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JAMA Pediatr ; 176(3): e216436, 2022 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1635814

ABSTRACT

Importance: Little is known about COVID-19 outcomes among children and adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa, where preexisting comorbidities are prevalent. Objective: To assess the clinical outcomes and factors associated with outcomes among children and adolescents hospitalized with COVID-19 in 6 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cohort study was a retrospective record review of data from 25 hospitals in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and Uganda from March 1 to December 31, 2020, and included 469 hospitalized patients aged 0 to 19 years with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Exposures: Age, sex, preexisting comorbidities, and region of residence. Main Outcomes and Measures: An ordinal primary outcome scale was used comprising 5 categories: (1) hospitalization without oxygen supplementation, (2) hospitalization with oxygen supplementation, (3) ICU admission, (4) invasive mechanical ventilation, and (5) death. The secondary outcome was length of hospital stay. Results: Among 469 hospitalized children and adolescents, the median age was 5.9 years (IQR, 1.6-11.1 years); 245 patients (52.4%) were male, and 115 (24.5%) had comorbidities. A total of 39 patients (8.3%) were from central Africa, 172 (36.7%) from eastern Africa, 208 (44.3%) from southern Africa, and 50 (10.7%) from western Africa. Eighteen patients had suspected (n = 6) or confirmed (n = 12) multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children. Thirty-nine patients (8.3%) died, including 22 of 69 patients (31.9%) who required intensive care unit admission and 4 of 18 patients (22.2%) with suspected or confirmed multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children. Among 468 patients, 418 (89.3%) were discharged, and 16 (3.4%) remained hospitalized. The likelihood of outcomes with higher vs lower severity among children younger than 1 year expressed as adjusted odds ratio (aOR) was 4.89 (95% CI, 1.44-16.61) times higher than that of adolescents aged 15 to 19 years. The presence of hypertension (aOR, 5.91; 95% CI, 1.89-18.50), chronic lung disease (aOR, 2.97; 95% CI, 1.65-5.37), or a hematological disorder (aOR, 3.10; 95% CI, 1.04-9.24) was associated with severe outcomes. Age younger than 1 year (adjusted subdistribution hazard ratio [asHR], 0.48; 95% CI, 0.27-0.87), the presence of 1 comorbidity (asHR, 0.54; 95% CI, 0.40-0.72), and the presence of 2 or more comorbidities (asHR, 0.26; 95% CI, 0.18-0.38) were associated with reduced rates of hospital discharge. Conclusions and Relevance: In this cohort study of children and adolescents hospitalized with COVID-19 in sub-Saharan Africa, high rates of morbidity and mortality were observed among infants and patients with noncommunicable disease comorbidities, suggesting that COVID-19 vaccination and therapeutic interventions are needed for young populations in this region.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Child, Hospitalized , Outcome Assessment, Health Care , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Adolescent , Africa South of the Sahara/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/mortality , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Infant , Length of Stay/statistics & numerical data , Male , Oxygen Inhalation Therapy , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Respiration, Artificial , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Int J Infect Dis ; 113 Suppl 1: S78-S81, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575136

ABSTRACT

After a century of controversies on its usefulness in protection against TB, underlying mechanisms of action, and benefits in various groups and geographical areas, the BCG vaccine is yet again a focus of global attention- this time due to the global COVID-19 pandemic caused by the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). Recent studies have shown that human CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells primed with a BCG-derived peptide developed high reactivity to its corresponding SARS-CoV-2-derived peptide. Furthermore, BCG vaccine has been shown to substantially increase interferon-gamma (IFN-g) production and its effects on CD4+ T-cells and these non-specific immune responses through adjuvant effect could be harnessed as cross protection against severe forms of COVID-19.The completion of ongoing BGG trials is important as they may shed light on the mechanisms underlying BCG-mediated immunity and could lead to improved efficacy, increased tolerance of treatment, and identification of other ways of combining BCG with other immunotherapies.


