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The Open Public Health Journal ; 15(e187494452204070), 2022.
Article in English | CAB Abstracts | ID: covidwho-1902779


Background: During the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa in March 2020, there was an urgent mobilization of healthcare workers (HCWs) who had to adapt quickly to a challenging health system. Therefore, this paper examines factors associated with HCWs' perceptions of the South African health system's capability for managing COVID-19 during the early stages of the pandemic.

Open Public Health Journal ; 14(1):388-398, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1511928


Introduction: People’s confidence in the health system's capability in managing the COVID-19 pandemic can determine public support, risk perceptions, and compliance to the required behaviors during the pandemic. Therefore, this paper investigated people’s perception of health system capability to manage the COVID-19 pandemic in different spatial areas across the country using data from an online survey. Methods: Multivariate logistic regression models were used to examine factors associated with people’s perception of the health system capability to manage the COVID-19 pandemic at the national and provincial levels. Spatial comparative analysis was conducted to contrast spatial density indicators of the number of hospitals, hospital beds, and ICU beds per given population across various provinces. Results: Findings showed that South Africans had low confidence in the health system capability, with only two in five (40.7%) reporting that they thought that the country’s health system was able to manage the COVID-19 pandemic. Sex and knowledge on COVID-19 were significantly associated with the people’s perception of the health system capability to manage the pandemic at the national level and in four of the nine provinces. Conclusion: Overall, the findings of this study clearly highlight challenges facing the country’s health system, both perceived or real, that needed to be addressed as part of the preparation for the COVID-19 pandemic. Timeous implementation of a countrywide National Health Insurance (NHI) system is now more critical than ever in improving healthcare outcomes of the South African population beyond the existence of the COVID-19 epidemic.

S Afr Med J ; 110(9): 894-902, 2020 08 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-743565


BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 outbreak is in an accelerating phase, and South Africa (SA) has had the highest number of documented cases during the early phase of the pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa. OBJECTIVES: To assess South Africans' understanding of and response to COVID-19 during the first week of the country's lockdown period. METHODS: An online survey was conducted in SA from 27 March to 2 April 2020. The survey was distributed widely among several websites and social media networks, including on a data-free platform. Descriptive statistics of knowledge, risk perception, access to and trust in information sources, and public and media opinions were calculated. Estimates were benchmarked to the 2019 national adult population estimates. RESULTS: Of the 55 823 participants, the majority (83.4%) correctly identified the main symptoms of COVID-19. Over 90% had correct knowledge of the incubation period, with lower rates for 18 - 29-year-olds. Knowledge of symptoms and the incubation period varied significantly by population group (p<0.001), dwelling type (p<0.001) and sex (p<0.001). A quarter (24.9%) perceived themselves as at high risk of contracting COVID-19. Risk perception varied by age, population group, employment status and dwelling type (p<0.001). The most prevalent COVID-19 information sources were government sources (72.9%), news websites/apps (56.3%), satellite television (51.6%) and local television (51.4%). CONCLUSIONS: Understanding knowledge, attitudes and behaviours of people facing the COVID-19 pandemic is crucial for guiding strategic policy. These findings provide public understanding of COVID-19 as the phases of the country-level epidemic progress, and also directly inform communication needs and gaps.

Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/physiopathology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/physiopathology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Access to Information , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Female , Hand Disinfection , Health Policy , Humans , Internet , Male , Mass Media , Middle Aged , Public Opinion , SARS-CoV-2 , South Africa , Surveys and Questionnaires , Trust , Young Adult