Subject(s)Climate Change , Humans , Africa/epidemiology
Subject(s)Influenza Vaccines , Vaccines , Humans , Africa/epidemiology
A continent-wide Africa Task Force for Coronavirus with its six technical working groups was formed to prepare adequately and respond to the novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Africa. This research in practice article aimed to describe how the infection prevention and control (IPC) technical working group (TWG) supported Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) in preparedness and response to COVID-19 on the continent. To effectively address the multifaceted IPC TWG mandate of organizing training and implementing rigorous IPC measures at healthcare service delivery points, the working group was sub-divided into four sub-groups-Guidelines, Training, Research, and Logistics. The action framework was used to describe the experiences of each subgroup. The guidelines subgroup developed 14 guidance documents and two advisories; all of which were published in English. In addition, five of these documents were translated and published in Arabic, while three others were translated and published in French and Portuguese. Challenges faced in the guidelines subgroup included the primary development of the Africa CDC website in English, and the need to revise previously issued guidelines. The training subgroup engaged the Infection Control Africa Network as technical experts to carry out in-person training of IPC focal persons and port health personnel across the African continent. Challenges faced included the difficulty in conducting face-to-face IPC training and onsite technical support due to the lockdown. The research subgroup developed an interactive COVID-19 Research Tracker on the Africa CDC website and conducted a context-based operation and implementation research. The lack of understanding of Africa CDC's capacity to lead her own research was the major challenge faced by the research subgroup. The logistics subgroup assisted African Union (AU) member states to identify their IPC supply needs through capacity building for IPC quantification. A notable challenge faced by the logistics subgroup was the initial lack of experts on IPC logistics and quantifications, which was later addressed by the recruitment of professionals. In conclusion, IPC cannot be built overnight nor can it be promoted abruptly during outbreaks of diseases. Thus, the Africa CDC should build strong national IPC programmes and support such programmes with trained and competent professionals.
Subject(s)COVID-19 , Pandemics , Female , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , COVID-19/prevention & control , Infection Control , SARS-CoV-2 , Africa/epidemiology
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic continues to pose major health and economic challenges for many countries worldwide. Particularly for countries in the African region, the existing precarious health status resulting from weak health systems have made the impact of the pandemic direr. Although the number of the COVID-19 infections in Africa cannot be compared to that of Europe and other parts of the world, the economic and health ramifications cannot be overstated. Significant impacts of the lockdowns during the onset of the pandemic caused disruptions in the food supply chain, and significant declines in income which decreased the affordability and consumption of healthy diets among the poor and most vulnerable. Access and utilization of essential healthcare services by women and children were also limited because of diversion of resources at the onset of the pandemic, limited healthcare capacity, fear of infection and financial constraint. The rate of domestic violence against children and women also increased, which further deepened the inequalities among these groups. While all African countries are out of lockdown, the pandemic and its consequent impacts on the health and socio-economic well-being of women and children persist. This commentary discusses the health and economic impact of the ongoing pandemic on women and children in Africa, to understand the intersectional gendered implications within socio-economic and health systems and to highlight the need for a more gender-based approach in response to the consequences of the pandemic in the Africa region.
