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1.
BMC Health Serv Res ; 22(1): 311, 2022 Mar 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1731529

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In recent decades, there has been a significant focus towards the improvement of maternal mortality indicators in low-and middle-income countries. Though progress has been made around the world, West Africa has maintained an elevated burden of diseases. One proposed solution to increasing access to primary care services is health insurance coverage. As limited evidence exists, we sought to understand the relationship between health insurance coverage and at least four antenatal care (ANC) visits in West Africa. METHODS: Demographic and Health Survey data from 10 West African countries were weighted, cleaned, and analysed. The total sample was 79,794 women aged 15 to 49 years old were considered for the analysis. Health insurance coverage was the explanatory variable, and the outcome variable was number of ANC visits. The data were analysed using binary logistic regression. The results were presented using crude and adjusted odds ratio (aOR) at 95% confidence interval. RESULTS: Approximately 86.73% of women who were covered by health insurance had four or more ANC visits, compared to 55.15% for women without insurance. In total, 56.91% of the total sample attended a minimum of four ANC visits. Women with health insurance coverage were more likely to make the minimum recommended number of ANC visits than their non-insured-peers (aOR [95% CI] =1.55 [1.37-1.73]). CONCLUSION: Health insurance is a significant determinant in accessing primary care services for pregnant women. Yet, very few in the region are covered by an insurance scheme. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, policy makers should prioritize rapid solutions to provide primary care while setting the infrastructure for long-term and sustainable options such as publicly run health insurance schemes.


Subject(s)
Facilities and Services Utilization , Insurance Coverage , Insurance, Health , Prenatal Care , Adolescent , Adult , Africa, Western/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Facilities and Services Utilization/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , Insurance Coverage/statistics & numerical data , Insurance, Health/statistics & numerical data , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pregnancy , Prenatal Care/statistics & numerical data , Young Adult
2.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 1152, 2022 03 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1730284

ABSTRACT

In spring 2021, an increasing number of infections was observed caused by the hitherto rarely described SARS-CoV-2 variant A.27 in south-west Germany. From December 2020 to June 2021 this lineage has been detected in 31 countries. Phylogeographic analyses of A.27 sequences obtained from national and international databases reveal a global spread of this lineage through multiple introductions from its inferred origin in Western Africa. Variant A.27 is characterized by a mutational pattern in the spike gene that includes the L18F, L452R and N501Y spike amino acid substitutions found in various variants of concern but lacks the globally dominant D614G. Neutralization assays demonstrate an escape of A.27 from convalescent and vaccine-elicited antibody-mediated immunity. Moreover, the therapeutic monoclonal antibody Bamlanivimab and partially the REGN-COV2 cocktail fail to block infection by A.27. Our data emphasize the need for continued global monitoring of novel lineages because of the independent evolution of new escape mutations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Africa, Western/epidemiology , Amino Acid Substitution , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/pharmacology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/pharmacology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/transmission , Drug Combinations , Germany/epidemiology , Global Health , Humans , Immune Evasion/genetics , Mutation , Phylogeography , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
3.
Pan Afr Med J ; 40: 249, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1704166

ABSTRACT

The ECOWAS Region and the world have learnt a lot in the last year and a half concerning the pandemic. As the pandemic continues to evolve, the region needs to put together all these lessons in other to better protect its people, rebuild its economy and strengthen the regional health security for better regional prosperity. We reviewed the response mounted by the region from January 2020 to July 2021 and the existing body of knowledge. We recommend that the region quickly increase the COVID-19 immunization coverage, sustain the enhance genomic surveillance, improve testing and the strengthen point of entry surveillance.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Africa, Western , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
4.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 688, 2022 02 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1671561

