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BMJ Open ; 12(5): e056896, 2022 May 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1822072


OBJECTIVES: We conducted a review of intra-action review (IAR) reports of the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa. We highlight best practices and challenges and offer perspectives for the future. DESIGN: A thematic analysis across 10 preparedness and response domains, namely, governance, leadership, and coordination; planning and monitoring; risk communication and community engagement; surveillance, rapid response, and case investigation; infection prevention and control; case management; screening and monitoring at points of entry; national laboratory system; logistics and supply chain management; and maintaining essential health services during the COVID-19 pandemic. SETTING: All countries in the WHO African Region were eligible for inclusion in the study. National IAR reports submitted by March 2021 were analysed. RESULTS: We retrieved IAR reports from 18 African countries. The COVID-19 pandemic response in African countries has relied on many existing response systems such as laboratory systems, surveillance systems for previous outbreaks of highly infectious diseases and a logistics management information system. These best practices were backed by strong political will. The key challenges included low public confidence in governments, inadequate adherence to infection prevention and control measures, shortages of personal protective equipment, inadequate laboratory capacity, inadequate contact tracing, poor supply chain and logistics management systems, and lack of training of key personnel at national and subnational levels. CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that African countries' response to the COVID-19 pandemic was prompt and may have contributed to the lower cases and deaths in the region compared with countries in other regions. The IARs demonstrate that many technical areas still require immediate improvement to guide decisions in subsequent waves or future outbreaks.

COVID-19 , Influenza, Human , Africa/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , World Health Organization
J Nucl Med ; 62(5): 593-595, 2021 05 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1817886

Nuclear Medicine , Africa , Humans
Health Policy Plan ; 37(4): 505-513, 2022 Apr 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1788498


A better understanding of serological data and risk factors for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection in healthcare workers (HCWs) is especially important in African countries where human resources and health services are more constrained. We reviewed and appraised the evidence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) seroprevalence and its risk factors in HCWs in Africa to inform response and preparedness strategies during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. We followed the Preferred Reporting Items for systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR) guidelines in this scoping review. Databases including PubMed, Embase and preprint servers were searched accordingly from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to 19 April 2021. Our search yielded 12 peer-reviewed and four pre-print articles comprising data on 9223 HCWs from 11 countries in Africa. Seroprevalence varied widely and ranged from 0% to 45.1%. Seropositivity was associated with older age, lower education, working as a nurse/non-clinical HCW or in gynaecology, emergency, outpatient or surgery departments. Asymptomatic rates were high and half of the studies recommended routine testing of HCWs. This scoping review found a varying but often high SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence in HCWs in 11 African countries and identified certain risk factors. COVID-19 public health strategies for policy and planning should consider these risk factors and the potential for high seroprevalence among HCWs when prioritizing infection prevention and control measures and vaccine deployment.

COVID-19 , Africa/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Personnel , Humans , Pandemics , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies
Front Public Health ; 10: 846042, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1776056


Introduction: There is a dearth of research on the incidence and treatment of cancer pain in Africa. Yet Africa, with other developing countries, accounts for more than half of all cancer diagnoses, and it is estimated that cancer incidence in Africa will double by 2030. Objectives: This research protocol outlines an approach to investigate cancer pain in French-speaking African countries. The protocol intends to determine and describe the treatment and management of cancer pain in these countries. Barriers to treating cancer pain will be explored and the results will be collated to make a series of recommendations on policy positions, regulatory frameworks and protocols. Methods: A mixed-methods, co-creation methodology has been selected to ensure the societal impact of the research outcomes. This research will use both qualitative and quantitative data collection methods and analyses. The research will begin with a review of the policies and legislation that exist in relation to cancer pain management and the use of analgesics, in each French-speaking African country. An Experts Steering Committee will then be created to provide guidance on the protocol and research design and access to participants, as well as to execute on the administration of surveys to local structures and international experts. A series of semi-structured, qualitative interviews with experts and clinicians in the field of screening and management of cancer pain and access to treatment will follow. Purposive and snowball sampling will be used to select the respondent experts. The semi-structured interviews will be conducted to determine the main trends and barriers to the treatment of cancer pain in French-speaking African countries. From this qualitative research, two surveys will be developed and then administered: one to validate the policy and regulatory context, and the other to determine experts and healthcare professionals experience and perceptions of cancer pain. Results/Conclusions: The results will be analyzed using quantitative and qualitative methods to determine themes and perceptions of cancer pain and treatment, from the policy level to the healthcare professional level. Evaluation of the results will lead to recommendations for a comprehensive framework for cancer pain treatment in French-speaking Africa.

