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1.
East Mediterr Health J ; 28(2): 130-143, 2022 Feb 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2002923

ABSTRACT

Background: COVID-19 is the first pandemic during which innovative technologies are being used to keep people connected, safe, and productive while being physically and socially apart. Aims: This study aimed to map health innovations in response to the pandemic in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. Methods: Health innovations are defined as novel methods, models, processes, products, services, or a combination that produce notable public health impact in people, families, and communities at large. We used two approaches: an online survey using a specially designed data collection tool and a review of publicly available literature using PubMed, IMEMR, Google Scholar, Google, and INSERM search engines. Data collection was conducted between September 2020 and February 2021. Results: We describe 80 innovations in this region, of which 13 were identified through the online survey and 76 via literature review. For the purposes of this paper, we subclassified two-thirds of these innovations (n = 52; 65%) as "digital health innovations", including telehealth and telemedicine, surveillance, and contact tracing. The rest were classified as "non-digital health innovations", including prevention and clinical management. Conclusion: This mapping exercise provides baseline information on response to the pandemic by the public and private sectors, innovation hubs within and outside the region, as well as by entrepreneurs and innovators. In-depth studies measuring the impact of health innovations will likely only become available when the pandemic is under better control and experts are able to assess the replicability, sustainability and scalability of the health innovations introduced.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Arabs , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Mediterranean Region/epidemiology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Public Health
2.
BMJ Glob Health ; 7(Suppl 3)2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1909734

ABSTRACT

Health research, innovation and knowledge management remain major priorities of the WHO's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. WHO's Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office (EMRO) supports priority research initiatives that address gaps in current knowledge regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Through a specific call for proposals, 122 research proposals were received and reviewed in 2020, of which 17 were recommended for funding from eight countries. Ten countries in the region participated in the global solidarity trial to assess potential therapies for COVID-19. In addition, WHO advocated for early serological and epidemiological investigations ('COVID-19 Unity Studies') on the general population, healthcare workers, pregnant women and neonates, and extending technical, financial and material support for them.Starting in early 2020, scholarly articles on COVID-19 have been published in every issue of the Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal More than 6300 publications on COVID-19 were made available on the WHO knowledge management portal in the last year alone. WHO is also supporting countries in conducting studies to assess the field effectiveness of vaccines deployed nationally. To build and strengthen country capacities, regional webinars and intercountry meetings were conducted on research ethics, national health information systems and evidence-based health policy making. With support from WHO EMRO's new research and knowledge management pillar, countries in the region were well equipped to contribute to a global understanding of the novel virus's characteristics, as well as employ a national response based on informed evidence.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Female , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Knowledge Management , Pandemics/prevention & control , Policy Making , Pregnancy , World Health Organization
3.
East Mediterr Health J ; 28(1): 3-4, 2022 Jan 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1744416

ABSTRACT

The United Nations launched the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, as a more detailed and ambitious follow-up to the Millennium Developments Goals (MDGs). Health and wellbeing of all, at all ages, is addressed by the third SDG (SDG3) and health-related targets of other SDGs. However, progress to date on the health-related SDGs in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) is not on track. Although there was progress in over half of the 50 health-related SDG targets and indicators between 2015 and 2019, there is still a long way to go. Progress is required, among others, in reducing maternal, child and neonatal mortality; increasing vaccination coverage; reducing the number of cases of malaria and HIV; and in tackling the increase in mortality rates due to noncommunicable diseases. Much progress is needed in many health-related SDGs considered as important social, economic and environmental determinants of health.


Subject(s)
Insurance Pools , Sustainable Development , Child , Global Health , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Mediterranean Region/epidemiology , United Nations
4.
Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal ; 28(1):3-4, 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1678580

ABSTRACT

The Plan builds on achievements during 2020-2021 and aims at stepping up work on improving access to quality health services for all, enhancing community engagement, improving financial protection, protecting healthy environments, promoting new health products, and fostering health information systems. [...]planned activities aim to reinforce the efforts of United Nations country and regional teams, guided by the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF). [...]the Regional Health Alliance brings together 15 health and development partners to improve health in the region and progress on health-related SDGs.

