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1.
S Afr Fam Pract (2004) ; 64(1): e1-e9, 2022 08 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1997914

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic exposed the risks of poorly controlled noncommunicable diseases, especially in persons with diabetes. The pandemic outbreak in Cape Town, South Africa, required a rapid reorganisation of primary care services. Community-based measures were activated to ensure continuity of care by implementing home delivery of medication by community health workers. After five months of de-escalated chronic care, observations at an urban primary care facility suggested that noncommunicable disease patients had not overtly decompensated despite suspending regular in-facility services. This study attempted to understand what impact de-escalation of regular care and escalation of community-based interventions had on type 2 diabetes patients at this primary care facility. METHODS: A mixed methods study design was used, consisting of data captured prospectively from diabetic patients who returned to the facility for routine care post-lockdown, as well as qualitative interviews to ascertain patients' experiences of the home delivery service. RESULTS: The data set included 331 (72%) patients in the home delivery group and 130 (28%) in the non-home delivery group. Regression analysis demonstrated a statistically significant relationship between home delivery and improved diabetic control (p  0.01), although this may be because of confounding factors. The mean glycaemic control was suboptimal both at baseline and post-lockdown in both groups. Interviews with 83 study patients confirmed the acceptability of the home delivery intervention. CONCLUSION: The rapid reorganisation of primary care services illustrates the versatility of a functional community-oriented primary care service, although not fully developed yet, to adapt to emerging community healthcare needs in the pandemic era.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/epidemiology , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/therapy , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , South Africa/epidemiology
2.
South African family practice : official journal of the South African Academy of Family Practice/Primary Care ; 64(1), 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1732965

ABSTRACT

The series, ‘Mastering your Fellowship’, provides examples of the different question formats encountered in the written and clinical examinations, that is, Part A of the Fellowship of the College of Family Physicians South Africa (FCFP SA) examination. The series is aimed at helping family medicine registrars (and their supervisors) prepare for this examination.

3.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327793

ABSTRACT

Background: In contrast to alarming reports of exhaustion and burnout amongst healthcare workers in the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, we noticed surprisingly positive staff experiences of working in a COVID-19 field hospital in South Africa. The 862-bed ‘Hospital of Hope’ was established at the Cape Town International Convention Centre specifically to cope with the effects of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Cape Town. Methods We aimed to systematically describe and assess the effects on staff and the local health system. A cross-sectional descriptive study design was employed using mixed methods including record reviews and interviews with key informants. Results Quantitative results confirmed high job satisfaction and low staff infection rates. The emerging themes from the qualitative data are grouped around a “bull’s eye” of the common purpose of person-centredness, from both patient and staff perspectives, and include staff safety and support, rapid communication, continuous learning and adaptability, underpinned by excellent teamwork. The explanations for the positive feedback included good disaster planning, adequate resources, and an extraordinary responsiveness to the need. Conclusions The ‘Hospital of Hope’ staff experience produced significant learnings for the design and management of routine health services outside of a disaster situation. The adaptability and responsiveness of the facility and its staff was largely a product of the unprecedented nature of the pandemic, but such approaches could benefit routine health services enormously, as individual hospitals and health facilities realize their place in a system that is ‘more than the sum of its parts’.

4.
S Afr Fam Pract (2004) ; 64(1): e1-e6, 2022 02 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1687154

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Approximately 10% of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients will experience long COVID. There is no study of long COVID in mild COVID-19 patients in South Africa. This study aimed, firstly, to describe the prevalence of long COVID in mild COVID-19 patients in Cape Town, and, secondly, to document the impact of COVID-19 on patients' well-being, work, and their access to long COVID treatment. METHODS: In this retrospective cross-sectional study, a random sample of adults diagnosed with mild COVID-19 were called two months post-diagnosis. The participants telephonically completed a standardised survey describing their long COVID symptoms, missed workdays, and health-seeking behaviour. Medical records were reviewed for comorbidities, original COVID-19 symptoms, and treatment. RESULTS: It was found that 60% of patients with mild COVID-19 had ≥ 1 long COVID symptom, while 35% had ≥ 3 ongoing symptoms for two months. Dyspnoea and fatigue were the most common symptoms. The findings revealed that 52% of employed patients missed work and 25% of patients self-reported non-recovery from their COVID-19. Moreover, 24% of patients consulted a clinician for long COVID, but only 7% of patients received long COVID care in the public sector. Of the 17% of patients requiring additional help for long COVID, 56% were interested in assistance by text message or telephonic consultation. CONCLUSION: Over a half of mild COVID-19 patients experienced at least one long COVID symptom for two months and nearly 20% needed additional medical treatment. Very few patients utilised the public sector for long COVID treatment. There is a great need for long COVID treatment in public healthcare services and patients are receptive to remote care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , COVID-19/complications , Cross-Sectional Studies , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , South Africa/epidemiology
5.
Afr J Prim Health Care Fam Med ; 13(1): e1-e9, 2021 Dec 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580227

