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Diagnostics (Basel) ; 11(11)2021 Nov 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1512177


BACKGROUND: Although comprehensive public health measures such as mass quarantine have been taken internationally, this has generally been ineffective, leading to a high infection and mortality rate. Despite the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has been downgraded to epidemic status in many countries, the real number of infections is unknown, particularly in low-income countries. However, precision shielding is used in COVID-19 management, and requires estimates of mass infection in key groups. As a result, rapid tests for the virus could be a useful screening tool for asymptomatic virus shedders who are about to come into contact with sensitive groups. In Africa and other low- and middle-income countries there is high rate of COVID-19 under-diagnosis, due to the high cost of molecular assays. Exploring alternate assays to the reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for COVID-19 diagnosis is highly warranted. AIM: This review explored the feasibility of using alternate molecular, rapid antigen, and serological diagnostic assays to accurately and precisely diagnose COVID-19 in African populations, and to mitigate severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RT-PCR diagnostic challenges in Africa. METHOD: We reviewed publications from internet sources and searched for appropriate documents available in English. This included Medline, Google Scholar, and Ajol. We included primary literature and some review articles that presented knowledge on the current trends on SARS-CoV-2 diagnostics in Africa and globally. RESULTS: Based on our analysis, we highlight the utility of four different alternatives to RT-PCR. These include two isothermal nucleic acid amplification assays (loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) and recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA)), rapid antigen testing, and antibody testing for tackling difficulties posed by SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR testing in Africa. CONCLUSION: The economic burden associated COVID-19 mass testing by RT-PCR will be difficult for low-income nations to meet. We provide evidence for the utility and deployment of these alternate testing methods in Africa and other LMICs.

Int J MCH AIDS ; 10(1): 88-97, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1116861


BACKGROUND: Although much is known about the rapidly spreading COVID-19 disease, a lot of knowledge is still evolving. The knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) of healthcare workers (HCWs) towards COVID-19 remain key in protecting themselves and in fighting the "war" against the disease. This study assessed the KAP of HCWs in Kano, northern Nigeria. METHODOLOGY: A cross-section of different cadre of healthcare workers was recruited online via google forms. Using a link, the participants completed an adapted from a similar study, pre-tested questionnaire on KAP regarding COVID-19. Predictors of KAP were assessed using logistic regression modelling. RESULTS: Among the 651 HCWs invited to participate, 233 respondents responded giving a response rate of 35.8%. Of these, 195 (83.7%) had good knowledge, 183 (78.9%) had a positive attitude and 180 (77.6%) had good practice towards prevention of COVID-19. The odds of having good knowledge were significantly lower among Community Health Officers/Community Health Extension workers (aOR=0.2, 95% CI: 0.1-0.6;p<0.001) and other health workers compared to doctors. Positive attitude was predicted by good knowledge (aOR=4.8, 95% CI:1.7-010.2;p=0.003), being in the fifth decade of life (aOR=5.5, 95% CI: 1.1-29.3, p=0.04), female gender (aOR=3.0, 95% CI: 1.1-8.3;p=0.04), Christian faith (aOR=7.0, 95% CI: 1.3-40.4; p=0.03), and having a bachelors' or medical degree (aOR=4.6, 95% CI: 1.3-16.5).The only predictor of good practice was good knowledge on COVID-19 (aOR=7.8, 95% CI 2.8-12.4;p<0.001). CONCLUSION AND GLOBAL HEALTH IMPLICATIONS: Majority of the HCWs at the study site have good knowledge, attitude and practice regarding COVID-19. Continuous dissemination of information on prevention of spread of COVID-19 to all HCWs will strengthen the health workforce in the fight against it.

J Am Med Inform Assoc ; 27(11): 1721-1726, 2020 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1024117


Global pandemics call for large and diverse healthcare data to study various risk factors, treatment options, and disease progression patterns. Despite the enormous efforts of many large data consortium initiatives, scientific community still lacks a secure and privacy-preserving infrastructure to support auditable data sharing and facilitate automated and legally compliant federated analysis on an international scale. Existing health informatics systems do not incorporate the latest progress in modern security and federated machine learning algorithms, which are poised to offer solutions. An international group of passionate researchers came together with a joint mission to solve the problem with our finest models and tools. The SCOR Consortium has developed a ready-to-deploy secure infrastructure using world-class privacy and security technologies to reconcile the privacy/utility conflicts. We hope our effort will make a change and accelerate research in future pandemics with broad and diverse samples on an international scale.

Biomedical Research , Computer Security , Coronavirus Infections , Information Dissemination , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Privacy , COVID-19 , Humans , Information Dissemination/ethics , Internationality , Machine Learning