ABSTRACT

Disparities in SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance have limited our understanding of the viral population dynamics and may delay identification of globally important variants. Despite being the most populated country in Africa, Nigeria has remained critically under sampled. Here, we report sequences from 378 SARS-CoV-2 isolates collected in Oyo State, Nigeria between July 2020 and August 2021. In early 2021, most isolates belonged to the Alpha "variant of concern" (VOC) or the Eta lineage. Eta outcompeted Alpha in Nigeria and across West Africa, persisting in the region even after expansion of an otherwise rare Delta sub-lineage. Spike protein from the Eta variant conferred increased infectivity and decreased neutralization by convalescent sera in vitro. Phylodynamic reconstructions suggest that Eta originated in West Africa before spreading globally and represented a VOC in early 2021. These results demonstrate a distinct distribution of SARS-CoV-2 lineages in Nigeria, and emphasize the need for improved genomic surveillance worldwide.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Adolescent , Adult , Africa, Western , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Genome, Viral , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Mutation , Nigeria/epidemiology , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Young Adult
6.
Epidemiol Infect ; 149: e258, 2021 09 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1586098

ABSTRACT

Experience gained from responding to major outbreaks may have influenced the early coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic response in several countries across Africa. We retrospectively assessed whether Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the three West African countries at the epicentre of the 2014-2016 Ebola virus disease outbreak, leveraged the lessons learned in responding to COVID-19 following the World Health Organization's (WHO) declaration of a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC). We found relatively lower incidence rates across the three countries compared to many parts of the globe. Time to case reporting and laboratory confirmation also varied, with Guinea and Liberia reporting significant delays compared to Sierra Leone. Most of the selected readiness measures were instituted before confirmation of the first case and response measures were initiated rapidly after the outbreak confirmation. We conclude that the rapid readiness and response measures instituted by the three countries can be attributed to their lessons learned from the devastating Ebola outbreak, although persistent health systems weaknesses and the unique nature of COVID-19 continue to challenge control efforts.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Ebolavirus , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/epidemiology , Africa, Western/epidemiology , Delivery of Health Care , Humans , Incidence , SARS-CoV-2 , Time Factors
7.
BMJ Glob Health ; 6(12)2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1573629

ABSTRACT

The African Union Bureau of Heads of State and Government endorsed the COVID-19 Vaccine Development and Access Strategy to vaccinate at least 60% of each country's population with a safe and efficacious vaccine by 2022, to achieve the population-level immunity needed to bring the pandemic under control. Using publicly available, country-level population estimates and COVID-19 vaccination data, we provide unique insights into the uptake trends of COVID-19 vaccinations in the 15 countries that comprise the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS). Based on the vaccination rates in the ECOWAS region after three months of commencing COVID-19 vaccinations, we provide a projection of the trajectory and speed of vaccination needed to achieve a COVID-19 vaccination coverage rate of at least 60% of the total ECOWAS population. After three months of the deployment of COVID-19 vaccines across the ECOWAS countries, only 0.27% of the region's total population had been fully vaccinated. If ECOWAS countries follow this trajectory, the sub-region will have less than 1.6% of the total population fully vaccinated after 18 months of vaccine deployment. Our projection shows that to achieve a COVID-19 vaccination coverage of at least 60% of the total population in the ECOWAS sub-region after 9, 12 and 18 months of vaccine deployment; the speed of vaccination must be increased to 10, 7 and 4 times the current trajectory, respectively. West African governments must deploy contextually relevant and culturally acceptable strategies for COVID-19 vaccine procurements, distributions and implementations in order to achieve reasonable coverage and save lives, sooner rather than later.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Africa, Western , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination , Vaccination Coverage
8.
J Med Virol ; 93(12): 6433-6436, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1557694

ABSTRACT

Lassa fever, caused by the Lassa virus of the Arenaviruses family, is a re-emerging public health concern that has led to 300,000 infections and 5000 deaths annually in Africa. Highly prevalent in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, Nigeria, Côte d'lvoire, Ghana, Togo, and Benin, patients infected with the virus can manifest with cough, sore throat, headache, nausea, and vomiting among other symptoms. Coexisting with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and its impacts, cases of Lassa fever in the African population have been reported to decrease due to hesitancy in visiting clinics that leads to unreported cases-all contributing to a silent outbreak in West Africa. Thus, to overcome current burdens, gaps, and challenges caused by Lassa fever amidst COVID-19 in Africa, various recommendations for efficient control of transmission, measures for disease containment, and strategies to correct misperceptions were made.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Lassa Fever/epidemiology , Lassa Fever/prevention & control , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Africa, Western/epidemiology , COVID-19/diagnosis , Disease Outbreaks/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Lassa Fever/diagnosis , Lassa virus , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Vaccines
10.
PLoS One ; 16(10): e0257995, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1496503

