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Texila International Journal of Public Health ; 9(4), 2021.
Article in English | GIM | ID: covidwho-1841776


This is a critical appraisal of a manuscript outlining additional indicators used in the United States to augment traditional disease surveillance tools. The article went through the peer-review process. Therefore, it may be considered as objective and unbiased. The structure of the article is coherent, and it was published in a journal for digital medicine, health, and health care in the internet age. The article has contributed to the literature and provides a basis for strengthening existing surveillance systems to improve public health outcomes. However, it is suggested that whenever new indicators are being developed, their essential components must be fully defined.

International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics ; 111(3):e349-e350, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1433385


Purpose/Objective(s): The COVID-19 pandemic has direct and indirect impact on patients with cancer. Low- and middle-income regions, especially sub-Saharan Africa, are especially vulnerable to a negative impact on cancer resources and outcomes. We report the initial indirect impact of COVID-19 on cancer care in the sub-Saharan Africa region approximately 14 months into the pandemic. Materials/Methods: At the start of the pandemic, we created a consortium of African and North American cancer centers and NGOs for the distribution of factual and timely information and data on COVID-19 and cancer care. A survey was distributed to consortium members and other colleagues from the sub-Saharan Africa region to understand the impact of COVID-19 in cancer care resources. Survey respondents represent cancer experts from 8 centers in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia, South Africa, Rwanda, and Zimbabwe. Results: All sites report SARS-COv-2 transmission amongst cancer patients and staff. A total of 48 staff developed COVID-19 infection with one site reporting a single death. Additionally, 62.5% of sites report loss of oncology physician or nursing staff due to redeployment for COVID-19 care resulting in minimal (20%), moderate (60%), or other (20%) impact on cancer care. All 8 sites report a government mandated lockdown with a median duration of 2.3 months (IQR.9-4.2 months). Impact of the lockdown on cancer care was reported as none (12.5%), minimal (12.5%), moderate (50%) and severe (25%). Additionally, we surveyed the impact of COVID-19 on resources in radiation, medical and surgical oncology services. A total of 25% of responders reported decreases in radiation resources while 37.5% reported changes in medical and surgical oncology resources. For radiation oncology, the most common impact was access to CT imaging for 3D-conformal planning (25%), access to brachytherapy (12.5%), and medical physics support (12.5%). For medical oncology, the most frequent impact was access to chemotherapy (37.5%) and blood products (12.5%), and loss of oncology ward space (12.5%). The most frequent impact for surgical oncology was access to operating rooms (37.5%), ventilators (12.5%), anesthesia (25%), blood products (25%), and other supply chain issues (25%). Of centers who reported impact on cancer care, severity of impact was none (50%) and moderate (50%) for radiation oncology;mild (25%) and moderate (75%) for medical oncology;and moderate (75%) and severe (25%) for surgical oncology. Conclusion: Our survey identified diffuse impact of COVID-19 on all facets of cancer care across sub-Saharan Africa. Based on physician assessment of impact, the discipline of surgical oncology may be impacted the greatest. Additional studies measuring the impact of COVID-19 on cancer outcomes are ongoing.