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1.
Ann Glob Health ; 88(1): 40, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1893209

ABSTRACT

Introduction: In sub-Saharan Africa, extensive migratory activities and interactions exist especially amongst unmanned cross-border communities between countries sharing common borders which complicate emergency public health interventions. Understanding the nature of these activities and interactions will help strengthen public health interventions and control of pandemics such as the Ebola outbreak and COVID-19. Objective: The study aimed to understand the nature of contiguous border communities' interactions and to seek community solutions for building efficient and resilient health systems to combat a possible Ebola outbreak in Ghana and Burkina Faso and the control of future pandemics. Methods: A qualitative cross sectional study design using focused group discussions and key informant interviews involving six focused groups and forty-six key informants were conducted amongst six Kasem-speaking contiguous border communities, three-each in Ghana and Burkina Faso. Findings: Findings of interactions consisted of social interactions such as marriage ceremonies; traditional and religious practices; informal trade; and health seeking behavior in the study communities. Collaborative disease surveillance systems; constructive dialogue involving community traditional leaders; incorporation of health education into social, traditional and religious activities; retraining of health personnel; effective communication including networking; and inter-governmental collaborations were identified as solutions to the effective control of the Ebola outbreak and for future public health interventions in general. Conclusion: Understanding community interactions and seeking community solutions were identified to be crucial in building efficient health systems that are resilient and responsive to the Ebola outbreak and for future pandemics in contiguous border communities in sub-Saharan Africa.


Subject(s)
Disease Outbreaks , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola , Pandemics , Africa, Western/epidemiology , Burkina Faso/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Ghana/epidemiology , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/epidemiology , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/prevention & control , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Qualitative Research
2.
J Epidemiol Glob Health ; 12(2): 160-167, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1773042

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Recent research highlights how the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted alcohol consumption patterns, yet research thus far has largely overlooked the experience in West Africa. Research also has not addressed how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected access to alcohol treatment, support, and alcohol harm prevention. This study addresses this research gap in West Africa, a low-resource setting with a very high burden of alcohol harm. OBJECTIVES: To understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on alcohol use, access to alcohol, treatment access, and alcohol harm prevention activities in West Africa. METHODS: This study analyzed data from a cross-sectional online survey conducted in August and September of 2020 and distributed by the West Africa Alcohol Policy Alliance to their member alliances and stakeholders across nine countries (N = 140 participants) to understand their perceptions on COVID-19 and alcohol-related topics. RESULTS: Our findings convey a significant adverse impact on alcohol-focused NGOs and community-based organizations in West Africa. Overall, 94% of participants indicated that the COVID-19 pandemic adversely impacted their organizations' work. In addition, 71% of participants reported reduced access to alcohol treatment or support in their communities. Lastly, 44% of the respondents indicated that people in their community drank less alcohol than usual, and only 33% answered that they perceived it to be harder to get alcohol. CONCLUSIONS: These data underscore the significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic across West Africa with respect to accessing alcohol treatment and organizational capacity to address alcohol harm. With the lack of infrastructure to address alcohol harm, this impact could exacerbate the high level of alcohol use and harm in the region.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Africa, Western/epidemiology , Alcohol Drinking/epidemiology , Alcohol Drinking/prevention & control , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control
3.
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
4.
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
5.
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
6.
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
8.
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
10.
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
11.
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
12.
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
14.
PLoS One ; 16(6): e0252890, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1270949

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus has spread worldwide with over 140 million cases and resulting in more than 3 million deaths between November 2019 to April 2021, threatening the socio-economic and psychosocial stability of many families and communities. There has been limited research to understand the consequences of COVID-19 on vulnerable populations in West Africa, and whether such consequences differ by countries' previous experience with Ebola. Using a media analysis of leading online news sources, this study identified the populations particularly vulnerable to the threats of the COVID-19 pandemic, described the consequences of COVID-19 experienced by these populations, and reported on the solutions to address them. All articles from the selected news sources published between January 1 and June 30, 2020 on 6 West African countries were imported into Dedoose. A total of 4,388 news articles were coded for excerpts on vulnerable populations, only 285 excerpts of which mentioned the existing effects of COVID-19 on vulnerable populations or implemented solutions. News articles from countries with past experience with Ebola were more likely to mention the pandemic's effects on vulnerable populations, especially on incarcerated people. Vulnerable groups were reported to have experienced a range of effects including economic disruptions, heightened domestic and sexual abuse, arbitrary arrests, health care inaccessibility, and educational challenges throughout the pandemic. With implications for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) for 2030 in West Africa, these countries should consider and focus more strategic efforts on vulnerable populations to overcome their fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and to achieve the SDG for 2030.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Public Health/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Vulnerable Populations/statistics & numerical data , Africa, Western/epidemiology , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Child , Communications Media/statistics & numerical data , Disabled Persons/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , Internet/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Prisoners/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Sustainable Development/trends , Vulnerable Populations/classification
15.
Pan Afr Med J ; 38: 341, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1264680