ABSTRACT

When pharmaceutical interventions are unavailable to deal with an epidemic outbreak, adequate management of communication strategies can be key to reduce the contagion risks. On the one hand, accessibility to trustworthy and timely information, whilst on the other, the adoption of preventive behaviors may be both crucial. However, despite the abundance of communication strategies, their effectiveness has been scarcely evaluated or merely circumscribed to the scrutiny of public affairs. To study the influence of communication strategies on the spreading dynamics of an infectious disease, we implemented a susceptible-exposed-infected-removed-dead (SEIRD) epidemiological model, using an agent-based approach. Agents in our systems can obtain information modulating their behavior from two sources: (i) through the local interaction with other neighboring agents and, (ii) from a central entity delivering information with a certain periodicity. In doing so, we highlight how global information delivered from a central entity can reduce the impact of an infectious disease and how informing even a small fraction of the population has a remarkable impact, when compared to not informing the population at all. Moreover, having a scheme of delivering daily messages makes a stark difference on the reduction of cases, compared to the other evaluated strategies, denoting that daily delivery of information produces the largest decrease in the number of cases. Furthermore, when the information spreading relies only on local interactions between agents, and no central entity takes actions along the dynamics, then the epidemic spreading is virtually independent of the initial amount of informed agents. On top of that, we found that local communication plays an important role in an intermediate regime where information coming from a central entity is scarce. As a whole, our results highlight the importance of proper communication strategies, both accurate and daily, to tackle epidemic outbreaks.


Subject(s)
Communication , Ebolavirus , Epidemics/prevention & control , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/epidemiology , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/prevention & control , Models, Statistical , Quarantine/methods , Africa, Western/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/transmission , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/virology , Humans , Social Behavior
11.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 21108, 2021 10 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1493205

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing the COVID-19 pandemic emerged in December 2019 in China and raised fears it could overwhelm healthcare systems worldwide. Mutations of the virus are monitored by the GISAID database from which we downloaded sequences from four West African countries Ghana, Gambia, Senegal and Nigeria from February 2020 to April 2020. We subjected the sequences to phylogenetic analysis employing the nextstrain pipeline. We found country-specific patterns of viral variants and supplemented that with data on novel variants from June 2021. Until April 2020, variants carrying the crucial Europe-associated D614G amino acid change were predominantly found in Senegal and Gambia, and combinations of late variants with and early variants without D614G in Ghana and Nigeria. In June 2021 all variants carried the D614G amino acid substitution. Senegal and Gambia exhibited again variants transmitted from Europe (alpha or delta), Ghana a combination of several variants and in Nigeria the original Eta variant. Detailed analysis of distinct samples revealed that some might have circulated latently and some reflect migration routes. The distinct patterns of variants within the West African countries point at their global transmission via air traffic predominantly from Europe and only limited transmission between the West African countries.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Computational Biology/methods , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2 , Africa, Western , Biodiversity , China , Europe , Gambia , Genetic Variation , Genome, Viral , Geography , Ghana , Humans , Nigeria , Phylogeny , Senegal , Time Factors
12.
Am J Trop Med Hyg ; 105(6): 1476-1482, 2021 Oct 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1478300