Subject(s)COVID-19 , Pandemics , Child , Female , Humans , Africa/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Adult
Subject(s)COVID-19 , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Africa/epidemiology
BACKGROUND: With COVID-19 being a newly evolving disease, its response measures largely depend on the practice of and compliance with personal protective measures (PPMs). OBJECTIVE: This systematic review aimed to examine the knowledge and practice of COVID-19 PPMs in African countries as documented in the published literature. METHODS: A systematic search was conducted on the Scopus, PubMed, and Web of Science databases using appropriate keywords and predefined eligibility criteria for the selection of relevant studies. Only population-based original research studies (including qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods studies) conducted in Africa and published in the English language were included. The screening process and data extraction were performed according to a preregistered protocol in PROSPERO (CRD42022355101) and followed the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines. The quality of the included studies was assessed using the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool. Thematic analysis was used to systematically summarize the studies into 4 predefined domains: knowledge and perception of PPMs, mask use, social and physical distancing, and handwashing and hand hygiene, including their respective levels and associated factors. RESULTS: A total of 58 studies across 12 African countries were included, published between 2019 and 2022. African communities, including various population groups, had varying levels of knowledge and practice of COVID-19 PPMs, with the lack of personal protective equipment (mainly face masks) and side effects (among health care workers) being the major reasons for poor compliance. Lower rates of handwashing and hand hygiene were particularly noted in several African countries, especially among low-income urban and slum dwellers, with the main barrier being the lack of safe and clean water. Various cognitive (knowledge and perception), sociodemographic, and economic factors were associated with the practice of COVID-19 PPMs. Moreover, there were evident research inequalities at the regional level, with East Africa contributing 36% (21/58) of the studies, West Africa contributing 21% (12/58), North Africa contributing 17% (10/58), Southern Africa contributing 7% (4/58), and no single-country study from Central Africa. Nonetheless, the overall quality of the included studies was generally good as they satisfied most of the quality assessment criteria. CONCLUSIONS: There is a need to enhance local capacity to produce and supply personal protective equipment. Consideration of various cognitive, demographic, and socioeconomic differences, with extra focus on the most vulnerable, is crucial for inclusive and more effective strategies against the pandemic. Moreover, more focus and involvement in community behavioral research are needed to fully understand and address the dynamics of the current pandemic in Africa. TRIAL REGISTRATION: PROSPERO International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews CRD42022355101; https://www.crd.york.ac.uk/prospero/display_record.php?ID=CRD42022355101.
Subject(s)COVID-19 , Humans , COVID-19/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Health Personnel , Africa/epidemiology , Personal Protective Equipment
Subject(s)COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Africa/epidemiology
Subject(s)Biomedical Research/organization & administration , Biomedical Research/trends , Vaccines/supply & distribution , Africa/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/economics , COVID-19 Vaccines/supply & distribution , Developed Countries/economics , Developing Countries/economics , Drug Industry/trends , Humans , Public Sector , Research Personnel , Vaccines/economics , World Health Organization/organization & administration
BACKGROUND: Headaches are frequent neurological disorders that are yet to be unveiled and treated comprehensively worldwide. Bearing in mind that the distribution of headache subtypes in neurology clinics (NC) is essential for planning appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic approaches, the primary goals of this multi-centric study are to carry out inter-regional comparisons by using current diagnostic criteria with evaluations of neurologists to delineate headache burden. METHODS: A cross-sectional study between April 1 and May 16, 2022 was conducted with the participation of 13 countries from the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. Patients were included in the study on a specific day each week during five consecutive weeks. All volunteers over the age of 18 and whose primary cause for admission was headache were examined. The patients admitted to NC or referred from emergency services/other services were evaluated by neurologists by means of the International Classification of Headache Disorders (ICHD-3) criteria. RESULTS: Among the 13,794 patients encountered in NC, headache was the primary complaint in 30.04%. The headache patients' mean age was 42.85 ± 14.89 (18-95 years), and 74.3% were female. According to the ICHD-3 criteria, 86.7% of the main group had primary headache disorders, 33.5% had secondary headaches, 4% had painful cranial neuropathies along with other facial and headaches, and 5.2% had headaches included in the appendix part showing some overlapping conditions. While the most common primary headache was migraine without aura (36.8%), the most common secondary headache was medication-overuse headache (MOH) (9.8%). Headaches attributed to COVID-19, its secondary complications, or vaccines continue to occur at rates of 1.2%-3.5% in current neurology practice. Pain severity was significantly lower in Ivory Coast and Sudan than in Türkiye, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Iran, Egypt, Senegal, Tatarstan, and Azerbaijan (p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: The study showed that migraine is still the most common motive for admissions to NC in different regions. Furthermore, MOH, an avoidable disorder, is the most common secondary headache type and appears to be a significant problem in all regions. Remarkably, pain perception differs between regions, and pain intensity is lower in Africa than in other regions.