Subject(s)
BCG Vaccine , COVID-19 , Cross Protection , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
5.
Int J Infect Dis ; 113 Suppl 1: S16-S21, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575135

ABSTRACT

In this perspective, we discuss the impact of COVID-19 on tuberculosis (TB)/HIV health services and approaches to mitigating the growing burden of these three colliding epidemics in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). SSA countries bear significantly high proportions of TB and HIV cases reported worldwide, compared to countries in the West. Whilst COVID-19 epidemiology appears to vary across Africa, most countries in this region have reported relatively lower-case counts compared to the West. Nevertheless, the COVID-19 pandemic has added an additional burden to already overstretched health systems in SSA, which, among other things, have been focused on the longstanding dual epidemics of TB and HIV. As with these dual epidemics, inadequate resources and poor case identification and reporting may be contributing to underestimations of the COVID-19 case burden in SSA. Modelling studies predict that the pandemic-related disruptions in TB and HIV services will result in significant increases in associated morbidity and mortality over the next five years. Furthermore, limited empirical evidence suggests that SARS-CoV-2 coinfections with TB and HIV are associated with increased mortality risk in SSA. However, predictive models require a better evidence-base to accurately define the impact of COVID-19, not only on communicable diseases such as TB and HIV, but on non-communicable disease comorbidities. Further research is needed to assess morbidity and mortality data among both adults and children across the African continent, paying attention to geographic disparities, as well as the clinical and socio-economic determinants of COVID-19 in the setting of TB and/or HIV.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Tuberculosis , Africa South of the Sahara/epidemiology , Child , HIV Infections/complications , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Health Services , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Tuberculosis/epidemiology
6.
Int J Infect Dis ; 113 Suppl 1: S7-S12, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1573985

ABSTRACT

The October 2020 Global TB report reviews TB control strategies and United Nations (UN) targets set in the political declaration at the September 2018 UN General Assembly high-level meeting on TB held in New York. Progress in TB care and prevention has been very slow. In 2019, TB remained the most common cause of death from a single infectious pathogen. Globally, an estimated 10.0 million people developed TB disease in 2019, and there were an estimated 1.2 million TB deaths among HIV-negative people and an additional 208, 000 deaths among people living with HIV. Adults accounted for 88% and children for 12% of people with TB. The WHO regions of South-East Asia (44%), Africa (25%), and the Western Pacific (18%) had the most people with TB. Eight countries accounted for two thirds of the global total: India (26%), Indonesia (8.5%), China (8.4%), the Philippines (6.0%), Pakistan (5.7%), Nigeria (4.4%), Bangladesh (3.6%) and South Africa (3.6%). Only 30% of the 3.5 million five-year target for children treated for TB was met. Major advances have been development of new all oral regimens for MDRTB and new regimens for preventive therapy. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic dislodged TB from the top infectious disease cause of mortality globally. Notably, global TB control efforts were not on track even before the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many challenges remain to improve sub-optimal TB treatment and prevention services. Tuberculosis screening and diagnostic test services need to be ramped up. The major drivers of TB remain undernutrition, poverty, diabetes, tobacco smoking, and household air pollution and these need be addressed to achieve the WHO 2035 TB care and prevention targets. National programs need to include interventions for post-tuberculosis holistic wellbeing. From first detection of COVID-19 global coordination and political will with huge financial investments have led to the development of effective vaccines against SARS-CoV2 infection. The world now needs to similarly focus on development of new vaccines for TB utilizing new technological methods.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Tuberculosis, Miliary , Adult , Child , Humans , Nigeria , Pandemics , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(10): 1913-1919, 2021 11 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1522140

ABSTRACT

Globally, there are prevailing knowledge gaps in the epidemiology, clinical manifestations, and outcomes of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection among children and adolescents; and these gaps are especially wide in African countries. The availability of robust age-disaggregated data is a critical first step in improving knowledge on disease burden and manifestations of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) among children. Furthermore, it is essential to improve understanding of SARS-CoV-2 interactions with comorbidities and coinfections such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), tuberculosis, malaria, sickle cell disease, and malnutrition, which are highly prevalent among children in sub-Saharan Africa. The African Forum for Research and Education in Health (AFREhealth) COVID-19 Research Collaboration on Children and Adolescents is conducting studies across Western, Central, Eastern, and Southern Africa to address existing knowledge gaps. This consortium is expected to generate key evidence to inform clinical practice and public health policy-making for COVID-19 while concurrently addressing other major diseases affecting children in African countries.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Coinfection , Tuberculosis , Adolescent , Africa South of the Sahara/epidemiology , Child , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Int J Adolesc Med Health ; 33(3): 41-51, 2021 Apr 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1484890