ABSTRACT

Countries across West Africa began reporting COVID-19 cases in February 2020. By March, the pandemic began disrupting activities to control and eliminate neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) as health ministries ramped up COVID-19-related policies and prevention measures. This was followed by interim guidance from the WHO in April 2020 to temporarily pause mass drug administration (MDA) and community-based surveys for NTDs. While the pandemic was quickly evolving worldwide, in most of West Africa, governments and health ministries took quick action to implement mitigation measures to slow the spread. The U.S. Agency for International Development's (USAID) Act to End NTDs | West program (Act | West) began liaising with national NTD programs in April 2020 to pave a path toward the eventual resumption of activities. This process consisted of first collecting and analyzing COVID-19 epidemiological data, policies, and standard operating procedures across the program's 11 countries. The program then developed an NTD activity restart matrix that compiled essential considerations to restart activities. By December 2020, all 11 countries in Act | West safely restarted MDA and certain surveys to monitor NTD prevalence or intervention impact. Preliminary results show satisfactory MDA program coverage, meaning that enough people are taking the medicine to keep countries on track toward achieving their NTD disease control and elimination goals, and community perceptions have remained positive. The purpose of this article is to share the lessons and best practices that have emerged from the adoption of strategies to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus during MDA and other program activities.


Subject(s)
Anti-Infective Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/epidemiology , Mass Drug Administration , National Health Programs/organization & administration , Neglected Diseases/therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Africa, Western , Anti-Infective Agents/administration & dosage , Humans , National Health Programs/standards , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Risk Factors , Time Factors , Tropical Climate , United States , United States Agency for International Development
13.
Bundesgesundheitsblatt Gesundheitsforschung Gesundheitsschutz ; 63(1): 65-73, 2020 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1396373

ABSTRACT

Today's world is characterized by increasing population density, human mobility, urbanization, and climate and ecological change. This global dynamic has various effects, including the increased appearance of emerging infectious diseases (EIDs), which pose a growing threat to global health security.Outbreaks of EIDs, like the 2013-2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa or the current Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), have not only put populations in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) at risk in terms of morbidity and mortality, but they also have had a significant impact on economic growth in affected regions and beyond.The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI) is an innovative global partnership between public, private, philanthropic, and civil society organizations that was launched as the result of a consensus that a coordinated, international, and intergovernmental plan was needed to develop and deploy new vaccines to prevent future epidemics.CEPI is focusing on supporting candidate vaccines against the World Health Organization (WHO) Blueprint priority pathogens MERS-CoV, Nipah virus, Lassa fever virus, and Rift Valley fever virus, as well as Chikungunya virus, which is on the WHO watch list. The current vaccine portfolio contains a wide variety of technologies, ranging across recombinant viral vectors, nucleic acids, and recombinant proteins. To support and accelerate vaccine development, CEPI will also support science projects related to the development of biological standards and assays, animal models, epidemiological studies, and diagnostics, as well as build capacities for future clinical trials in risk-prone contexts.


Subject(s)
Communicable Diseases, Emerging , Epidemics , Vaccines , Africa, Western , Animals , Disease Outbreaks , Germany , Humans
15.
PLoS One ; 16(2): e0246515, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388899

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During health disaster events such as the current devastating havoc being inflicted on countries globally by the SARS-CoV-19 pandemic, mental health problems among survivors and frontline workers are likely concerns. However, during such health disaster events, stakeholders tend to give more precedence to the socio-economic and biomedical health consequences at the expense of mental health. Meanwhile, studies show that regardless of the kind of disaster/antecedent, all traumatic events trigger similar post-traumatic stress symptoms among survivors, families, and frontline workers. Thus, our study investigated the prevalence of anxiety, depression and insomnia symptoms among survivors of the 2014-2016 Ebola virus disease that plagued the West African sub-region. METHODS: We systematically retrieved peer-reviewed articles published between 1970 and 2019 from seven electronic databases, including Google Scholar, MEDLINE, PsychInfo, PubMed, Scopus, Springer Link, Web of Science on Ebola and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms. A comprehensive hand search complemented this literature search. Of the 87 articles retrieved, only 13 met the inclusion criteria for this meta-analysis. RESULTS: After heterogeneity, influence, and publication bias analysis, our meta-analysis pooled proportion effects estimates showed a moderate to a high prevalence of anxiety (14%; 99% CI: 0.05-0.30), depression (15%; 99% CI: 0.11-0.21), and insomnia (22%; 99% CI: 0.13-0.36). Effect estimates ranging from (0.13; 99% CI: 0.05, 0.28) through to (0.11; 99% CI: 0.05-0.22), (0.15; 99% CI: 0.09-0.25) through to (0.13; 99% CI: 0.08-0.21) and (0.23; 99% CI: 0.11-0.41) to (0.23; 99% CI: 0.11-0.41) were respectively reported for anxiety, depression and insomnia symptoms. These findings suggest a significant amount of EVD survivors are struggling with anxiety, depression and insomnia symptoms. CONCLUSION: Our study provided the first-ever meta-analysis evidence of anxiety, depression, and insomnia symptoms among EVD survivors, and suggest that the predominant biomedical health response to regional and global health disasters should be complemented with trauma-related mental health services.