Subject(s)COVID-19 , Headache Disorders, Secondary , Headache Disorders , Migraine Disorders , Humans , Female , Adult , Middle Aged , Male , Cross-Sectional Studies , COVID-19/complications , Headache/diagnosis , Headache/epidemiology , Headache/therapy , Headache Disorders/diagnosis , Headache Disorders/epidemiology , Headache Disorders/therapy , Migraine Disorders/diagnosis , Asia , Headache Disorders, Secondary/diagnosis , Middle East/epidemiology , Africa/epidemiology , Hospitals
Food safety investments in Africa, through international donors or national programs, were primarily focused on the formal market sector. However, increasing consumer food safety concerns about foods sold in the growing informal food markets, the rising foodborne disease burden in Africa, and the emergence of COVID-19 have all made food safety a major concern and ultimately brought it to an inflection point in Africa. In addition, Data on foodborne disease outbreaks revealed a scarcity of reported cases before and during the pandemic. The lack of information on foodborne disease reporting in Africa translates into one of the reasons why food safety in Africa is becoming a rising subject matter. This perspective discusses the situation of food safety in Africa before and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Finally, challenges confronting ongoing efforts to improve food safety in the post-COVID era in Africa are summarized and highlighted.
Subject(s)Disease Notification , Foodborne Diseases , Food Safety , Africa/epidemiology , Foodborne Diseases/epidemiology , Foodborne Diseases/prevention & control , Disease Notification/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19 , Humans
BACKGROUND: African countries have not had the high case and death rates from COVID-19 as was predicted early in the pandemic. It is not well understood what factors modulated the rate of COVID-19 cases and death on the continent. METHODS: We collated data from the World Bank data site, Our World in Data and Freedom House for African for 54 African countries who are members of the African Union. We used them as explanatory variables in two general linear model regression analyses. COVID cases and deaths per 100,000 obtained from WHO COVID-19 dashboard on August 12, 2021, as outcome variables in two prediction models. RESULTS: GDP, percentage of population under 14 years of age, Maternal Mortality Ratio, number of international tourists visiting per year and public transportation closures were not significant in predicting COVID-19 cases. Higher percentage of unemployed adults in the population, lower percentage of the population over 25 years of age with secondary education, internal travel restrictions increased spread of COVID-19 while international travel restrictions were associated with lower COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population. Higher levels of democratization results in higher cases of COVID-19. Unemployment, education and democratization were still significant for COVID-19 death in the same direction as they were for COVID-19 cases. Number of tourism visitors per year was also associated with higher COVID-19 death rates but not with case rates. CONCLUSION: In African countries, internal movement restrictions enacted to inhibit COVID-19, had the opposite effect and enabled COVID-19 spread. Low Education levels and high unemployment were associated with having higher death rates from COVID-19. More studies are needed to understand the impact of tourism on COVID-19 and other infectious diseases arising from other regions on African countries, in order to put in place adequate control protocols.
Subject(s)COVID-19 , Communicable Diseases , Adult , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Africa/epidemiology , Maternal Mortality , Educational Status
Subject(s)COVID-19 , Hepatitis B virus , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Africa/epidemiology , Policy Making , Vaccination
OBJECTIVE: To summarise the dynamic characteristics of COVID-19 transmissibility; To analyse and quantify the effect of control measures on controlling the transmissibility of COVID-19; To predict and compare the effectiveness of different control measures. METHODS: We used the basic reproduction number ([Formula: see text]) to measure the transmissibility of COVID-19, the transmissibility of COVID-19 and control measures of 176 countries and regions from January 1, 2020 to May 14, 2022 were included in the study. The dynamic characteristics of COVID-19 transmissibility were summarised through descriptive research and a Dynamic Bayesian Network (DBN) model was constructed to quantify the effect of control measures on controlling the transmissibility of COVID-19. RESULTS: The results show that the spatial transmissibility of COVID-19 is high in Asia, Europe and Africa, the temporal transmissibility of COVID-19 increases with the epidemic of Beta and Omicron strains. Dynamic Bayesian Network (DBN) model shows that the transmissibility of COVID-19 is negatively correlated with control measures. Restricting population mobility has the strongest effect, nucleic acid testing (NAT) has a strong effect, and vaccination has the weakest effect. CONCLUSION: Strict control measures are essential for controlling the COVID-19 outbreak; Restricting population mobility and nucleic acid testing (NAT) have significant impacts on controlling the COVID-19 transmissibility, while vaccination has no significant impact. In light of these findings, future control measures may include the widespread use of new NAT technology and the promotion of booster immunization.
