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1.
Journal of Environmental Horticulture ; 40(1):10-17, 2022.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1836353

ABSTRACT

Plant purchases experienced a surge during the COVID-19 pandemic quarantine of 2020. Researchers used an online survey instrument completed by 1,211 U.S. respondents to investigate the diverse motivations for making plant purchases. Researchers compared three age cohorts to understand which plant benefits they derived from their plant purchases. Millennials (born 1981 to 1995) derived the greatest social benefit from their plant purchases, followed by educational, physiological, and psychological benefits. Gen Z (born 1996 to 2012) derived more educational and physiological benefits compared to Baby Boomers (born 1946 to 1964). Individuals experiencing a high level of social benefits from plants may have contributed to the extensive use of social media during pandemic isolation, as plants appear to be a common interest or focal point for online social interaction. In other words, plants bought by Millennials (and to a lesser extent by Gen Z) served as an online social connection to others. The youngest age group, Gen Z, experienced the greatest boredom proneness and the most food insecurity. In comparing plant buyers with non-buyers, we found no difference in boredom proneness or shopping anxiety. Plant purchasers experienced greater food security compared to non-plant purchasers and individuals who purchased edible plants or food-producing plants or both a flowering plant and a food-producing plant had greater food security compared to non-plant buyers and individuals who purchased flowering plants. Results provide relevant topics (e.g., food security, boredom relief, and social connections) to inform on- and off-line communications with consumers. © 2022 Horticultural Research Institute.

2.
Health Services Research ; 56:84-84, 2021.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-1426801
3.
Topics in Antiviral Medicine ; 29(1):292-293, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1250519

ABSTRACT

Background: The world was overcome by the COVID-19 pandemic from late 2019. South Africa entered into a country wide lockdown level 5 from March 26 to April 16, 2020. Public health facilities were greatly affected as they experienced reduced facility headcounts, which resulted in reduced HIV testing services (HTS), reduced patients attending their follow-up visits, and this also impacted the viral load completions. Methods: This was a retrospective review that analyzed the trends and the impact COVID-19 had on the headcount of primary health care (PHC) facilities and the number of patients accessing HTS and the Total Remaining on ART (TROA). In order to view the facility headcount and HTS trends on the same scale, for graphical representation the monthly figures have been indexed to their values in July 2019 (Jul 2019 = 100), prior to the impact of COVID-19 and the typical seasonal decline in activity during the holiday period. Results: Facility headcount dropped during the COVID-19 period (Mar 20, 0.98 to Apr 20, 0.73);and it is clear that the HTS trends (Mar 20, 0.89 to Apr 20, 0.47) mirror the headcount trends (Figure 1). However, the total remaining on ART remained relatively stable during this period;demonstrating successful programme efforts towards retention. These activities included case management of clients, community ART delivery, SMS reminders, extension of CCMDD (Centralised Chronic Medication Dispensing and Distribution) scripts, multi-month scripting and dispensing, improved appointment systems in facilities where we had filing interns, data quality improvement activities during this period and daily tracking with the district teams. Historically we have seen that HTS habitually drops during the holiday periods of December and April but starts picking up and follows the headcount trends. This year Level-5 lockdown brought on a steep drop with a strong recovery once lockdown restrictions eased, albeit not totally to former levels. Conclusion: Therefore, despite drastic drops in headcount from April 2020 to September 2020 as compared to 2019, the stability of TROA shows that implemented retention strategies have had a positive impact on the retention of patients during a pandemic.