Subject(s)
Anxiety/complications , Depression/complications , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/complications , Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders/complications , Africa, Western/epidemiology , Anxiety/epidemiology , Anxiety Disorders/complications , Anxiety Disorders/epidemiology , Depression/epidemiology , Depressive Disorder/complications , Depressive Disorder/epidemiology , Ebolavirus/isolation & purification , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/epidemiology , Humans , Prevalence , Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders/epidemiology , Survivors
16.
Viruses ; 13(8)2021 08 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1376992

ABSTRACT

While investigating a signal of adaptive evolution in humans at the gene LARGE, we encountered an intriguing finding by Dr. Stefan Kunz that the gene plays a critical role in Lassa virus binding and entry. This led us to pursue field work to test our hypothesis that natural selection acting on LARGE-detected in the Yoruba population of Nigeria-conferred resistance to Lassa Fever in some West African populations. As we delved further, we conjectured that the "emerging" nature of recently discovered diseases like Lassa fever is related to a newfound capacity for detection, rather than a novel viral presence, and that humans have in fact been exposed to the viruses that cause such diseases for much longer than previously suspected. Dr. Stefan Kunz's critical efforts not only laid the groundwork for this discovery, but also inspired and catalyzed a series of events that birthed Sentinel, an ambitious and large-scale pandemic prevention effort in West Africa. Sentinel aims to detect and characterize deadly pathogens before they spread across the globe, through implementation of its three fundamental pillars: Detect, Connect, and Empower. More specifically, Sentinel is designed to detect known and novel infections rapidly, connect and share information in real time to identify emerging threats, and empower the public health community to improve pandemic preparedness and response anywhere in the world. We are proud to dedicate this work to Stefan Kunz, and eagerly invite new collaborators, experts, and others to join us in our efforts.


Subject(s)
Disaster Planning , Lassa Fever/epidemiology , Lassa virus/physiology , Africa, Western/epidemiology , Disaster Planning/methods , Humans , Lassa Fever/genetics , Lassa Fever/prevention & control , Lassa Fever/virology , Lassa virus/genetics , N-Acetylglucosaminyltransferases/genetics , N-Acetylglucosaminyltransferases/immunology , Nigeria/epidemiology , Pandemics , Polymorphism, Genetic , Receptors, Virus/genetics , Receptors, Virus/immunology
17.
Pan Afr Med J ; 39: 67, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1369930