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Tuberculosis (TB) is a leading infectious cause of death globally. Of the estimated 10 million people who developed active TB in 2019, 1.8 million (18%) were adolescents and young adults aged 15-24 years. Adolescents have poorer rates of TB screening, treatment initiation and completion compared to adults. Unfortunately, there is relatively less programme, research and policy focus on TB for adolescents aged 10-19 years. This article reviews the scope of health services and the relevant policy landscape for TB case notification and care/treatment, TB/HIV management, and latent TB infection for adolescents in Nigeria. Additionally, it discusses considerations for TB vaccines in this population. CONTENT: All Nigeria Federal Ministry of Health policy documents relevant to adolescent health services and TB, and published between 2000 and 2020 underwent narrative review. Findings were reported according to the service areas outlined in the Objectives. SUMMARY AND OUTLOOK: Nine policy documents were identified and reviewed. While multiple policies acknowledge the needs of adolescents in public health and specifically in TB programming, these needs are often not addressed in policy, nor in program integration and implementation. The lack of age-specific epidemiologic and clinical outcomes data for adolescents contributes to these policy gaps. Poor outcomes are driven by factors such as HIV co-infection, lack of youth-friendly health services, and stigma and discrimination. Policy guidelines and innovations should include adaptations tailored to adolescent needs. However, these adaptations cannot be developed without robust epidemiological data on adolescents at risk of, and living with TB. Gaps in TB care integration into primary reproductive, maternal-child health and nutrition services should be addressed across multiple policies, and mechanisms for supervision, and monitoring and evaluation of integration be developed to guide comprehensive implementation. Youth-friendly TB services are recommended to improve access to quality care delivered in a patient-centered approach.


Subject(s)
Health Policy , Public Health , Tuberculosis , Adolescent , COVID-19 , Coinfection/epidemiology , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Nigeria/epidemiology , Patient Acceptance of Health Care , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Tuberculosis/drug therapy , Tuberculosis/epidemiology , Tuberculosis/prevention & control , Young Adult
9.
Ann Glob Health ; 87(1): 90, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1436228

ABSTRACT

Sustainable and equitable partnerships and collaborations between the Global North and Global South (as well as within the Global South) have been aspirations (if seldom achieved) of the "global health" endeavor over the past couple of decades. The COVID-19 pandemic led to global lockdowns that disrupted international travel and severely challenged these partnerships, providing a critical space for self-reflection on global health as a discipline. One major global north-south partnership is that between the African Forum for Research and Education in Health (AFREhealth) and the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH). This article reports on a recent Satellite meeting of the AFREhealth-CUGH Working Group (ACWG) at the CUGH 2021 virtual conference in March 2021 that provided insights on North-South and South-South global health partnerships, against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. The authors describe challenges and opportunities for research and education in these partnerships (as discussed at this ACWG Satellite meeting), and implications for the field of global health going forward as we emerge from the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Global Health , International Cooperation , Pandemics , Africa/epidemiology , Biomedical Research/organization & administration , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Congresses as Topic , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Universities/organization & administration
10.
J Int AIDS Soc ; 24(8): e25741, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1336004

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Adolescents and young people comprise a growing proportion of new HIV infections globally, yet current approaches do not effectively engage this group, and adolescent HIV-related outcomes are the poorest among all age groups. Providing psychosocial interventions incorporating psychological, social, and/or behavioural approaches offer a potential pathway to improve engagement in care and health and behavioural outcomes among adolescents and young people living with HIV (AYPLHIV). METHODS: A systematic search of all peer-reviewed papers published between January 2000 and July 2020 was conducted through four electronic databases (Cochrane Library, PsycINFO, PubMed and Scopus). We included randomized controlled trials evaluating psychosocial interventions aimed at improving engagement in care and health and behavioural outcomes of AYPLHIV aged 10 to 24 years. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: Thirty relevant studies were identified. Studies took place in the United States (n = 18, 60%), sub-Saharan Africa (Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe) and Southeast Asia (Thailand). Outcomes of interest included adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART), ART knowledge, viral load data, sexual risk behaviours, sexual risk knowledge, retention in care and linkage to care. Overall, psychosocial interventions for AYPLHIV showed important, small-to-moderate effects on adherence to ART (SMD = 0.3907, 95% CI: 0.1059 to 0.6754, 21 studies, n = 2647) and viral load (SMD = -0.2607, 95% CI -04518 to -0.0696, 12 studies, n = 1566). The psychosocial interventions reviewed did not demonstrate significant impacts on retention in care (n = 8), sexual risk behaviours and knowledge (n = 13), viral suppression (n = 4), undetectable viral load (n = 5) or linkage to care (n = 1) among AYPLHIV. No studies measured transition to adult services. Effective interventions employed various approaches, including digital and lay health worker delivery, which hold promise for scaling interventions in the context of COVID-19. CONCLUSIONS: This review highlights the potential of psychosocial interventions in improving health outcomes in AYPLHIV. However, more research needs to be conducted on interventions that can effectively reduce sexual risk behaviours of AYPLHIV, as well as those that can strengthen engagement in care. Further investment is needed to ensure that these interventions are cost-effective, sustainable and resilient in the face of resource constraints and global challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Anti-Retroviral Agents/therapeutic use , HIV Infections/psychology , Patient Participation/psychology , Psychosocial Intervention , Treatment Adherence and Compliance/psychology , Adolescent , Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active , COVID-19 , Female , HIV Infections/drug therapy , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Risk-Taking , SARS-CoV-2 , Sexual Behavior , South Africa , Viral Load , Young Adult
11.
Am J Trop Med Hyg ; 104(4): 1179-1187, 2021 Feb 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1262647

ABSTRACT

Most African countries have recorded relatively lower COVID-19 burdens than Western countries. This has been attributed to early and strong political commitment and robust implementation of public health measures, such as nationwide lockdowns, travel restrictions, face mask wearing, testing, contact tracing, and isolation, along with community education and engagement. Other factors include the younger population age strata and hypothesized but yet-to-be confirmed partially protective cross-immunity from parasitic diseases and/or other circulating coronaviruses. However, the true burden may also be underestimated due to operational and resource issues for COVID-19 case identification and reporting. In this perspective article, we discuss selected best practices and challenges with COVID-19 contact tracing in Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, and Uganda. Best practices from these country case studies include sustained, multi-platform public communications; leveraging of technology innovations; applied public health expertise; deployment of community health workers; and robust community engagement. Challenges include an overwhelming workload of contact tracing and case detection for healthcare workers, misinformation and stigma, and poorly sustained adherence to isolation and quarantine. Important lessons learned include the need for decentralization of contact tracing to the lowest geographic levels of surveillance, rigorous use of data and technology to improve decision-making, and sustainment of both community sensitization and political commitment. Further research is needed to understand the role and importance of contact tracing in controlling community transmission dynamics in African countries, including among children. Also, implementation science will be critically needed to evaluate innovative, accessible, and cost-effective digital solutions to accommodate the contact tracing workload.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/organization & administration , Contact Tracing/methods , Humans , Nigeria/epidemiology , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Rwanda/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , South Africa/epidemiology , Uganda/epidemiology
14.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(10): 1913-1919, 2021 11 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1083754

ABSTRACT

Globally, there are prevailing knowledge gaps in the epidemiology, clinical manifestations, and outcomes of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection among children and adolescents; and these gaps are especially wide in African countries. The availability of robust age-disaggregated data is a critical first step in improving knowledge on disease burden and manifestations of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) among children. Furthermore, it is essential to improve understanding of SARS-CoV-2 interactions with comorbidities and coinfections such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), tuberculosis, malaria, sickle cell disease, and malnutrition, which are highly prevalent among children in sub-Saharan Africa. The African Forum for Research and Education in Health (AFREhealth) COVID-19 Research Collaboration on Children and Adolescents is conducting studies across Western, Central, Eastern, and Southern Africa to address existing knowledge gaps. This consortium is expected to generate key evidence to inform clinical practice and public health policy-making for COVID-19 while concurrently addressing other major diseases affecting children in African countries.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Coinfection , Tuberculosis , Adolescent , Africa South of the Sahara/epidemiology , Child , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
15.
American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene ; 102(6):1184-1188, 2020.
Article in English | Africa Wide Information | ID: covidwho-1037739

ABSTRACT

Abstract: The novel severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 pandemic has spread to Africa, where nearly all countries have reported laboratory-confirmed cases of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Although there are ongoing clinical trials of repurposed and investigational antiviral and immune-based therapies, there are as yet no scientifically proven, clinically effective pharmacological treatments for COVID-19. Among the repurposed drugs, the commonly used antimalarials chloroquine (CQ) and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) have become the focus of global scientific, media, and political attention despite a lack of randomized clinical trials supporting their efficacy. Chloroquine has been used worldwide for about 75 years and is listed by the WHO as an essential medicine to treat malaria. Hydroxychloroquine is mainly used as a therapy for autoimmune diseases. However, the efficacy and safety of CQ/HCQ for the treatment of COVID-19 remains to be defined. Indiscriminate promotion and widespread use of CQ/HCQ have led to extensive shortages, self-treatment, and fatal overdoses. Shortages and increased market prices leave all countries vulnerable to substandard and falsified medical products, and safety issues are especially concerning for Africa because of its healthcare system limitations. Much needed in Africa is a cross-continental collaborative network for coordinated production, distribution, and post-marketing surveillance aligned to low-cost distribution of any approved COVID-19 drug;this would ideally be piggybacked on existing global aid efforts. Meanwhile, African countries should strongly consider implementing prescription monitoring schemes to ensure that any off-label CQ/HCQ use is appropriate and beneficial during this pandemic

16.
Am J Trop Med Hyg ; 104(2): 461-465, 2020 Dec 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1000469

ABSTRACT

In the African context, there is a paucity of data on SARS-CoV-2 infection and associated COVID-19 in pregnancy. Given the endemicity of infections such as malaria, HIV, and tuberculosis (TB) in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), it is important to evaluate coinfections with SARS-CoV-2 and their impact on maternal/infant outcomes. Robust research is critically needed to evaluate the effects of the added burden of COVID-19 in pregnancy, to help develop evidence-based policies toward improving maternal and infant outcomes. In this perspective, we briefly review current knowledge on the clinical features of COVID-19 in pregnancy; the risks of preterm birth and cesarean delivery secondary to comorbid severity; the effects of maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection on the fetus/neonate; and in utero mother-to-child SARS-CoV-2 transmission. We further highlight the need to conduct multicountry surveillance as well as retrospective and prospective cohort studies across SSA. This will enable assessments of SARS-CoV-2 burden among pregnant African women and improve the understanding of the spectrum of COVID-19 manifestations in this population, which may be living with or without HIV, TB, and/or other coinfections/comorbidities. In addition, multicountry studies will allow a better understanding of risk factors and outcomes to be compared across countries and subregions. Such an approach will encourage and strengthen much-needed intra-African, south-to-south multidisciplinary and interprofessional research collaborations. The African Forum for Research and Education in Health's COVID-19 Research Working Group has embarked upon such a collaboration across Western, Central, Eastern and Southern Africa.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/epidemiology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/virology , Research , Africa South of the Sahara/epidemiology , COVID-19/mortality , Coinfection/complications , Coinfection/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical , Intersectoral Collaboration , Pregnancy , Pregnant Women , Premature Birth , Prospective Studies , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Socioeconomic Factors
17.
Am J Trop Med Hyg ; 103(6): 2419-2428, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-809794

ABSTRACT

Little is known about the clinical features and outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 infection in Africa. We conducted a retrospective cohort study of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 between March 10, 2020 and July 31, 2020 at seven hospitals in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Outcomes included clinical improvement within 30 days (primary) and in-hospital mortality (secondary). Of 766 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 500 (65.6%) were male, with a median (interquartile range [IQR]) age of 46 (34-58) years. One hundred ninety-one (25%) patients had severe/critical disease requiring admission in the intensive care unit (ICU). Six hundred twenty patients (80.9%) improved and were discharged within 30 days of admission. Overall in-hospital mortality was 13.2% (95% CI: 10.9-15.8), and almost 50% among those in the ICU. Independent risk factors for death were age < 20 years (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] = 6.62, 95% CI: 1.85-23.64), 40-59 years (aHR = 4.45, 95% CI: 1.83-10.79), and ≥ 60 years (aHR = 13.63, 95% CI: 5.70-32.60) compared with those aged 20-39 years, with obesity (aHR = 2.30, 95% CI: 1.24-4.27), and with chronic kidney disease (aHR = 5.33, 95% CI: 1.85-15.35). In marginal structural model analysis, there was no statistically significant difference in odds of clinical improvement (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 1.53, 95% CI: 0.88-2.67, P = 0.132) nor risk of death (aOR = 0.65, 95% CI: 0.35-1.20) when comparing the use of chloroquine/azithromycin versus other treatments. In this DRC study, the high mortality among patients aged < 20 years and with severe/critical disease is of great concern, and requires further research for confirmation and targeted interventions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/mortality , Hospital Mortality/trends , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Adolescent , Adult , Asymptomatic Diseases , Azithromycin/therapeutic use , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/drug therapy , Chloroquine/therapeutic use , Democratic Republic of the Congo/epidemiology , Drug Combinations , Enoxaparin/therapeutic use , Female , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Hospitals , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Lopinavir/therapeutic use , Male , Middle Aged , Obesity/diagnosis , Obesity/physiopathology , Obesity/virology , Patient Discharge/statistics & numerical data , Renal Insufficiency, Chronic/diagnosis , Renal Insufficiency, Chronic/physiopathology , Renal Insufficiency, Chronic/virology , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , Ritonavir/therapeutic use , Severity of Illness Index , Treatment Outcome
18.
Pediatr Res ; 89(5): 1078-1086, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-796715

