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1.
Sex Health ; 19(4): 336-345, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2050710

ABSTRACT

Digital health has become increasingly embedded within sexual health service delivery and is now an established part of the user journey. It can support the provision of information and access to care across the sexual health continuum and facilitate the delivery of differentiated care with tailored and layered interventions that meet an individual's and target populations' need. However, despite advances in digital health, many challenges remain in the measurement and evaluation of sexual health. Reaching underserved populations, ensuring that both the intervention and the outcomes being measured are appropriate, and consistent collection of data (across settings and over time) are all potential obstacles to a full realisation of these opportunities. In order for digital health to improve sexual health and wellbeing, and reduce morbidity, the following need to occur: (1) ensure the necessary digital, health care, laboratory, legal and regulatory and surveillance infrastructure is in place to provide access to those with a sexual health need; (2) empowerment of end users and communities to take control of their own health through engagement in the development of interventions, and to ensure that outcomes of importance are measured; (3) tailoring and layering of interventions to provide equitable access to care; (4) integrating the digital ecosystem with the existing healthcare and external ecosystem; (5) measure and evaluate the unmet needs, gaps and quality of the experience, taking a realist evaluation approach; and (6) measure and evaluate the economic and distributional impacts associated with digital services or interventions in sexual health.


Subject(s)
Sexual Health , Health Services Needs and Demand , Humans
2.
Afr J AIDS Res ; 21(2): 162-170, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1963327

ABSTRACT

Background: The impact of school closures due to COVID-19 raised widespread concerns about children's health and well-being. We examine the impact on the sexual health needs of learners in the context of COVID-19 related lockdowns in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.Methods: In july-November 2020 and August-November 2021 we conducted 24 in-depth interviews and 8 group discussions with teachers and learners from 4 schools, community members and key education stakeholders. All interviews were conducted by telephone. We used a thematic analysis approach and Nvivo 12 software to manage the data.Results: Four main themes related to the COVID-19 pandemic emerged from the data: the sexual and reproductive health (SRH) of learners in the lead-up to the pandemic; the impact of COVID-19 on learners' SRH and wellbeing; the opportunities schools provided to support sexual well-being of learners during the pandemic; and the role of schools in supporting SRH for learners during the pandemic. Learners and stakeholders reported that the SRH of young people was affected by alcohol misuse, poor SRH knowledge and few pathways to link learners with services. Stakeholders working with schools reported that a lack of access to biomedical interventions (e.g., contraception) increased learner pregnancies. Gender-based violence in learners' households was reported to have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic related to loss of income. School closures disrupted the provision of a safe space to provide SRH and HIV-education through Life Orientation lessons and school nurse talks. This loss of a safe space also left learners vulnerable to sexual and physical violence. However, once schools re-opened, daily COVID-19 screening in schools provided the opportunity to identify and support vulnerable children who had other social needs (food and uniforms).Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic may have increased SRH needs and vulnerability of school-going children in a high HIV-burden rural setting. School shutdowns reduced the opportunity for schools to provide a vital safe space and information to enhance SRH for adolescents. Schools play a vital health promotion and social protection role.

3.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-321510

ABSTRACT

A coordinated system of disease surveillance will be critical to effectively control the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic. Such systems enable rapid detection and mapping of epidemics and inform allocation of scarce prevention and intervention resources. Although many lower- and middle-income settings lack infrastructure for optimal disease surveillance, health and demographic surveillance systems (HDSS) provide a unique opportunity for epidemic monitoring. This protocol describes a surveillance program at the Africa Health Research Institute’s Population Intervention Platform site in northern KwaZulu-Natal. The program leverages a longstanding HDSS in a rural, resource-limited setting with very high prevalence of HIV and tuberculosis to perform Covid-19 surveillance. Our primary aims include: describing the epidemiology of the Covid-19 epidemic in rural KwaZulu-Natal;determining the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak and non-pharmaceutical control interventions (NPI) on behaviour and wellbeing;determining the impact of HIV and tuberculosis on Covid-19 susceptibility;and using collected data to support the local public-sector health response. The program involves telephone-based interviews with over 20,000 households every four months, plus a sub-study calling 750 households every two weeks. Each call asks a household representative how the epidemic and NPI are affecting the household and conducts a Covid-19 risk screen for all resident members. Any individuals screening positive are invited to a clinical screen, potential test and referral to necessary care – conducted in-person near their home following careful risk minimization procedures. In this protocol we report the details of our cohort design, questionnaires, data and reporting structures, and standard operating procedures in hopes that our project can inform similar efforts elsewhere.

