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1.
Curr Cardiol Rep ; 23(12): 181, 2021 10 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1866681

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To revisit the importance of prevention strategies and policies in reducing the burden of ischemic heart disease in South Asian countries. RECENT FINDINGS: South Asia has seen rapid growth in its population with variable improvement in health indicators such as life expectancy at birth over the last three decades. Parallel to these improvements, there has been a stark rise in noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) but without a commensurate improvement in infrastructure/policies and health system interventions to address NCDs. South Asia is the epicenter of the cardiovascular disease (CVD) epidemic in Asia. It has a population that manifests accelerated atherosclerosis at a younger age. Poverty, lower health literacy, lack of health-promoting behaviors, poor urban design, rising air pollution, weak health systems, and lack and poor implementation of existing policies contribute to the continued rise in the incidence of CVD and the associated case fatality rates. A relatively young population presents an opportunity for implementation of prevention measures now which if not adequately utilized will result in an exponential rise in the CVD burden. There is a large gap between policymaking and implementation in this part of the world. Economic realities further constrain coverage of prevention policies; and therefore, stronger collaboration between governments, stakeholders, civil society, and regional and international funding agencies is needed to universally implement prevention strategies in South Asia.


Subject(s)
Cardiovascular Diseases , Epidemics , Asia/epidemiology , Cardiovascular Diseases/epidemiology , Cardiovascular Diseases/prevention & control , Health Policy , Humans , Infant, Newborn
2.
BMJ Open ; 11(8), 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1842763

ABSTRACT

ObjectiveTo explore healthcare provider’s perspectives and experiences of the barriers and facilitators to treat and manage COVID-19 cases.Design and settingWe conducted an exploratory qualitative study using a purposive sampling approach, at a private tertiary care teaching hospital in Karachi, Pakistan. Study data were analysed manually using the conventional content analysis technique.ParticipantsKey-informant interviews (KIIs) were conducted with senior management and hospital leadership and in-depth interviews (IDIs) were conducted with front-line healthcare providers.ResultsA total of 31 interviews (KIIs=19;IDIs=12) were conducted, between April and May 2020. Three overarching themes emerged. The first was ‘challenges faced by front-line healthcare providers working in COVID-19 wards. Healthcare workers experienced increased anxiety due to the fear of acquiring infection and transmitting it to their family members. They felt overwhelmed due to the exhaustive donning and doffing process, intense work and stigmatisation. The second theme was ‘enablers supporting healthcare providers to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic’. Front liners pointed out several enabling factors that supported hospital staff including a safe hospital environment, adequate training, a strong system of information sharing and supportive management. The third theme was ‘recommendations to support the healthcare workforce during the COVID-19 crisis’. Healthcare workers recommended measures to mitigate current challenges including providing risk allowance to front-line healthcare providers, preparing a backup health workforce, and establishing a platform to address the mental health needs of the healthcare providers.ConclusionThis study provides an initial evidence base of healthcare providers’ experiences of managing patients with COVID-19 in the early stage of the pandemic and highlights measures needed to address the encountered challenges. It offers lessons for hospitals in low-income and middle-income countries to ensure a safe working environment for front-line workers in their fight against COVID-19.

3.
PLoS One ; 16(11): e0260129, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1523452

ABSTRACT

The province of Sindh reported the first COVID-19 case in Pakistan on 26th February 2020. The Government of Sindh has employed numerous control measures to limit its spread. However, for low-and middle-income countries such as Pakistan, the management protocols for controlling a pandemic are not always as definitive as they would be in other developed nations. Given the dire socio-economic conditions of Sindh, continuation of province-wise lockdowns may inadvertently cause a potential economic breakdown. By using a data driven SEIR modelling framework, this paper describes the evolution of the epidemic projections because of government control measures. The data from reported COVID-19 prevalence and google mobility is used to parameterize the model at different time points. These time points correspond to the government's call for advice on the prerequisite actions required to curtail the spread of COVID-19 in Sindh. Our model predicted the epidemic peak to occur by 18th June 2020 with approximately 3500 reported cases at that peak, this projection correlated with the actual recorded peak during the first wave of the disease in Sindh. The impact of the governmental control actions and religious ceremonies on the epidemic profile during this first wave of COVID-19 are clearly reflected in the model outcomes through variations in the epidemic peaks. We also report these variations by displaying the trajectory of the epidemics had the control measures been guided differently; the epidemic peak may have occurred as early as the end of May 2020 with approximately 5000 reported cases per day had there been no control measures and as late as August 2020 with only around 2000 cases at the peak had the lockdown continued, nearly flattening the epidemic curve.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Government Programs/methods , Pandemics , Humans , Pakistan/epidemiology
7.
East Mediterr Health J ; 26(12): 1446-1455, 2020 Dec 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-971658

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has accentuated the need for speedy access to information. Digital divide and socio-demographic disparity create an information hiatus and therefore unhealthy practices with regard to dealing with COVID-19, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. AIMS: We assessed knowledge, attitudes, practices and their determinants regarding COVID-19 in Pakistan during March-April 2020. METHODS: 905 adults ≥18 years (males and females) participated: 403 from a web-based survey; 365 from an urban survey; and 137 from a rural survey. Frequency of adequate knowledge, attitudes and practices for the three populations was determined based on available global guidelines. Multivariable logistic regression analysis determined factors of adequacy of knowledge, attitudes, practices, and association of knowledge with attitudes and practices. RESULTS: Mean age of the participants was 33.5 (+ SD 11.1) years, 51% were females. More females and young adults (18-30 years) participated in the web-based survey. The urban survey and web-based survey participants had significantly higher adequate knowledge (2-7 times) and practices (4-5 times) towards COVID-19. Adequate knowledge had a significant influence on healthy attitudes and practices for COVID-19, after adjustment for covariates. Overall, two-thirds of the population had high levels of fear about COVID-19, which was highest among the rural survey population. CONCLUSION: Substantial gaps exist in adequate knowledge, attitudes and practices, particularly among rural populations, and underscores the variation in access to information according to level of education and access to the internet. Thus, a comprehensive, contextually congruent awareness raising strategy is urgently needed to confront COVID-19 among these populations.


Subject(s)
Access to Information , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Health Literacy , Adult , Female , Humans , Internet , Male , Middle Aged , Pakistan/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
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