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BMJ Glob Health ; 6(7)2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1329053


INTRODUCTION: Health service use among the public can decline during outbreaks and had been predicted among low and middle-income countries during the COVID-19 pandemic. In March 2020, the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) started implementing public health measures across Kinshasa, including strict lockdown measures in the Gombe health zone. METHODS: Using monthly time series data from the DRC Health Management Information System (January 2018 to December 2020) and interrupted time series with mixed effects segmented Poisson regression models, we evaluated the impact of the pandemic on the use of essential health services (outpatient visits, maternal health, vaccinations, visits for common infectious diseases and non-communicable diseases) during the first wave of the pandemic in Kinshasa. Analyses were stratified by age, sex, health facility and lockdown policy (ie, Gombe vs other health zones). RESULTS: Health service use dropped rapidly following the start of the pandemic and ranged from 16% for visits for hypertension to 39% for visits for diabetes. However, reductions were highly concentrated in Gombe (81% decline in outpatient visits) relative to other health zones. When the lockdown was lifted, total visits and visits for infectious diseases and non-communicable diseases increased approximately twofold. Hospitals were more affected than health centres. Overall, the use of maternal health services and vaccinations was not significantly affected. CONCLUSION: The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in important reductions in health service utilisation in Kinshasa, particularly Gombe. Lifting of lockdown led to a rebound in the level of health service use but it remained lower than prepandemic levels.

COVID-19 , Pandemics , Communicable Disease Control , Democratic Republic of the Congo/epidemiology , Health Services , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Public Facilities , SARS-CoV-2
Euro Surveill ; 26(7)2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1090444


To evaluate the effect of physical distancing and school reopening in Brussels between August and November 2020, we monitored changes in the number of reported contacts per SARS-CoV-2 case and associated SARS-CoV-2 transmission. The second COVID-19 pandemic wave in Brussels was the result of increased social contact across all ages following school reopening. Physical distancing measures including closure of bars and restaurants, and limiting close contacts, while primary and secondary schools remained open, reduced social mixing and controlled SARS-CoV-2 transmission.

COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Pandemics , Schools , Belgium/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Physical Distancing
Elife ; 102021 02 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1084995


Before the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic began, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) was among the top priorities for global public health. Already a complex challenge, AMR now needs to be addressed in a changing healthcare landscape. Here, we analyse how changes due to COVID-19 in terms of antimicrobial usage, infection prevention, and health systems affect the emergence, transmission, and burden of AMR. Increased hand hygiene, decreased international travel, and decreased elective hospital procedures may reduce AMR pathogen selection and spread in the short term. However, the opposite effects may be seen if antibiotics are more widely used as standard healthcare pathways break down. Over 6 months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the dynamics of AMR remain uncertain. We call for the AMR community to keep a global perspective while designing finely tuned surveillance and research to continue to improve our preparedness and response to these intersecting public health challenges.

Anti-Bacterial Agents , COVID-19 , Critical Pathways , Drug Resistance, Bacterial/physiology , Global Health/trends , Anti-Bacterial Agents/supply & distribution , Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Communicable Disease Control/organization & administration , Critical Pathways/organization & administration , Critical Pathways/trends , Humans , SARS-CoV-2