4.
Prog Dev Stud ; 21(4): 419-434, 2021 Oct 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1201818

ABSTRACT

We examine data from young women and men in South Africa and young female sex workers in Uganda to explore the inequalities and hardships experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic and investigate the opportunities and ability presented to navigate in a virtual world to build an inclusive supportive future for young people on the move. We argue that against the backdrop of a fragile past, young people who see their today disturbed, tomorrow reshaped and their futures interrupted, need support to interact with their social environment and adjust their lives and expectations amidst the changing influences of social forces.

5.
Clin Infect Dis ; 72(4): 690-693, 2021 02 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1087709

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) can cause deadly healthcare-associated outbreaks. In a major London teaching hospital, 66 of 435 (15%) COVID-19 inpatient cases between 2 March and 12 April 2020 were definitely or probably hospital-acquired, through varied transmission routes. The case fatality was 36%. Nosocomial infection rates fell following comprehensive infection prevention and control measures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cross Infection , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , Hospitals, Teaching , Humans , London/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Wellcome Open Res ; 5: 109, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1027389

ABSTRACT

A coordinated system of disease surveillance will be critical to effectively control the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic. Such systems enable rapid detection and mapping of epidemics and inform allocation of scarce prevention and intervention resources. Although many lower- and middle-income settings lack infrastructure for optimal disease surveillance, health and demographic surveillance systems (HDSS) provide a unique opportunity for epidemic monitoring. This protocol describes a surveillance program at the Africa Health Research Institute's Population Intervention Platform site in northern KwaZulu-Natal. The program leverages a longstanding HDSS in a rural, resource-limited setting with very high prevalence of HIV and tuberculosis to perform Covid-19 surveillance. Our primary aims include: describing the epidemiology of the Covid-19 epidemic in rural KwaZulu-Natal; determining the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak and non-pharmaceutical control interventions (NPI) on behaviour and wellbeing; determining the impact of HIV and tuberculosis on Covid-19 susceptibility; and using collected data to support the local public-sector health response. The program involves telephone-based interviews with over 20,000 households every four months, plus a sub-study calling 750 households every two weeks. Each call asks a household representative how the epidemic and NPI are affecting the household and conducts a Covid-19 risk screen for all resident members. Any individuals screening positive are invited to a clinical screen, potential test and referral to necessary care - conducted in-person near their home following careful risk minimization procedures. In this protocol we report the details of our cohort design, questionnaires, data and reporting structures, and standard operating procedures in hopes that our project can inform similar efforts elsewhere.

7.
BMJ Open ; 10(10): e043763, 2020 10 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-835490

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: We evaluated whether implementation of lockdown orders in South Africa affected ambulatory clinic visitation in rural Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN). DESIGN: Observational cohort SETTING: Data were analysed from 11 primary healthcare clinics in northern KZN. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 46 523 individuals made 89 476 clinic visits during the observation period. EXPOSURE OF INTEREST: We conducted an interrupted time series analysis to estimate changes in clinic visitation with a focus on transitions from the prelockdown to the level 5, 4 and 3 lockdown periods. OUTCOME MEASURES: Daily clinic visitation at ambulatory clinics. In stratified analyses, we assessed visitation for the following subcategories: child health, perinatal care and family planning, HIV services, non-communicable diseases and by age and sex strata. RESULTS: We found no change in total clinic visits/clinic/day at the time of implementation of the level 5 lockdown (change from 90.3 to 84.6 mean visits/clinic/day, 95% CI -16.5 to 3.1), or at the transitions to less stringent level 4 and 3 lockdown levels. We did detect a >50% reduction in child healthcare visits at the start of the level 5 lockdown from 11.9 to 4.7 visits/day (-7.1 visits/clinic/day, 95% CI -8.9 to 5.3), both for children aged <1 year and 1-5 years, with a gradual return to prelockdown within 3 months after the first lockdown measure. In contrast, we found no drop in clinic visitation in adults at the start of the level 5 lockdown, or related to HIV care (from 37.5 to 45.6, 8.0 visits/clinic/day, 95% CI 2.1 to 13.8). CONCLUSIONS: In rural KZN, we identified a significant, although temporary, reduction in child healthcare visitation but general resilience of adult ambulatory care provision during the first 4 months of the lockdown. Future work should explore the impacts of the circulating epidemic on primary care provision and long-term impacts of reduced child visitation on outcomes in the region.