Subject(s)COVID-19 , Nucleic Acids , Humans , Bayes Theorem , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Africa/epidemiology , Asia
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Three years into the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, data on pediatric COVID-19 from African settings is limited. Understanding the impact of the pandemic in this setting with a high burden of communicable and noncommunicable diseases is critical to implementing effective interventions in public health programs. RECENT FINDINGS: More severe COVID-19 has been reported in African settings, with especially infants and children with underlying comorbidities at highest risk for more severe disease. Data on the role of tuberculosis and HIV remain sparse. Compared to better resourced settings more children with multisystem inflammatory disease (MISC) are younger than 5âyears and there is higher morbidity in all settings and increased mortality in some settings. Several reports suggest decreasing prevalence and severity of MIS-C disease with subsequent severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) variant waves. Whether this decrease continues remains to be determined. Thus far, data on long-COVID in African settings is lacking and urgently needed considering the severity of the disease seen in the African population. SUMMARY: Considering the differences seen in the severity of disease and short-term outcomes, there is an urgent need to establish long-term outcomes in children with COVID-19 and MIS-C in African children, including lung health assessment.
Subject(s)COVID-19 , Infant , Child , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Post-Acute COVID-19 Syndrome , Africa/epidemiology
For the last seventy years, Africa has suffered a disease burden that is steadily growing in scale and complexity. Despite that, health development in the continent has continued to rely on donors´ packages since decolonization. The last decade, however, has marked some health-related achievements on the continent such as the development of the Africa Health Strategy 2016-2030, the establishment of Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), the launch of The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and most recently the African Medicines Agency (AMA). These developments and the response to the COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted the importance and the opportunities of practicing Global Health Diplomacy on the continent. Home to 27% of the world´s countries, Africa has a tremendous global voting power which makes global health diplomacy an unequivocally effective soft power tool to achieve "The Africa we want". In this paper, we will expand on the importance of Global Health Diplomacy (GHD) practice in Africa as a soft power tool, illustrate the COVID-19 response in the continent championed by the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) as a case study, and offer some recommendations to sustain and strengthen GHD´s role in the continent.
Subject(s)COVID-19 , Diplomacy , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , COVID-19/prevention & control , Politics , Africa/epidemiology , Global Health
BACKGROUND: The emergence of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has brought an unprecedented burden on health systems and personnel globally. This pandemic potentially can result in increased frequency of stress and burnout experienced among healthcare workers (HCWs), especially in lower-and-middle-income countries with inadequate health professionals, yet little is known about their experience. This study aims to describe the range of research evidence on occupational stress and/burnout among HCWs compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa, as well as identify research gaps for further investigations to inform health policy decisions towards stress and/burnout reduction in this era and when a future pandemic occurs. METHOD: Arksey and O'Malley's methodological framework will be used to guide this scoping review. Literature searches will be conducted in PubMed, CINAHL, SCOPUS, Web of Science, Science Direct, and Google Scholar for relevant articles published in any language from January 2020 to the last search date. The literature search strategy will include keywords and Boolean and medical subject heading terms. This study will include peer-reviewed papers about Africa, with a focus on stress and burnout among HCWs in the COVID-19 era. In addition to the database searches, we will manually search the reference list of included articles as well as the World Health Organization's website for relevant papers. Using the inclusion criteria as a guide, two reviewers will independently screen the abstracts and full-text articles. A narrative synthesis will be conducted, and a summary of the findings reported. DISCUSSION: This study will highlight the range of literature HCWs' experience of stress and/or burnout including the prevalence, associated factors, interventions/coping strategies, and reported effects on healthcare services during the COVID-19 era in Africa. This study's findings will be relevant to inform healthcare managers plan to mitigate stress and/or burnout as well prepare for such future pandemics. This study's findings will be disseminated in a peer-review journal, scientific conference, academic and research platforms, and social media.