4.
Topics in Antiviral Medicine ; 29(1):292, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1250443

ABSTRACT

Background: HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) was introduced in South Africa in October 2019.Low levels of PrEP uptake and retention were observed through to May 2020. The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and nationwide lockdown in March 2020 contributed to additional challenges in PrEP upscale in the following ways: • Reduction in HIV Testing Services (HTS) due to facility headcount reduction and suspension of community HTS • Healthcare facility closures and/or reduction in staff after confirmed COVID-19 cases. • Suspension of in-person trainings on PrEP scheduled for March-May before all clinicians were trained • Reduction in onsite mentorship Methods: After a decrease during lockdown in April, we conducted first round of virtual trainings in May Over June-August 2020, we implemented a PrEP acceleration plan that included the following strategies: • Provision of performance targets with online coaching and mentoring for clinical staff • Virtual guidelines training of 300 clinical staff • Printing and distributing IEC materials and job aids • Integration of PrEP into HTS including HIV Self-Screening and Index testing • Stringent monitoring of PrEP drug stock and performance • NDoH-endorsed multi-month dispensing of PrEP drugs Results: During lockdown, PrEP initiations decreased by 40% between March and April and following the first round of virtual trainings, increased by 182% between May and June 2020.The growth plateaued in July, before implementation of the PrEP acceleration plan which catalysed a significant growth spurt both in August of 110% (1,413/764) and in September 102% (2,753/1,413) with these two months alone accounting for 67.4% (1,857/ 2,753) of the total clients initiated since the inception of the programme. Conclusion: A multi-pronged approach to manage the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic succeeded in improving PrEP initiation and retention. We recommend sustained medicine availability, virtual trainings and mentorship sessions combined with PrEP/HTS integration be implemented to improve upscaling of PrEP services during a pandemic and nationwide lockdown.

5.
Topics in Antiviral Medicine ; 29(1):293, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1249987

ABSTRACT

Background: BroadReach Healthcare is a PEPFAR district support partner in four districts in two South African Provinces: Mpumalanga (MP) and Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN). CareWorks and Hospice Palliative Care Association of South Africa (HPCA) are organizations implementing community-based HIV testing services (HTS) under BroadReach Healthcare. During the COVID-19 level-5 lockdown time period, community-based HTS was halted and confined to areas immediately outside of healthcare facilities, and in MP, community-based Lay Counsellors provided HTS in facilities. The aim of this evaluation is to compare HTS rates observed during three 5-week time intervals in 2020: pre-level-5 lockdown (19 February-25 March), during level-5 lockdown (26 March-30 April), and after level-5-lockdown (01 May-06 June). Methods: We conducted an operational evaluation of community and facility data from CareWorks and HPCA: HTS completed, HTS with positive results (HTS-TST-POS), and testing yield. Chi-square tests were used to determine statistical significance. Results: Testing decreased in all districts, averaging a 43.1% drop (4,809/11,166) from pre-level-5 lockdown to level-5 lockdown, then rebounded to 91.4% of baseline (10,208/11,166) afterwards (p<0.05). Over the same timescale, HTS-TST-POS decreased by only 6.3% (419 from 447) before reverting to 97.1% (407/447) of its pre-level-5 lockdown performance (p<0.05). This was inconsistent across provinces: case finding increased in MP by 64.6% (321 from 195), despite decreased testing, and decreased in KZN by 61.1% (98 from 252). Testing yield was highest during level-5 lockdown in both provinces;averaging 8.7% (419/4,809) compared to 4.0% before (447/11,166) and 4.0% after (407/10,208) level-5 lockdown (p<0.05). MP's testing yield increases far exceeded observed increases in KZN between pre-level-5 lockdown and level-5 lockdown time intervals: 9.2% from 3.0% in MP and 7.4% from 5.4% in KZN (p<0.05). Conclusion: The allocation of community-based Lay Counsellors inside and outside of healthcare facilities during the South African COVID-19 level-5 lockdown assisted with finding people who are HIV-positive, and who are presumably at higher risk of developing severe COVID-19 disease.

6.
American Journal of Agricultural Economics ; : 12, 2021.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-1038372

ABSTRACT

Though both the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration claim that there is no evidence that handling and consuming food causes COVID-19, many consumers may not be convinced. To assess concerns about potential COVID-19 transmission from food, we surveyed more than 3,000 consumers in May, June, and July of 2020 using a nationally representative panel. Despite evidence to the contrary, consumers express multiple concerns about their food and how and where it is served and transmission of the virus. Between concerns about transmission of COVID-19 while shopping for food versus consuming food, more consumers were concerned about exposure while shopping;however, the number of consumers concerned about transmission from consuming food steadily increased over the months of data collection. We also found that Black respondents were more concerned about COVID-19 transmission from certain staple foods, suggesting that COVID-19 could intensify standing racial inequities related to nutrition and health. Overall, these findings suggest that we may be observing the early stages of evolving food stigmas that could persist in the future and reshape how U.S. consumers shop for food and the foods they consume.

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