workers can be better prepared for treating such cases at mass gatherings. With the latest challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, preparations for a possible future outbreak of the novel coronavirus are also discussed. The information from this study serves as a foundation to inform and optimize future planning of wide-scale surveillance efforts and address challenges in health service delivery and health security.


Subject(s)
Communicable Diseases/epidemiology , Crowding , Pandemics/prevention & control , Travel/statistics & numerical data , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Epidemiological Monitoring , Female , Humans , Iran , Iraq , Male , Public Health , Saudi Arabia
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