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Front Public Health ; 10: 873219, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1792868


The prolonged ongoing conflict in Palestine exacerbated socioeconomic conditions and weakened the health system, complicating the management of COVID-19 pandemic, especially for cancer patients who are doubly-at risk. Augusta Victoria Hospital (AVH) is Palestine's only specialized cancer hospital, receiving patients from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank for oncology, nephrology, hematology, and radiotherapy. AVH's preparedness measures enabled its agile response. These proactive and innovative preparedness measures included: implementing a facility-level preparedness and response plan; utilizing multidisciplinary team-based and evidence-informed approaches to decision making; prioritizing health workers' safety and education; establishing in-house PCR testing to scale up timely screenings; and accommodating health workers, patients, and their relatives at hospital hotels, to maintain daily, continuous and critical health care for cancer patients and limit the spread of infection. At the facility-level, the biggest challenge faced by AVH was continuing essential and daily care for immunocompromised patients while protecting them from potential infection from relatives, hospital staff and other suspected patients. At the national level, the lack of preparedness, inequalities in vaccine distribution, political instability, violence, delays in obtaining medical exit permits to reach Jerusalem, weakened AVH's response. AVH's flexible financing, hospital accreditation, and strong leadership and coordination enabled its agility and resilience. Despite compiling challenges, the hospital's proactive and innovative interventions minimized the risk of infection among two high-risk groups: the immunocompromised patients and their health workers, providing invaluable lessons for health facilities in other fragile-and-conflict-affected settings.

COVID-19 , Neoplasms , Arabs , Cancer Care Facilities , Humans , Neoplasms/therapy , Pandemics/prevention & control
SAGE Open Med ; 10: 20503121211069278, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1648895


OBJECTIVES: This study aims to evaluate knowledge, attitudes, practices, and perceived challenges regarding coronavirus disease 2019 among pharmacists in Palestine. METHODS: An online method was used to collect the data. Three hundred sixty-four pharmacists participated in the study from all areas in the Palestinian territories. The questionnaire consisted of three sections: sociodemographics; knowledge, attitudes, practices regarding coronavirus disease 2019; and barriers that prevent the implementation of infection control measures. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences program Version 21 was used to analyze the data. Variables were expressed as frequencies, percentages, mean, and median. The chi-square test, Kruskal-Wallis test, Mann-Whitney U test, and Pearson's test were applied, along with logistic regression analysis. RESULTS: The median age of the participants was 29 years old, and most of them were female (70.9%). The analysis found that 76.4% of pharmacists had good knowledge regarding coronavirus disease 2019, and 52.7% had good practices. The median attitude score recorded by the participants was 32 points [Q1-Q3: 30-34] out of 35. Notably, the level of concern regarding coronavirus disease 2019 was significantly associated with all three tools of measurement; knowledge (p = 0.001), attitudes (p = 0.001), and practices (p = 0.001). It also appears that more years of experience had higher odds (3-5 years of experience: odds ratio, 2.560; 95% confidence interval, 1.413-4.639; p = 0.002, more than 5 years: odds ratio, 2.931; 95% confidence interval, 1.188-7.232; p = 0.020) of good practice. CONCLUSION: Although an acceptable level of knowledge was found, it might be considered inadequate. Moreover, there is a lack of appropriate adherence to safety measures from pharmacists. Therefore, we recommend the responsible authorities generate an organized training program to expand pharmacists' knowledge and experience regarding coronavirus disease 2019.

BMJ Open ; 11(10): e053681, 2021 10 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1462973


INTRODUCTION: In Palestine (West Bank and Gaza), there have been more than 320 890 known cases of COVID-19, resulting in 3452 deaths. The detrimental effects of the virus can be seen in the nation's health, economy and government operations, leading to radical uncertainty that is exacerbated by the absence of any definitive treatment or vaccines. The level of knowledge about and trust in treatment and vaccination varies worldwide. This study aims to assess the willingness of Palestinians to receive a COVID-19 vaccine and their knowledge about such vaccines. METHODS: An online survey of adults over 18 years old (n=1080) was conducted in Palestine in October 2020. Using multivariate logistic regression, we identified correlates of participants' willingness to get a COVID-19 vaccine. RESULTS: We found that about 63% of participants were willing to get a COVID-19 vaccine. However, acceptance varied with the specific demographic variables that were investigated. Women, married participants and those aged 18-24 years are more likely to take the vaccine. Further, participants with good knowledge about the vaccine and its side effects are more willing to get the vaccine. CONCLUSION: The availability of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine in Palestine is crucial to decrease the burden of COVID-19 morbidity and mortality. In addition, to ensure a high vaccination rate, health awareness campaigns should target those who are not willing to get the vaccine, especially those who are more vulnerable and the elderly.

COVID-19 , Vaccines , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination