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Hum Resour Health ; 21(1): 18, 2023 03 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2279447


BACKGROUND: COVID-19 has created unprecedented challenges for health systems worldwide. Since the confirmation of the first COVID-19 case in Ghana in March 2020 Ghanian health workers have reported fear, stress, and low perceived preparedness to respond to COVID-19, with those who had not received adequate training at highest risk. Accordingly, the Paediatric Nursing Education Partnership COVID-19 Response project designed, implemented, and evaluated four open-access continuing professional development courses related to the pandemic, delivered through a two-pronged approach: e-learning and in-person. METHODS: This manuscript presents an evaluation of the project's implementation and outcomes using data for a subset of Ghanaian health workers (n = 9966) who have taken the courses. Two questions were answered: first, the extent to which the design and implementation of this two-pronged strategy was successful and, second, outcomes associated with strengthening the capacity of health workers to respond to COVID-19. The methodology involved quantitative and qualitative survey data analysis and ongoing stakeholder consultation to interpret the results. RESULTS: Judged against the success criteria (reach, relevance, and efficiency) the implementation of the strategy was successful. The e-learning component reached 9250 health workers in 6 months. The in-person component took considerably more resources than e-learning but provided hands-on learning to 716 health workers who were more likely to experience barriers to accessing e-learning due to challenges around internet connectivity, or institutional capacity to offer training. After taking the courses, health workers' capacities (addressing misinformation, supporting individuals experiencing effects of the virus, recommending the vaccine, course-specific knowledge, and comfort with e-learning) improved. The effect size, however, varied depending on the course and the variable measured. Overall, participants were satisfied with the courses and found them relevant to their well-being and profession. An area for improvement was refining the content-to-delivery time ratio of the in-person course. Unstable internet connectivity and the high upfront cost of data to access and complete the course online were identified as barriers to e-learning. CONCLUSIONS: A two-pronged delivery approach leveraged distinct strengths of respective e-learning and in-person strategies to contribute to a successful continuing professional development initiative in the context of COVID-19.

COVID-19 , Humans , Child , Ghana , COVID-19/epidemiology , Learning , Educational Status , Health Facilities
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 2494, 2022 05 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1890179


The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the fastest evolving pandemics in recent history. As such, the SARS-CoV-2 viral evolution needs to be continuously tracked. This study sequenced 1123 SARS-CoV-2 genomes from patient isolates (121 from arriving travellers and 1002 from communities) to track the molecular evolution and spatio-temporal dynamics of the SARS-CoV-2 variants in Ghana. The data show that initial local transmission was dominated by B.1.1 lineage, but the second wave was overwhelmingly driven by the Alpha variant. Subsequently, an unheralded variant under monitoring, B.1.1.318, dominated transmission from April to June 2021 before being displaced by Delta variants, which were introduced into community transmission in May 2021. Mutational analysis indicated that variants that took hold in Ghana harboured transmission enhancing and immune escape spike substitutions. The observed rapid viral evolution demonstrates the potential for emergence of novel variants with greater mutational fitness as observed in other parts of the world.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Genome, Viral/genetics , Ghana/epidemiology , Humans , Mutation , Pandemics , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
Ghana Med J ; 54(4 Suppl): 16-22, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1436190


INTRODUCTION: COVID-19 is a new disease, knowledge on the mode of transmission and clinical features are still evolving, new tests are being developed with inherent challenges regarding interpretation of tests results. There is generally, a gap in knowledge on the virus globally as the pandemic evolves and in Ghana, there is dearth of information and documentation on the clinical characteristics of the virus. With these in mind, we set out to profile the initial cohort of COVID-19 patients who recovered in Ghana. METHODS: We reviewed clinical records of all confirmed cases of COVID-19 who had recovered from the two main treatment centres in Accra, Ghana. Descriptive data analysis was employed and presented in simple and relational tables. Independent t-test and ANOVA were used to determine differences in the mean age of the sexes and the number of days taken for the first and second retesting to be done per selected patient characteristics. RESULTS: Of the 146 records reviewed, 54% were male; mean age of patients was 41.9 ± 17.5 years, nearly half were asymptomatic, with 9% being severely ill. The commonest presenting symptoms were cough (22.6%), headache (13%) and sore throat (11%) while the commonest co-morbidities were hypertension (25.3%), diabetes mellitus (14%) and heart disease (3.4%). CONCLUSION: COVID-19 affected more males than females; nearly half of those infected were asymptomatic. Cough, headache and sore throat were the commonest symptoms and mean duration from case confirmation to full recovery was 19 days. Further research is required as pandemic evolves. FUNDING: None declared.

Asymptomatic Infections/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Age Distribution , Analysis of Variance , COVID-19/virology , Cohort Studies , Cough/epidemiology , Cough/virology , Female , Ghana/epidemiology , Headache/epidemiology , Headache/virology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pharyngitis/epidemiology , Pharyngitis/virology , Sex Distribution