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus pandemic has put extreme pressure on health care services in South Africa. AIM: To describe the design, patients and outcomes of a field hospital during the first wave of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. SETTING: The Cape Town International Convention Centre was the first location in Cape Town to be commissioned as a field hospital that would serve as an intermediate care bed facility. METHODS: This was a retrospective descriptive study of patients admitted to this facility between 8th June 2020 and 14th August 2020 using deidentified data extracted from patient records. RESULTS: There were 1502 patients admitted, 56.4% female, with a mean age of 58.6 years (standard deviation [s.d.]: 14.2). The majority of patients (82.9%) had at least one comorbidity, whilst 15.4% had three or more. Nearly 80.0% (79.8%) of patients required oxygen and 63.5% received steroids, and only 5.7% of patients were required to be transferred for escalation of care. The mean length of stay was 6 days (s.d.: 4.8) with an overall mortality of 5.7%. CONCLUSION: This study highlights the role of a field hospital in providing surge capacity. Its use halved the predicted duration of stay at acute care hospitals, allowing them the capacity to manage more unstable and critical patients. Adaptability and responsivity as well as adequate referral platforms proved to be crucial. Daily communication with the whole health care service platform was a critical success factor. This study provides information to assist future health planning and strategy development in the current pandemic and future disease outbreaks.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Mobile Health Units , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , South Africa/epidemiology , United States
6.
Afr J Prim Health Care Fam Med ; 13(1): e1-e4, 2021 Sep 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1463907

ABSTRACT

The South African family physician (FP) is an expert generalist who has a number of roles to strengthen the district health system. A research study on FPs in district hospitals has previously demonstrated an impact; however, more evidence on impact in primary health care (PHC) is needed. By serving as a consultant for the PHC team, the FP may improve access to care, capacitate team members, enhance comprehensiveness of care, and improve coordination and continuity of care. This report narrates the story of how one of the FPs at a rural district hospital recorded his experience of being a consultant to the PHC team and was able to self-audit the experience. A self-designed audit tool analysed 1000 patient consultations with the FP and enabled a reflection on the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-related changes to the consultant role. There was a clear need for FPs to consult patients with complex multi-morbidity and multifaceted psychosocial aspects to their illness, in consultation with their team members. Patients were referred to them by medical officers, other specialists, family medicine registrars, allied healthcare professionals and nurse practitioners. The FP's ability to strengthen the PHC service outside the district hospital may be enhanced by creating more FP posts at a subdistrict level to support high-quality, team-based primary care in line with the PHC policy directions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Physicians, Family , Bays , Consultants , Humans , Primary Health Care , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Afr J Prim Health Care Fam Med ; 12(1): e1-e4, 2020 Oct 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1073607

ABSTRACT

This short report captures the week-by-week reflections of a group of family physicians who joined the clinical and operational management teams tasked with providing the in-patient service of an 862-bed COVID-19 field hospital. The 'Hospital of Hope' at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) was established as an intermediate care facility specifically to cope with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in Cape Town metropole. In an extraordinary feat of engineering, the conference centre floor was transformed within a matter of weeks into wards with piped oxygen at each bed. Whilst the emergency medicine specialists took the lead in designing and commissioning the facility, the medical management and staff were drawn mostly from family physicians. This report is a short reflection on the experience of the first 4 weeks of managing patients in this repurposed space. Our insights evolved during various formal and informal learning conversations as the in-patient service became more organised over time. We hope that these insights, as well as the process of reaching them, will assist other colleagues in serving their communities during this difficult moment in history; moreover, it may reflect a renewed appreciation for team-based interdisciplinary efforts in achieving person-centred care.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Delivery of Health Care/methods , Hospitalization , Hospitals , Pandemics , Patient Care Team , Physicians, Family , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Case Management , Cities , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Emergency Medical Services , Humans , Mobile Health Units , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , South Africa/epidemiology
8.
Afr J Prim Health Care Fam Med ; 12(1): e1-e4, 2020 Jun 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1073592

ABSTRACT

Ten family physicians and family medicine registrars in a South African semi-rural training complex reflected on the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis during their quarterly training complex meeting. The crisis has become the disruptor that is placing pressure on the traditional roles of the family physician. The importance of preventative and promotive care in a community-oriented approach, being a capacity builder and leading the health team as a consultant have assumed new meanings.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Family Practice/organization & administration , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/organization & administration , Primary Health Care/organization & administration , Attitude of Health Personnel , COVID-19 , Capacity Building/organization & administration , Clinical Competence , Family Practice/education , Humans , Pandemics , Physicians, Family/organization & administration , SARS-CoV-2 , South Africa
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