ABSTRACT

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in West Africa, the region has faced a coexistence of epidemics raising questions about the management of the coexistence between COVID-19 and other epidemic prone diseases. We undertook a cross-sectional study covering the period from February to August 2020 in which an extensive desk review was completed and questionnaire was submitted to National Public Health Institutes. In addition, we conducted online interviews with 10 West African countries to discuss in-depth the strategies and challenges in managing the coexistence of epidemics. Eight epidemics coexisted with COVID-19 in West Africa. These epidemics were yellow fever and measles in five countries; meningitis in 4 countries; vaccine derived poliomyelitis and dengue fever in two countries; Lassa fever, Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic fever and hepatitis E virus in one country. COVID-19 pandemic has brought both positive and negative effects to the management of other epidemics. The management of coexistence was similar in most ECOWAS countries with different incident management systems set up to manage separate outbreaks. The experience in managing the coexistence of epidemics led ECOWAS Regional Center for Surveillance and Disease Control to recommend to member states that they should reinforce regular disease surveillance for seasonal outbreaks and country specific epidemiological diseases profile while not forgetting other emerging and remerging infectious diseases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Diseases/epidemiology , Health Policy , Pandemics/prevention & control , Africa, Western/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Health Surveys , Humans
16.
BMJ Glob Health ; 6(5)2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1216801

ABSTRACT

The world continues to battle the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Whereas many countries are currently experiencing the second wave of the outbreak; Africa, despite being the last continent to be affected by the virus, has not experienced as much devastation as other continents. For example, West Africa, with a population of 367 million people, had confirmed 412 178 cases of COVID-19 with 5363 deaths as of 14 March 2021; compared with the USA which had recorded almost 30 million cases and 530 000 deaths, despite having a slightly smaller population (328 million). Several postulations have been made in an attempt to explain this phenomenon. One hypothesis is that African countries have leveraged on experiences from past epidemics to build resilience and response strategies which may be contributing to protecting the continent's health systems from being overwhelmed. This practice paper from the West African Health Organization presents experience and data from the field on how countries in the region mobilised support to address the pandemic in the first year, leveraging on systems, infrastructure, capacities developed and experiences from the 2014 Ebola virus disease outbreak.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Care Rationing , Pandemics , Africa, Western/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Care Rationing/organization & administration , Humans
17.
Bull Soc Pathol Exot ; 113(4): 222-227, 2020.
Article in French | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1172022

ABSTRACT

This article focuses on some representations of the origin of AIDS and Ebola in Burkina Faso, against a new background of Covid-19 which began in early 2020 in connection with two animals: the spider and the bat. These are also, if not first and foremost, heroes of oral literature (from tales to myths) from this region of West Africa. It is up to anthropologists to explore the meandering symbolism and imagination of these liminal animals that move back and forth between the worlds inhabited by humans and the "bush" worlds of non-humans. Here arises a mythological anamnesis. These "trickster" animals challenge categories and understanding of both virologists and anthropologists.


Cet article porte sur quelques représentations de l'origine du sida et d'Ebola en pays lobi burkinabè, avec la Covid-19 en nouvel arrière-plan depuis le début de l'année 2020, en lien avec deux animaux : l'araignée et la chauve-souris. Ce sont aussi, voire d'abord, des héros de la littérature orale (des contes aux mythes) de cette région d'Afrique de l'Ouest. Des anthropologues ont exploré les méandres des symboliques et des imaginaires de ces animaux liminaires qui vont et viennent entre les mondes habités par les humains et les univers de « brousse ¼ des non-humains. Une anamnèse mythologique est mise à jour. Ces animaux rusés se jouent de nos catégories et de notre entendement, virologues et anthropologues ici confondus.


