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Lancet Oncol ; 22(11): e474-e487, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1488012


The increasing burden of cancer represents a substantial problem for Latin America and the Caribbean. Two Lancet Oncology Commissions in 2013 and 2015 highlighted potential interventions that could advance cancer care in the region by overcoming existing challenges. Areas requiring improvement included insufficient investment in cancer control, non-universal health coverage, fragmented health systems, inequitable concentration of cancer services, inadequate registries, delays in diagnosis or treatment initiation, and insufficient palliative services. Progress has been made in key areas but remains uneven across the region. An unforeseen challenge, the COVID-19 pandemic, strained all resources, and its negative effect on cancer control is expected to continue for years. In this Series paper, we summarise progress in several aspects of cancer control since 2015, and identify persistent barriers requiring commitment of additional resources to reduce the cancer burden in Latin America and the Caribbean.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Neoplasms/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Caribbean Region/epidemiology , Cost of Illness , Delivery of Health Care/economics , Early Detection of Cancer , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Latin America/epidemiology , Medical Oncology/education , Neoplasms/epidemiology
Indian J Palliat Care ; 27(2): 299-305, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1372196


Objectives: The COVID-19 pandemic and the measures taken to mitigate spread have affected countries in different ways. Healthcare workers, in particular, have been impacted by the pandemic and by these measures. This study aims to explore how COVID-19 has impacted on palliative care (PC) workers around the world. Materials and Methods: Online survey to members of the International Association for Hospice and PC during the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Convenience sampling was used. Statistical descriptive and contingency analyses and Chi-square tests with P < 0.05 were conducted. Results: Seventy-nine participants (RR = 16%) from 41 countries responded. Over 93% of those who provide direct patient care reported feeling very or somewhat competent in PC provision for patients with COVID-19. Eighty-four felt unsafe or somewhat safe when caring for patients with COVID-19. Level of safety was associated with competence (P ≤ 0.000). Over 80% reported being highly or somewhat affected in their ability to continue working in their PC job, providing care to non-COVID patients and in staff availability in their workplace. About 37% reported that availability and access to essential medicines for PC were highly or somewhat affected, more so in low-income countries (P = 0.003). Conclusion: The results from this study highlight the impact of COVID-19 on the provision of PC. It is incumbent on government officials, academia, providers and affected populations, to develop and implement strategies to integrate PC in pandemic response, and preparedness for any similar future events, by providing appropriate and comprehensive education, uninterrupted access to essential medicines and personal protective equipment and ensure access to treatment and care, working together with all levels of society that is invested in care of individuals and populations at large. The long-term effects of the pandemic are still unknown and future research is needed to monitor and report on the appropriateness of measures.

Palliat Support Care ; 19(2): 187-192, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1253860


OBJECTIVE: With over two million deaths and almost 100 million confirmed cases, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a "tsunami of suffering." Health care workers, including palliative care workers, have been severely impacted. This study explores how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted palliative care workers around the world and describes the coping strategies they have adopted to face their specific situation. METHOD: We conducted a qualitative analysis of written, unstructured comments provided by respondents to a survey of IAHPC members between May and June 2020. Free text was exported to MAX QDA, and a thematic analysis was performed by reading the comments and developing a coding frame. RESULTS: Seventy-seven palliative care workers from 41 countries submitted at least one written comment, resulting in a data corpus of 10,694 words and a total of 374 coded comments. Eight main themes are emerged from the analysis: palliative care development, workforce impact, work reorganization, palliative care reconceptualization, economic and financial impacts, increased risk, emotional impact, and coping strategies. SIGNIFICANCE OF RESULTS: The pandemic has had a huge impact on palliative care workers including their ability to work and their financial status. It has generated increased workloads and placed them in vulnerable positions that affect their emotional well-being, resulting in distress and burnout. Counseling and support networks provide important resilience-building buffers. Coping strategies such as team and family support are important factors in workers' capacity to adapt and respond. The pandemic is changing the concept and praxis of palliative care. Government officials, academia, providers, and affected populations need to work together to develop, and implement steps to ensure palliative care integration into response preparedness plans so as not to leave anyone behind, including health workers.

COVID-19 , Pandemics , Health Personnel , Humans , Palliative Care , SARS-CoV-2