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

ABSTRACT

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.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Child , Ghana , COVID-19/epidemiology , Learning , Educational Status , Health Facilities
2.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 2494, 2022 05 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1890179

ABSTRACT

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.


Subject(s)
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
3.
Ghana Med J ; 55(2 Suppl): 21-28, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1502649

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The study was conducted to determine the prevalence of radiologically diagnosed pneumonia among COVID-19 patients and associated factors. DESIGN SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: A retrospective manual data extraction of 275 medical records of COVID-19 patients was conducted at two COVID-19 national treatment centres in Accra from March to May 2020. All patients had a chest x-ray done. MAIN OUTCOME AND ANALYSIS: The main outcome was the presence of pneumonia. Descriptive statistics and Chi-square test of independence were employed to determine the associations between independent variables and the presence of pneumonia. All analysis was performed using Stata 16, and a p-value ≤ 0.05 was deemed significant. RESULTS: The prevalence of pneumonia was 44%(95%CI) =38.2-50.0). Chi-square independent test indicated that pneumonia in the COVID-19 patients was associated with educational level, history of domestic and international travel, mass gathering in the past 14 days before diagnosis, and discharge plan (p-value< 0.05). Patients classified as secondary cases (61.5%) and those discharged as fully recovered from the health facility (61.2%) had a higher prevalence of pneumonia. In addition, COVID-19 patients with hypertension (32.1%) and asthma (5.2%) had a significantly higher prevalence of pneumonia. CONCLUSION: Overall, the prevalence of pneumonia was 44% and was associated with the demographic and personal characteristics of the patients. Early detection through contact tracing and community surveillance should be intensified to pick up more asymptomatic cases. The role of the chest x-ray for triaging patients and for clinical management of symptomatic patients remains key. FUNDING: None declared.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pneumonia , COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , COVID-19/epidemiology , Ghana/epidemiology , Humans , Pneumonia/diagnostic imaging , Pneumonia/epidemiology , Prevalence , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , X-Rays
4.
Ghana Med J ; 54(4 Suppl): 46-51, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1436194

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The novel corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was diagnosed in Wuhan, China in December 2019 and, in Ghana, in March 2020. As of 30th July 2020, Ghana had recorded 35,142 cases. COVID-19 which can be transmitted by both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals usually manifest as pneumonia with symptoms like fever, cough, dyspnoea and fatigue. The current non-availability of a vaccine or drug for COVID-19 management calls for early detection and isolation of affected individuals. Chest imaging has become an integral part of patient management with chest radiography serving as a primary imaging modality in many centres. METHODS: The study was a retrospective study conducted at Ga East Municipal Hospital (GEMH). Chest radiographs of patients with mild to moderate disease managed at GEMH were evaluated. The age, gender, symptom status, comorbidities and chest x-ray findings of the patients were documented. RESULTS: 11.4 % of the patients had some form of respiratory abnormality on chest radiography with 88.9% showing COVID-19 pneumonia features. 93.8% showed ground glass opacities (GGO), with 3.1% each showing consolidation (CN) only and CN with GGO. There was a significant association between COVID-19 radiographic features and patient's age, symptom status and comorbidities but not with gender. CONCLUSION: Most radiographs were normal with only 11% showing COVID-19-like abnormality. There was a significant association between age, symptom status and comorbidities with the presence of COVID-19 like features but not for gender. There was no association between the extent of the lung changes and patient characteristics. FUNDING: None declared.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , Radiography, Thoracic/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Comorbidity , Female , Ghana/epidemiology , Hospitals, Urban , Humans , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Lung/virology , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Severity of Illness Index , Symptom Assessment/methods , Young Adult
5.
Ghana Med J ; 54(4 Suppl): 23-32, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1436191

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: This analysis described the clinical features of COVID-19 in the early phase of the pandemic in Ghana. METHODS: Data were extracted from two national COVID-19 treatment centers in Ghana for over 11 weeks(from March to May 2020). Descriptive and inferential statistics were performed. Modified Ordered Logistic and Negative Binomial Regression analysis were applied to establish factors associated with illness severity and Non-communicable Disease (NCDs) counts respectively. All analysis was conducted at the 95% confidence level (p-value ≤ 0.05) using Stata 16. RESULTS: Among the 275 patients, the average age was 40.7±16.4, with a preponderance of males (54.5%). The three commonest symptoms presented were cough (21.3%), headache (15.7%), and sore throat (11.7%). Only 7.6% of the patients had a history of fever. Most patients were asymptomatic (51.65). Approximately 38.9% have an underlying co-morbid NCDs, with Hypertension (32.1%), Diabetes (9.9%), and Asthma (5.2%) being the three commonest. The odds of Moderate/severe (MoS) was significantly higher for those with unknown exposures to similar illness [aOR(95%CI) = 4.27(1.12-10.2)] compared with non-exposure to similar illness. An increased unit of NCD's count significantly increased the odds of COVID-19 MoS illness by 26%[cOR(95%CI) =1.26(1.09-1.84)] and 67% (adjusting for age) [aOR(95%CI)=1.67(1.13-2.49)]. CONCLUSION: The presence of cardiovascular co-morbidities dictated the frequency of reported symptoms and severity of COVID-19 infection in this sample of Ghanaians. Physicians should be aware of the presence of co-morbid NCDs and prepare to manage effectively among COVID-19 patients. FUNDING: None declared.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Cardiovascular Diseases/epidemiology , Noncommunicable Diseases/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Adult , COVID-19/virology , Comorbidity , Cough/epidemiology , Cough/virology , Female , Ghana/epidemiology , Headache/epidemiology , Headache/virology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pharyngitis/epidemiology , Pharyngitis/virology , Regression Analysis
6.
Ghana Med J ; 54(4 Suppl): 16-22, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1436190

ABSTRACT

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.


Subject(s)
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
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