ABSTRACT

Zero to 19 year-old children in sub-Saharan Africa bear a disproportionate proportion of the global burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases. Significant public health gains have been made in the fight against these diseases, however, factors such as underequipped health systems, disease outbreaks, conflict, and political instability continue to challenge prevention and control. The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) introduces new challenges to public health programs in sub-Saharan Africa. Of particular concern are programs targeting major conditions among children, such as undernutrition, vaccine-preventable pneumonia and diarrhea, malaria, tuberculosis, HIV, and sickle cell disease. This article focuses on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on child health in sub-Saharan Africa. We review the epidemiology of major pediatric diseases and, referencing modeling projections, discuss the short- and long-term impact of the pandemic on major disease control. We deliberate on potential complications of SARS-CoV-2 co-infections/co-morbidities and identify critical social and ethical issues. Furthermore, we highlight the paucity of COVID-19 data and clinical trials in this region and the lack of child participants in ongoing studies. Lastly, approaches and interventions to mitigate the pandemic's impact on child health outcomes are discussed. IMPACT: Children in sub-Saharan Africa bear a disproportionate burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases globally; this remains true even as the COVID-19 pandemic persists. Amidst the fast-expanding COVID-19 literature, there is little comprehensive coverage of the pandemic's indirect impact on child health in sub-Saharan Africa. This article comprehensively outlines the threat that the pandemic poses to major disease prevention and control for children in sub-Saharan Africa. It discusses the potential impact of SARS-CoV-2 co-infections/co-morbidities, highlights research gaps, and advocates for data and action to mitigate the ripple effects of the pandemic on this population.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Child Health Services/trends , Child Health , Delivery of Health Care , Pandemics , Preventive Health Services/trends , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Africa South of the Sahara/epidemiology , Anemia, Sickle Cell/epidemiology , Child , Child Abuse/prevention & control , Child Health Services/organization & administration , Child, Preschool , Clinical Trials as Topic , Comorbidity , Cost of Illness , Female , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Malaria/epidemiology , Malaria/prevention & control , Male , Malnutrition/epidemiology , Patient Selection , Preventive Health Services/organization & administration , Tuberculosis/epidemiology , Vaccine-Preventable Diseases/epidemiology , Wounds and Injuries/epidemiology , Young Adult
19.
Am J Trop Med Hyg ; 102(6): 1184-1188, 2020 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-596705

ABSTRACT

The novel severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 pandemic has spread to Africa, where nearly all countries have reported laboratory-confirmed cases of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Although there are ongoing clinical trials of repurposed and investigational antiviral and immune-based therapies, there are as yet no scientifically proven, clinically effective pharmacological treatments for COVID-19. Among the repurposed drugs, the commonly used antimalarials chloroquine (CQ) and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) have become the focus of global scientific, media, and political attention despite a lack of randomized clinical trials supporting their efficacy. Chloroquine has been used worldwide for about 75 years and is listed by the WHO as an essential medicine to treat malaria. Hydroxychloroquine is mainly used as a therapy for autoimmune diseases. However, the efficacy and safety of CQ/HCQ for the treatment of COVID-19 remains to be defined. Indiscriminate promotion and widespread use of CQ/HCQ have led to extensive shortages, self-treatment, and fatal overdoses. Shortages and increased market prices leave all countries vulnerable to substandard and falsified medical products, and safety issues are especially concerning for Africa because of its healthcare system limitations. Much needed in Africa is a cross-continental collaborative network for coordinated production, distribution, and post-marketing surveillance aligned to low-cost distribution of any approved COVID-19 drug; this would ideally be piggybacked on existing global aid efforts. Meanwhile, African countries should strongly consider implementing prescription monitoring schemes to ensure that any off-label CQ/HCQ use is appropriate and beneficial during this pandemic.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Off-Label Use/ethics , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic/standards , Antimalarials/therapeutic use , Antirheumatic Agents/therapeutic use , Azithromycin/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Chloroquine/therapeutic use , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/standards , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Drug Repositioning , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine/therapeutic use , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Practice Guidelines as Topic , SARS-CoV-2 , Sample Size , Treatment Outcome , United States/epidemiology
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