Subject(s)
Ambulatory Care/statistics & numerical data , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Health Services Accessibility/trends , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Primary Health Care , Public Health , Adult , Age Factors , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Family Planning Services/statistics & numerical data , Female , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Pediatrics/statistics & numerical data , Primary Health Care/methods , Primary Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Public Health/methods , Public Health/statistics & numerical data , Rural Population , SARS-CoV-2
8.
ProQuest Central; 2020.
Preprint in English | ProQuest Central | ID: ppcovidwho-2115

ABSTRACT

A coordinated system of disease surveillance will be critical to effectively control the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic. Such systems enable rapid detection and mapping of epidemics and inform allocation of scarce prevention and intervention resources. Although many lower- and middle-income settings lack infrastructure for optimal disease surveillance, health and demographic surveillance systems (HDSS) provide a unique opportunity for epidemic monitoring. This protocol describes a surveillance program at the Africa Health Research Institute’s Population Intervention Platform site in northern KwaZulu-Natal. The program leverages a longstanding HDSS in a rural, resource-limited setting with very high prevalence of HIV and tuberculosis to perform Covid-19 surveillance. Our primary aims include: describing the epidemiology of the Covid-19 epidemic in rural KwaZulu-Natal;determining the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak and non-pharmaceutical control interventions (NPI) on behaviour and wellbeing;determining the impact of HIV and tuberculosis on Covid-19 susceptibility;and using collected data to support the local public-sector health response. The program involves telephone-based interviews with over 20,000 households every four months, plus a sub-study calling 750 households every two weeks. Each call asks a household representative how the epidemic and NPare affecting the household and conducts a Covid-19 risk screen for all resident members. Any individuals screening positive are invited to a clinical screen, potential test and referral to necessary care – conducted in-person near their home following careful risk minimization procedures. In this protocol we report the details of our cohort design, questionnaires, data and reporting structures, and standard operating procedures in hopes that our project can inform similar efforts elsewhere.

9.
Wellcome Open Res ; 5:109-109, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-721642

ABSTRACT

A coordinated system of disease surveillance will be critical to effectively control the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic. Such systems enable rapid detection and mapping of epidemics and inform allocation of scarce prevention and intervention resources. Although many lower- and middle-income settings lack infrastructure for optimal disease surveillance, health and demographic surveillance systems (HDSS) provide a unique opportunity for epidemic monitoring. This protocol describes a surveillance program at the Africa Health Research Institute's Population Intervention Platform site in northern KwaZulu-Natal. The program leverages a longstanding HDSS in a rural, resource-limited setting with very high prevalence of HIV and tuberculosis to perform Covid-19 surveillance. Our primary aims include: describing the epidemiology of the Covid-19 epidemic in rural KwaZulu-Natal;determining the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak and non-pharmaceutical control interventions (NPI) on behaviour and wellbeing;determining the impact of HIV and tuberculosis on Covid-19 susceptibility;and using collected data to support the local public-sector health response. The program involves telephone-based interviews with over 20,000 households every four months, plus a sub-study calling 750 households every two weeks. Each call asks a household representative how the epidemic and NPI are affecting the household and conducts a Covid-19 risk screen for all resident members. Any individuals screening positive are invited to a clinical screen, potential test and referral to necessary care - conducted in-person near their home following careful risk minimization procedures. In this protocol we report the details of our cohort design, questionnaires, data and reporting structures, and standard operating procedures in hopes that our project can inform similar efforts elsewhere.

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