Subject(s)
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome , COVID-19 , Chiroptera/virology , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola , Spiders/virology , Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome/epidemiology , Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome/history , Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome/transmission , Africa, Western/epidemiology , Animals , Burkina Faso/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/history , COVID-19/transmission , Communicable Diseases, Emerging/epidemiology , Communicable Diseases, Emerging/history , Congresses as Topic , Disease Vectors , Epidemics , HIV/physiology , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/epidemiology , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/history , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/transmission , History, 21st Century , Host-Pathogen Interactions/physiology , Humans , Museums , SARS-CoV-2/physiology
18.
Hum Antibodies ; 29(1): 27-40, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1170066

ABSTRACT

A novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) causing a cluster of respiratory infections (Coronavirus Disease 2019, COVID-19) first discovered in Wuhan, China, is responsible for a new illness that has been found to affect the lungs and airways of patients with associated symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath. In the light of few cases recorded so far in West Africa there is tendency for complacency. The region needs to make strategic plans based on available evidence to enable them effectively deal with this rapidly evolving pandemic. At this very moment countries like China, Italy, France, Spain, Iran, UK and many others are witnessing sustained and intensive community transmission of this virus and increasing numbers of severe disease and death particularly among elderly patients with other comorbidities. The reality of the seriousness of this pandemic is alarming. Government of member states of ECOWAS need to prepare themselves by building capacity as well as implement evidenced-based steps to mitigate this rapidly evolving pandemic by testing persons presenting with symptoms (fever, cough and shortness of breath), isolating and treating those found positive, tracing and quarantining contacts, implementing social distancing as well as optimizing human and material endowment to allow healthcare workers offer safe quality clinical care for affected patients to prevent secondary infection among healthcare workers.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Civil Defense/organization & administration , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Africa, Western/epidemiology , Age Factors , Americas/epidemiology , Asia/epidemiology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/transmission , Europe/epidemiology , Global Health/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Incidence , Personal Protective Equipment/supply & distribution , Physical Distancing , Quarantine/methods , Quarantine/organization & administration
20.
PLoS One ; 16(2): e0246320, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1059862

ABSTRACT

Emerging infectious diseases such as Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), Nipah Virus Encephalitis and Lassa fever pose significant epidemic threats. Responses to emerging infectious disease outbreaks frequently occur in resource-constrained regions and under high pressure to quickly contain the outbreak prior to potential spread. As seen in the 2020 EVD outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the current COVID-19 pandemic, there is a continued need to evaluate and address the ethical challenges that arise in the high stakes environment of an emerging infectious disease outbreak response. The research presented here provides analysis of the ethical challenges with regard to allocation of limited resources, particularly experimental therapeutics, using the 2013-2016 EVD outbreak in West Africa as a case study. In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with senior healthcare personnel (n = 16) from international humanitarian aid organizations intimately engaged in the 2013-2016 EVD outbreak response in West Africa. Interviews were recorded in private setting, transcribed, and iteratively coded using grounded theory methodology. A majority of respondents indicated a clear propensity to adopt an ethical framework of guiding principles for international responses to emerging infectious disease outbreaks. Respondents agreed that prioritization of frontline workers' access to experimental therapeutics was warranted based on a principle of reciprocity. There was widespread acceptance of adaptive trial designs and greater trial transparency in providing access to experimental therapeutics. Many respondents also emphasized the importance of community engagement in limited resource allocation scheme design and culturally appropriate informed consent procedures. The study results inform a potential ethical framework of guiding principles based on the interview participants' insights to be adopted by international response organizations and their healthcare workers in the face of allocating limited resources such as experimental therapeutics in future emerging infectious disease outbreaks to ease the moral burden of individual healthcare providers.


Subject(s)
Communicable Diseases, Emerging/therapy , Disease Outbreaks/ethics , Health Care Rationing/ethics , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/therapy , Adaptive Clinical Trials as Topic/ethics , Adult , Africa, Western/epidemiology , Female , Health Personnel/ethics , Humans , Interviews as Topic , Male , Middle Aged , Therapies, Investigational/ethics
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