Subject(s)Burnout, Professional , COVID-19 , Humans , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Personnel , Burnout, Professional/epidemiology , Africa/epidemiology , Review Literature as Topic
The recent outbreak of COVID-19 resulted in high fatality rates globally and huge socio-economic consequences. Vaccine development was considered as the most effective and fastest means to reduce the risks associated with the disease. All hands were on deck for effective vaccine development which resulted in several countries including African countries participating in the vaccine solidarity trial. At the heat of the pandemic in 2021, Africa with a population of 1.4 billion had 134.5 million supplies of COVID-19 vaccines. The United States in contrast with a population of 332 million had over 375 million doses of the vaccine. This was one of the factors that hindered most African countries from meeting up with the World Health Organization (WHO) target of 40% fully vaccinated individuals by December 2021. Even in some African countries where there were early and good supplies, there was vaccine wastage due to near to expire vaccines supplied to such countries which resulted in misconception and rejection of the vaccines among the public. This paper discussed the politics of COVID-19 vaccine production and distribution with its effects on Africa using documentary analysis. The paper also suggests strategic bold steps needed to be taken by African countries to decolonize public health response within the continent in preparation for future pandemics.
Subject(s)COVID-19 , Vaccines , Humans , COVID-19 Vaccines , Public Health , Africa/epidemiology
Subject(s)Cholera , Humans , Cholera/epidemiology , Africa/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks
BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 vaccine supply shortage in 2021 constrained roll-out efforts in Africa while populations experienced waves of epidemics. As supply improves, a key question is whether vaccination remains an impactful and cost-effective strategy given changes in the timing of implementation. METHODS: We assessed the impact of vaccination programme timing using an epidemiological and economic model. We fitted an age-specific dynamic transmission model to reported COVID-19 deaths in 27 African countries to approximate existing immunity resulting from infection before substantial vaccine roll-out. We then projected health outcomes (from symptomatic cases to overall disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) averted) for different programme start dates (01 January to 01 December 2021, n = 12) and roll-out rates (slow, medium, fast; 275, 826, and 2066 doses/million population-day, respectively) for viral vector and mRNA vaccines by the end of 2022. Roll-out rates used were derived from observed uptake trajectories in this region. Vaccination programmes were assumed to prioritise those above 60 years before other adults. We collected data on vaccine delivery costs, calculated incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) compared to no vaccine use, and compared these ICERs to GDP per capita. We additionally calculated a relative affordability measure of vaccination programmes to assess potential nonmarginal budget impacts. RESULTS: Vaccination programmes with early start dates yielded the most health benefits and lowest ICERs compared to those with late starts. While producing the most health benefits, fast vaccine roll-out did not always result in the lowest ICERs. The highest marginal effectiveness within vaccination programmes was found among older adults. High country income groups, high proportions of populations over 60 years or non-susceptible at the start of vaccination programmes are associated with low ICERs relative to GDP per capita. Most vaccination programmes with small ICERs relative to GDP per capita were also relatively affordable. CONCLUSION: Although ICERs increased significantly as vaccination programmes were delayed, programmes starting late in 2021 may still generate low ICERs and manageable affordability measures. Looking forward, lower vaccine purchasing costs and vaccines with improved efficacies can help increase the economic value of COVID-19 vaccination programmes.