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1.
Global Health ; 18(1): 66, 2022 Jun 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1910336

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During outbreaks, uncertainties experienced by affected communities can influence their compliance to government guidance on public health. Communicators and authorities are, hence, encouraged to acknowledge and address such uncertainties. However, in the midst of public health crises, it can become difficult to define and identify uncertainties that are most relevant to address. We analyzed data on COVID-19-related uncertainties from four socio-economic contexts to explore how uncertainties can influence people's perception of, and response to Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) strategies. RESULTS: This qualitative study, which adopts an interpretative approach, is based on data from a documentary review, key informant interviews (KII), and focus group discussions (FGD) with members of the general public and people with barriers to information from Germany, Guinea, Nigeria, and Singapore. Transcripts from the KII and FGD were coded and analyzed thematically. We interviewed a total of 155 KIs and conducted 73 FGD. Our analysis uncovered a divergence between uncertainties deemed relevant by stakeholders involved in policy making and uncertainties that people reportedly had to navigate in their everyday lives and which they considered relevant during the pandemic. We identified four types of uncertainties that seemed to have influenced people's assessment of the disease risk and their trust in the pandemic control strategies including RCCE efforts: epidemiological uncertainties (related to the nature and severity of the virus), information uncertainties (related to access to reliable information), social uncertainties (related to social behavior in times of heightened risk), and economic uncertainties (related to financial insecurities). CONCLUSION: We suggest that in future outbreaks, communicators and policy makers could improve the way in which affected communities assess their risk, and increase the trust of these communities in response efforts by addressing non-epidemiological uncertainties in RCCE strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communication , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Public Health
2.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-330798

ABSTRACT

Background: During outbreaks, uncertainties experienced by affected communities can influence their compliance to government guidance on public health. Communicators and authorities are, hence, encouraged to acknowledge and address such uncertainties. However, in the midst of public health crises, it can become difficult to define and identify uncertainties that are most relevant to address. We analyzed data on COVID-19-related uncertainties from four socio-economic contexts to explore how uncertainties can influence people’s perception of, and response to Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) strategies. Results This qualitative study, which adopts an interpretative approach, is based on data from a documentary review, key informant interviews (KII), and focus group discussions (FGD) with members of the general public and people with barriers to information from Germany, Guinea, Nigeria, and Singapore. Transcripts from the KII and FGD were coded and analyzed thematically. We interviewed a total of 155 KIs and conducted 73 FGD. Our analysis uncovered a divergence between uncertainties deemed relevant by stakeholders involved in policy making and uncertainties that people reportedly had to navigate in their everyday lives and which they considered relevant during the pandemic. We identified four types of uncertainties that seemed to have influenced people’s assessment of the disease risk and their trust in the pandemic control strategies including RCCE efforts: epidemiological uncertainties (related to the nature and severity of the virus), information uncertainties (related to access to reliable information), social uncertainties (related to social behavior in times of heightened risk), and economic uncertainties (related to financial insecurities). Conclusion We suggest that in future outbreaks, communicators and policy makers could improve the way in which affected communities assess their risk, and increase the trust of these communities in response efforts by addressing non-epidemiological uncertainties in RCCE strategies.

7.
Nat Med ; 27(6): 964-980, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1232071

ABSTRACT

Health systems resilience is key to learning lessons from country responses to crises such as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). In this perspective, we review COVID-19 responses in 28 countries using a new health systems resilience framework. Through a combination of literature review, national government submissions and interviews with experts, we conducted a comparative analysis of national responses. We report on domains addressing governance and financing, health workforce, medical products and technologies, public health functions, health service delivery and community engagement to prevent and mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We then synthesize four salient elements that underlie highly effective national responses and offer recommendations toward strengthening health systems resilience globally.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Global Health , Pandemics , Public Health , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Delivery of Health Care , Government , Government Programs , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
8.
BMC Health Serv Res ; 21(1): 20, 2021 Jan 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1067225