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.
JMIR Infodemiology ; 1(1): e30979, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1450773

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: An infodemic is an overflow of information of varying quality that surges across digital and physical environments during an acute public health event. It leads to confusion, risk-taking, and behaviors that can harm health and lead to erosion of trust in health authorities and public health responses. Owing to the global scale and high stakes of the health emergency, responding to the infodemic related to the pandemic is particularly urgent. Building on diverse research disciplines and expanding the discipline of infodemiology, more evidence-based interventions are needed to design infodemic management interventions and tools and implement them by health emergency responders. OBJECTIVE: The World Health Organization organized the first global infodemiology conference, entirely online, during June and July 2020, with a follow-up process from August to October 2020, to review current multidisciplinary evidence, interventions, and practices that can be applied to the COVID-19 infodemic response. This resulted in the creation of a public health research agenda for managing infodemics. METHODS: As part of the conference, a structured expert judgment synthesis method was used to formulate a public health research agenda. A total of 110 participants represented diverse scientific disciplines from over 35 countries and global public health implementing partners. The conference used a laddered discussion sprint methodology by rotating participant teams, and a managed follow-up process was used to assemble a research agenda based on the discussion and structured expert feedback. This resulted in a five-workstream frame of the research agenda for infodemic management and 166 suggested research questions. The participants then ranked the questions for feasibility and expected public health impact. The expert consensus was summarized in a public health research agenda that included a list of priority research questions. RESULTS: The public health research agenda for infodemic management has five workstreams: (1) measuring and continuously monitoring the impact of infodemics during health emergencies; (2) detecting signals and understanding the spread and risk of infodemics; (3) responding and deploying interventions that mitigate and protect against infodemics and their harmful effects; (4) evaluating infodemic interventions and strengthening the resilience of individuals and communities to infodemics; and (5) promoting the development, adaptation, and application of interventions and toolkits for infodemic management. Each workstream identifies research questions and highlights 49 high priority research questions. CONCLUSIONS: Public health authorities need to develop, validate, implement, and adapt tools and interventions for managing infodemics in acute public health events in ways that are appropriate for their countries and contexts. Infodemiology provides a scientific foundation to make this possible. This research agenda proposes a structured framework for targeted investment for the scientific community, policy makers, implementing organizations, and other stakeholders to consider.

7.
East Mediterr Health J ; 27(8): 743-744, 2021 Aug 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1406914

ABSTRACT

Strengthening Primary Health Care (PHC) through family practice-based model of care is an essential bedrock in achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC), as called for in Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3, target 3.8. However, the shortage of family practitioners worldwide and in most countries of the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) is a daunting challenge. The current production rate of family physicians in the EMR is around 700 annually, against the needed estimate of 21 000 physicians per year based on one family physician/1300 population and the current EMR population growth rate, which reflects the huge shortage of family physicians in the Region.


Subject(s)
Family Practice , Universal Health Insurance , Humans , Mediterranean Region , Physicians, Family , Primary Health Care , World Health Organization
8.
East Mediterr Health J ; 27(4): 319-320, 2021 Apr 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1218763

ABSTRACT

The Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) is facing extraordinary social and health challenges, aggravated by epidemiologic variations, high morbidity and mortality burden (communicable, noncommunicable, injuries), consequences of emergencies (including current COVID-19 pandemic), conflicts and massive migrant population movements. Research for health is essential for generating necessary evidence, which contributes to sustainable development, economic growth and sound health policy-making. Moreover, research for health that addresses national public health priorities is essential for developing required evidence for explanations that contribute towards health improvement and can assist in best utilization of available resources towards issues that maximize the research impact on population health.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Priorities , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Jordan/epidemiology , Mediterranean Region , Pakistan/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
9.
East Mediterr Health J ; 27(1): 3-4, 2021 Jan 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1063602

ABSTRACT

Air quality is intimately linked to human activities, climate, atmosphere and ecosystems. Many of the anthropogenic contributors to air pollution are also sources of greenhouse gases including CO2 and other short-lived climate pollutants, such as Ozone and black carbon, which greatly contribute to the climate change phenomenon and its adverse effects on human health. Unfortunately, fragile and dry ecosystems prevailing in most of our countries in the Eastern Mediterranean Region may be implicated for exacerbation of this air pollution and climate change dilemma even more severely.


Subject(s)
Air Pollutants , Air Pollution/prevention & control , COVID-19/epidemiology , Africa, Eastern/epidemiology , Humans , Middle East/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
10.
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
11.
East Mediterr Health J ; 26(8): 870-871, 2020 Aug 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-749349

ABSTRACT

Emergency preparedness is a critical pillar of the International Health Regulations (IHR), a legally binding instrument underlying the global health security regime that came into effect in 2005. Lebanon, a small country of 10 452 km2 bordering the eastern Mediterranean, ratified the IHR in 2007 after the devasting effects of a sudden military conflict in 2006 that severely impacted the recovering health system. Moreover, the Lebanese health system infrastructure was only just recovering from 15 years of civil war that ended in 1990. Since 2005, the country has also faced a complex refugee crisis potentiating the risk of disease outbreaks since 2011, in addition to a severe financial crisis that has degenerated into social unrest since October 2019, and more recently the COVID-19 pandemic since February 2020.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Disaster Planning/organization & administration , Disasters , Explosive Agents , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Public Health , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , International Cooperation , Lebanon/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
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