ABSTRACT

Free movement between countries without a visa is allowed within the 15-country Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) region. However, little information is available across the region on the International Health Regulation (IHR 2005) capacities at points of entry (PoE) to detect and respond appropriately to public health emergencies such as Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). ECOWAS and the member states can better tailor border health measures across the region by understanding public health strengths and priorities for improvement at PoEs. A comprehensive literature review was combined with a self-assessment of capacities at PoEs across the fifteen member states from February to July 2020. For the assessment, the member states completed an adapted World Health Organization (WHO) self-assessment checklist by classifying capacity for seven domains as fully, partially, or not implemented. The team implemented three focus group discussion (FGD) sessions and 13 key informant interviews (KII) with national-level border health stakeholders. Univariate analysis was used to summarize the assessment data and detailed content analysis was applied to evaluate FGD and KII results. Of the 15 member states, 3 (20%) are landlocked; 3 (20%) have more than one seaport. Eleven (73%) countries have 1 designated airport, 3 (20%) have two airports, and only one country (6.7%) has three airports. Two hundred and seventy-eight designated ground crossings were identified in 12 countries (80%). Strengths across the PoE were existence of decrees and ministerial acts in some ECOWAS countries and establishment of national taskforces for the COVID-19 response at PoE in ECOWAS. Major challenges were porous borders, poor intersectoral coordination, lack of harmonized traveler screening measures, shortage of staff, and inadequate financial resources. Despite all these challenges, there are opportunities such as leveraging the regional cross-border poliomyelitis coordination and control mechanism, and existence of networks of infection prevention and control specialists and field epidemiologists. However, political instabilities in some countries pose a threat to government commitments to PoE activities. The capacity to respond to public health emergencies at PoE in the ECOWAS region is still below IHR standard. Public health capacities at a majority of IHR-designated PoE in the 15-country region do not meet required core capacities standards.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Emigration and Immigration , Public Health/standards , Africa, Western , Capacity Building , Focus Groups , Humans
18.
BMC Public Health ; 21(1): 1490, 2021 08 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1339132

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In early March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic hit West Africa. In response, countries in the region quickly set up crisis management committees and implemented drastic measures to stem the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The objective of this article is to analyse the epidemiological evolution of COVID-19 in seven Francophone West African countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Senegal) as well as the public health measures decided upon during the first 7 months of the pandemic. METHODS: Our method is based on quantitative and qualitative data from the pooling of information from a COVID-19 data platform and collected by a network of interdisciplinary collaborators present in the seven countries. Descriptive and spatial analyses of quantitative epidemiological data, as well as content analyses of qualitative data on public measures and management committees were performed. RESULTS: Attack rates (October 2020) for COVID-19 have ranged from 20 per 100,000 inhabitants (Benin) to more than 94 per 100,000 inhabitants (Senegal). All these countries reacted quickly to the crisis, in some cases before the first reported infection, and implemented public measures in a relatively homogeneous manner. None of the countries implemented country-wide lockdowns, but some implemented partial or local containment measures. At the end of June 2020, countries began to lift certain restrictive measures, sometimes under pressure from the general population or from certain economic sectors. CONCLUSION: Much research on COVID-19 remains to be conducted in West Africa to better understand the dynamics of the pandemic, and to further examine the state responses to ensure their appropriateness and adaptation to the national contexts.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Africa, Western/epidemiology , Benin , Burkina Faso , Communicable Disease Control , Cote d'Ivoire , Guinea , Humans , Mali/epidemiology , Niger , SARS-CoV-2 , Senegal/epidemiology
19.
Am J Trop Med Hyg ; 105(3): 708-712, 2021 07 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1317301

ABSTRACT

Adherence to protective measures is a major component of COVID-19 epidemic control. COVID-19 health literacy is a major driver of this adherence, and the evaluation of health literacy levels is the basis for designing an effective communication strategy. We conducted a quantitative socio-anthropological study of the knowledge of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and perception of the prevention messages in Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, and Sierra Leone. There are widespread erroneous ideas regarding the transmission of and the protection against COVID-19. The majority of people are unaware that asymptomatic individuals can transmit the virus. Knowledge of the risk factors for severe disease is not sufficient, and the majority of individuals fear contracting COVID-19 by visiting a health center. Our study also shows the achievements of communication campaigns on several aspects: almost everybody has heard of the virus and heard or read the messages on the protective measures and a large majority of people think that these measures are effective against COVID-19. Based on these results, we propose a communication strategy that will emphasize that asymptomatic individuals can transmit the virus, emphasize the risk factors, reassure individuals regarding the safety of frequenting health centers, and design specific messages targeting young populations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Health Communication , Health Literacy , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Adult , Africa, Western , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/etiology , Humans , Middle Aged , Young Adult
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