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The choices that policymakers make are shaped by how their problems are framed. At last, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) have risen high on the global policy agenda, but there are many disputed issues. First, what are they? Their name refers not to what they are but what they are not. Second, where do their boundaries lie? What diseases are included? Third, should we view their causes as mainly biomedical, behavioural, or social, or a combination? Our failure to resolve these issues has been invoked as a reason for our limited progress in developing and implementing effective remedies. In this scoping review, we ask "What is known from the existing literature about how NCDs are framed in the global policy discourses?" We answer it by reviewing the frames employed in policy and academic discourses. METHODS: We searched nine electronic databases for articles published since inception to 31 May 2019. We also reviewed websites of eight international organisations to identify global NCDs policies. We extracted data and synthesised findings to identify key thematic frames. RESULTS: We included 36 articles and nine policy documents on global NCDs policies. We identified five discursive domains that have been used and where there are differing perspectives. These are: "Expanding the NCDs frame to include mental health and air pollution"; "NCDs and their determinants"; "A rights-based approach to NCDs"; "Approaches to achieving policy coherence in NCDs globally"; and "NCDs as part of Sustainable Socio-economic Development". We further identified 12 frames within the five discursive domains. CONCLUSIONS: This scoping review identifies issues that remain unresolved and points to a need for alignment of perspectives among global health policy actors, as well as synergies with those working on mental health, maternal health, and child health. The current COVID-19 pandemic warrants greater consideration of its impact on global NCDs policies. Future global strategies for NCDs need to consider explicitly how NCDs are framed in a changing global health discourse and ensure adequate alignment with implementation and global health issues. There is a need for global strategies to recognise the pertinent role of actors in shaping policy discourses.


Subject(s)
Global Health , Health Policy , Noncommunicable Diseases , COVID-19 , Humans
9.
Lancet ; 396(10261): 1525-1534, 2020 11 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-792249

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented global crisis. Many countries have implemented restrictions on population movement to slow the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 and prevent health systems from becoming overwhelmed; some have instituted full or partial lockdowns. However, lockdowns and other extreme restrictions cannot be sustained for the long term in the hope that there will be an effective vaccine or treatment for COVID-19. Governments worldwide now face the common challenge of easing lockdowns and restrictions while balancing various health, social, and economic concerns. To facilitate cross-country learning, this Health Policy paper uses an adapted framework to examine the approaches taken by nine high-income countries and regions that have started to ease COVID-19 restrictions: five in the Asia Pacific region (ie, Hong Kong [Special Administrative Region], Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Korea) and four in Europe (ie, Germany, Norway, Spain, and the UK). This comparative analysis presents important lessons to be learnt from the experiences of these countries and regions. Although the future of the virus is unknown at present, countries should continue to share their experiences, shield populations who are at risk, and suppress transmission to save lives.


Subject(s)
Communicable Disease Control/economics , Communicable Disease Control/legislation & jurisprudence , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Health Policy , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , COVID-19 , Commerce , Coronavirus Infections/economics , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Europe , Far East , Humans , New Zealand , Pandemics/economics , Pneumonia, Viral/economics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology
10.
BMJ Glob Health ; 5(9)2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-772191

ABSTRACT

Singapore, one of the first countries affected by COVID-19, adopted a national strategy for the pandemic which emphasised preparedness through a whole-of-nation approach. The pandemic was well contained initially until early April 2020, when there was a surge in cases, attributed to Singapore residents returning from hotspots overseas, and more significantly, rapid transmission locally within migrant worker dormitories. In this paper, we present the response of Singapore to the COVID-19 pandemic based on core dimensions of health system resilience during outbreaks. We also discussed on the surge in cases in April 2020, highlighting efforts to mitigate it. There was: (1) clear leadership and governance which adopted flexible plans appropriate to the situation; (2) timely, accurate and transparent communication from the government; (3) public health measures to reduce imported cases, and detect as well as isolate cases early; (4) maintenance of health service delivery; (5) access to crisis financing; and (6) legal foundation to complement policy measures. Areas for improvement include understanding reasons for poor uptake of government initiatives, such as the mobile application for contact tracing and adopting a more inclusive response that protects all individuals, including at-risk populations. The experience in Singapore and lessons learnt will contribute to pandemic preparedness and mitigation in the future.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Delivery of Health Care , Health Planning , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Singapore , Transients and Migrants
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