Analgesics , Neoplasms , Pain Management , Africa , Analgesics/supply & distribution , Analgesics/therapeutic use , Health Personnel , Humans , Neoplasms/complications , Pain Management/methods
Front Public Health ; 9: 748845, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1775926


Sustainable development (SD) has increasingly played a key background role in government policymaking across the world, especially for the least developed countries in Africa. Therefore, the purpose of our research is to study the SD of African countries in public life, education, and welfare, and then to help policy makers better monitor the status of sustainable development and formulate development policies in these aspects. We firstly propose a new method to assess the SD in public life, education, and welfare. Then we assess the SD status in 51 African countries as well as other countries in the world. After that, we also make a comparison between African countries and the countries in other continents.

Sustainable Development , Africa , Educational Status , Humans , Public Policy
Nature ; 604(7906): 412-413, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1773950
Hum Vaccin Immunother ; 18(1): 2034457, 2022 12 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1752036


Disparities in COVID-19 vaccine coverage across the globe have uncovered inequities in global healthcare. While more than half of the population of the developed countries have been fully vaccinated, only a small percentage of the African population has received one vaccine dose so far, a far cry from the global vaccination targets. Furthermore, several low and middle income (LMICs) African countries lack the competence, infrastructure, logistics, and financial resources to mass-vaccinate their populations. This paper highlights the causes and implications of the low COVID-19 vaccine coverage on Africa and the global community, and discusses strategies for restructuring and strengthening COVID-19 vaccination in Africa.

COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Africa/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
Nature ; 603(7899): 187-188, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1730265
Afr Health Sci ; 21(4): 1509-1517, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1726489


Corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) remains an incurable, progressive pneumonia-like illness characterized by fever, dry cough, fatigue, and headache during its early stages. COVID-19 has ultimately resulted in mortality in at least 2 million people worldwide. Millions of people globally have already been affected by this disease, and the numbers are expected to increase, perhaps until an effective cure or vaccine is identified. Although Africa was initially purported by the World Health Organization (WHO) to be severely hit by the pandemic, Africa recorded the least number of cases during the first wave, with lowest rates of infections, compared to Asia, Europe, and the Americas. This statistic might be attributed to the low testing capacity, existing public health awareness and lessons learnt during Ebola epidemic. Nonetheless, the relatively low rate of infection should be an opportunity for Africa to be better prepared to overcome this and future epidemics. In this paper, the authors provide insights into the dynamics and transmission of the severe acute respiratory syndrome corona virus (SARS-CoV-2) during the first wave of the pandemic; possible explanations into the relatively low rates of infection recorded in Africa; with recommendations for Africa to continue to fight Covid-19; and position itself to effectively manage future pandemics.

COVID-19 , Pandemics , Africa/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2
Nature ; 602(7898): 547-548, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1713143
BMJ Open ; 12(2): e049781, 2022 02 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1707051


BACKGROUND: Many examples of research excellence in Africa have been driven by partnerships led by the global North and have involved localised infrastructure improvements to support the best of international research practice. OBJECTIVE: In this article, we explore a possible mechanism by which local research networks, appropriately governed, could begin to support national African research programmes by allying research delivery to clinical service. SUMMARY: This article explores the concept that sustainable research effort needs a well-trained and mentored workforce, working to common standards, but which is practically supported by a much developed information technology (IT) infrastructure throughout the continent. CONCLUSIONS: The balance of investment and ownership of such a research programme needs to be shared between local and international funding, with the emphasis on developing global South-South collaborations and research strategies which address the environmental impact of medical research activity and mitigate the impact of climate change on African populations. Healthcare must be embedded in the post-COVID-19 approach to research development.

COVID-19 , Africa , Health Facilities , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Workforce
Int J Surg ; 99: 106585, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1701561

COVID-19 , Africa , Humans