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Clin Infect Dis ; 73(1): e97-e98, 2021 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526152
Front Public Health ; 9: 654299, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1348570


There are many outstanding questions about how to control the global COVID-19 pandemic. The information void has been especially stark in the World Health Organization Africa Region, which has low per capita reported cases, low testing rates, low access to therapeutic drugs, and has the longest wait for vaccines. As with all disease, the central challenge in responding to COVID-19 is that it requires integrating complex health systems that incorporate prevention, testing, front line health care, and reliable data to inform policies and their implementation within a relevant timeframe. It requires that the population can rely on the health system, and decision-makers can rely on the data. To understand the process and challenges of such an integrated response in an under-resourced rural African setting, we present the COVID-19 strategy in Ifanadiana District, where a partnership between Malagasy Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) and non-governmental organizations integrates prevention, diagnosis, surveillance, and treatment, in the context of a model health system. These efforts touch every level of the health system in the district-community, primary care centers, hospital-including the establishment of the only RT-PCR lab for SARS-CoV-2 testing outside of the capital. Starting in March of 2021, a second wave of COVID-19 occurred in Madagascar, but there remain fewer cases in Ifanadiana than for many other diseases (e.g., malaria). At the Ifanadiana District Hospital, there have been two deaths that are officially attributed to COVID-19. Here, we describe the main components and challenges of this integrated response, the broad epidemiological contours of the epidemic, and how complex data sources can be developed to address many questions of COVID-19 science. Because of data limitations, it still remains unclear how this epidemic will affect rural areas of Madagascar and other developing countries where health system utilization is relatively low and there is limited capacity to diagnose and treat COVID-19 patients. Widespread population based seroprevalence studies are being implemented in Ifanadiana to inform the COVID-19 response strategy as health systems must simultaneously manage perennial and endemic disease threats.

COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Humans , Madagascar/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies
BMJ Glob Health ; 6(2)2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1102178


The African region was predicted to have worse COVID-19 infection and death rates due to challenging health systems and social determinants of health. However, in the 10 months after its first case, Rwanda recorded 10316 cases and 133 COVID-19-related deaths translating to a case fatality rate (CFR) of 1.3%, which raised the question: why does Rwanda have a low COVID-19 CFR? Here we analysed COVID-19 data and explored possible explanations to better understand the disease burden in the context of Rwanda's infection control strategies.We investigated whether the age distribution plays a role in the observed low CFR in Rwanda by comparing the expected number of deaths for 10-year age bands based on the CFR reported in other countries with the observed number of deaths for each age group. We found that the age-specific CFRs in Rwanda are similar to or, in some older age groups, slightly higher than those in other countries, suggesting that the lower population level CFR reflects the younger age structure in Rwanda, rather than a lower risk of death conditional on age. We also accounted for Rwanda's comprehensive SARS-CoV-2 testing strategies and reliable documentation of COVID-19-related deaths and deduced that these measures may have allowed them to likely identify more asymptomatic or mild cases than other countries and reduced their reported CFR.Overall, the observed low COVID-19 deaths in Rwanda is likely influenced by the combination of effective infection control strategies, reliable identification of cases and reporting of deaths, and the population's young age structure.

COVID-19/mortality , Mortality/trends , Adolescent , Adult , Age Distribution , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 Testing , Child , Child, Preschool , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Female , Humans , Infant , Male , Middle Aged , Rwanda/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Young Adult
JAMA Netw Open ; 3(5): e208297, 2020 05 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-186546


Importance: Sustained spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has happened in major US cities. Capacity needs in cities in China could inform the planning of local health care resources. Objectives: To describe and compare the intensive care unit (ICU) and inpatient bed needs for patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in 2 cities in China to estimate the peak ICU bed needs in US cities if an outbreak equivalent to that in Wuhan occurs. Design, Setting, and Participants: This comparative effectiveness study analyzed the confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Wuhan and Guangzhou, China, from January 10 to February 29, 2020. Exposures: Timing of disease control measures relative to timing of SARS-CoV-2 community spread. Main Outcomes and Measures: Number of critical and severe patient-days and peak number of patients with critical and severe illness during the study period. Results: In Wuhan, strict disease control measures were implemented 6 weeks after sustained local transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Between January 10 and February 29, 2020, patients with COVID-19 accounted for a median (interquartile range) of 429 (25-1143) patients in the ICU and 1521 (111-7202) inpatients with serious illness each day. During the epidemic peak, 19 425 patients (24.5 per 10 000 adults) were hospitalized, 9689 (12.2 per 10 000 adults) were considered in serious condition, and 2087 (2.6 per 10 000 adults) needed critical care per day. In Guangzhou, strict disease control measures were implemented within 1 week of case importation. Between January 24 and February 29, COVID-19 accounted for a median (interquartile range) of 9 (7-12) patients in the ICU and 17 (15-26) inpatients with serious illness each day. During the epidemic peak, 15 patients were in critical condition and 38 were classified as having serious illness. The projected number of prevalent critically ill patients at the peak of a Wuhan-like outbreak in US cities was estimated to range from 2.2 to 4.4 per 10 000 adults, depending on differences in age distribution and comorbidity (ie, hypertension) prevalence. Conclusions and Relevance: Even after the lockdown of Wuhan on January 23, the number of patients with serious COVID-19 illness continued to rise, exceeding local hospitalization and ICU capacities for at least a month. Plans are urgently needed to mitigate the consequences of COVID-19 outbreaks on the local health care systems in US cities.

Coronavirus Infections , Critical Illness/epidemiology , Health Services Needs and Demand , Hospital Bed Capacity , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Adult , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , China/epidemiology , Cities , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Epidemics , Forecasting , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Incidence , Infection Control , Inpatients , Intensive Care Units , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology