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1.
Pan Afr Med J ; 41: 122, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1818699

##### ABSTRACT

Introduction: despite its relatively low case-fatality rate, COVID-19 is a concern with high mortality and morbidity of hospitalized cases. This study was conducted to assess the relationship between time to consultation, presence of respiratory complications at hospital admission and fatal outcome of COVID-19 cases. Methods: this was a case control study with data collected from records of all patients admitted in the Bafoussam Regional Hospital (BRH) from March 2020 to April 2021. Cases were patients with a fatal outcome and controls were patients that were discharged. The association between the delay in seeking care, dyspnea and blood oxygen level at admission, and fatal outcome was assessed by estimating crude and adjusted odd ratio. Results: of 400 included patients, 239 (59.75%) were male, 84 (23.73%) health professionals and 144 (36.0%) aged 64 years and above. On admission, 236 patients presented at least one sign of respiratory complication. The mean duration of hospitalization was 11.4 days and 120 (30.0%) admitted patients died. Seeking care before the end of the first day of symptom onset (adjusted (A) OR=0.44 [0.21-0.97]) or within the first three days (AOR=0.48 [0.26-0.89]) significantly reduced the risk of fatal outcome, whereas waiting seven days (AOR=0.74 [0.42-1.33]) did not change this risk. Presenting dyspnea (AOR=2.39 [1.32-4.31]) or blood oxygen level <95% (AOR=3.67 [1.37-9.83]) significantly increased the risk of fatal outcome. Conclusion: mortality was one in three patients. Early arrival at the hospital helped to reduce the risk of mortality unlike presenting respiratory complication that increased the risk. Health interventions contributing for early detection and link of COVID-19 cases to care before respiratory complications occur are expected to reduce mortality in COVID-19 patients.

##### Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cameroon/epidemiology , Case-Control Studies , Dyspnea/epidemiology , Dyspnea/etiology , Female , Hospitals , Humans , Male
2.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 28(6): 1233-1236, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1809303

##### ABSTRACT

We conducted 2 independent population-based SARS-CoV-2 serosurveys in Yaoundé, Cameroon, during January 27-February 6 and April 24-May 19, 2021. Overall age-standardized SARS-CoV-2 IgG seroprevalence increased from 18.6% in the first survey to 51.3% in the second (p<0.001). This finding illustrates high community transmission during the second wave of COVID-19.

##### Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cameroon/epidemiology , Humans , Seroepidemiologic Studies
3.
J Emerg Manag ; 20(7): 77-102, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1786202

##### ABSTRACT

This paper utilized a new novel framework, the Initialization, Distribution, Explanation, and Action (IDEA) model, for Instructional Health Risk and Crisis Communication (IHRCC) to investigate the effectiveness of the COVID-19 crisis communication (CC) in Cameroon. This contemporary research is empirical, qualitative, exploratory, and novel in the field of CC. Based on the findings, the COVID-19 CC in Cameroon could be ranked mediocre-fair. This is informed by an analysis of the IDEA elements in the framework that reveals that "Internalization" (messages on timeliness, compassion, and impact) was poor, "Distribution" (messages, guidance/protocols, and sources/distribution of messages) and "Explanation" (accuracy of messages, updated messages, and CC languages) were fair, and "Action" (instructional messages on infection control) considered as mediocre. This paper contributes to literature in the field, including concept development in health CC. The novel IDEA framework for IHRCC can enable health crisis managers gain context and better apply best practices to health CC. A structured recommendation on how this can be done has been proffered.

##### Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cameroon/epidemiology , Communication , Humans
4.
Pan Afr Med J ; 41: 32, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1771773

##### ABSTRACT

Introduction: the emergence of more transmissible SARS-CoV-2 variants like Delta and Omicron have triggered the next wave of COVID-19 in many parts of the world. Here we report a surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths in the Northwest (NW) Region of Cameroon, which is plagued with low immunization coverage and armed conflict. Methods: a cross-sectional study was conducted in September 2021 and data on COVID-19 cases and vaccination were reviewed from the Ministry of Health database from January 1st, 2020 to September 4th, 2021. The security situation of the region was obtained from the districts and regional health managers. Data were analyzed with MS Excel and results presented as trends and proportions. Results: since the onset of COVID-19 pandemic, there is an increasing prevalence in cases in the NW. Between epidemiological week 34-35 of 2021, there was a surge in COVID-19 cases in the NW. More than 70% of all COVID-19 related deaths reported in the country during epidemiological week-35 were recorded in this region. Despite this high mortality, COVID-19 vaccine uptake remains very low in the region. Indeed, just 0.6% of the 962,036-target population 18-years and above are fully immunized after 6-months of vaccination. Conclusion: though the country´s epi-curve does not suggest a third wave currently, the NW is experiencing a steady COVID-19 case surge amid insecurity and the circulation of the Delta variant. There is therefore a need to adopt innovative strategies to improve immunization and strengthen other SARS-CoV-2 preventive measures in this region.

##### Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Armed Conflicts , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cameroon/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control
5.
Inquiry ; 59: 469580211056194, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1765266

##### ABSTRACT

Communication is central to nursing care. Yet, the nonverbal aspect of communication tends to be neglected or underestimated in nursing studies. Research has shown that older patients interpret nurses' communication messages during the clinical encounter. This article conceptualizes older adults' interpretation of and need for nonverbal communication (NVC) to enhance patient-centered communication advocated by the World Health Organization. The Corbin and Strauss (2015) inductive Grounded Theory approach was used to collect data from 3 hospital units in Cameroon using in-depth interviews with eight older adults, thirteen nurses, and four student nurses between July 2018 and January 2020. Open coding, axial coding, and selective coding were used for analysis, which reveals that interpretations of NVC can be positive or negative. It means that older adults view nurses either as angels or as difficult persons, depending on the nurses' positive or negative NVC and behaviors. These interpretations lead to consequences ranging from a preference for some nurses to noncompliance with care. The results further show that older adults need active listening, humor, and affection from nurses. Information regarding older adults' interpretation of and need for NVC can be used to improve curriculum content and to develop skills in and awareness of NVC with older adults. It is recommended that further research expand on effective nonverbal techniques during COVID-19 times where the meaning of facial expressions and voice inflection can be disrupted.

##### Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Nurses , Aged , Cameroon , Grounded Theory , Humans , Nonverbal Communication
6.
J Trop Pediatr ; 68(3)2022 04 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1764660

##### ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The first case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Cameroon was recorded in March 2020. In response to the pandemic, most countries like Cameroon instituted a number of control measures to curb its spread accross the country. These COVID-19 control measures added to the fear of this disease within the population may have led to other detrimental health effects like: the pattern of hospitalizations and hospital outcomes. METHODS: We did a cross-sectional study with data from in-patient admission records of children admitted to the pediatric ward of the Regional Hospital Bamenda over a 24 months period (1st of March 2019 to the 28th of February 2021). The pre-pandemic period in Cameroon (that is, the first 12 months, from March 2019 to February 2020) and the pandemic period (that is, the last 12 months, from March 2020 to February 2021) were compared. RESULTS: A total of 2282 hospitalization records were included in the study. Most of the hospitalized children were males (57.23%). There was a 19.03% decline in pediatric hospitalizations during the first 12 months of the pandemic, which was statistically significant (p = 0.00024). The causes of hospitalizations and mortality remained similar over both periods, with severe malaria, the leading cause of admissions. Hospital deaths before and during the pandemic were 1.6% and 1.9%, respectively. CONCLUSION: There was a statistically significant decline in pediatric hospitalizations during the first 12 months of the pandemic as compared to the same period before the pandemic. Hospital mortality and causes of hospitalizations remained similar over both the periods.

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is a public health emergency and a challenge to the health systems of most countries worldwide. The initial response of the Cameroon government to the COVID-19 pandemic was to put a number of measures in place to stop the spread of the virus across the country. These measures, though beneficial in the fight against COVID-19 could have led to other detrimental health effects on the population, through a change in the pattern of hospitalizations and hospital outcomes, and all these were made worse by the fear of COVID within the population. We carried out a descriptive and retrospective cross-sectional study using hospitalization and mortality data from the pediatric ward of the Regional Hospital Bamenda, in Cameroon. We compared the data for the last 12 months before the pandemic (March 2019­February 2020) to that of the first 12 months during the pandemic in Cameroon (March 2020­February 2021). The comparison of the two periods showed that there was a statistically significant decline in pediatric hospitalizations during the first 12 months of the pandemic, by 19.03% (p = 0.00024). The hospital mortality rates before and during the pandemic were 1.6% and 1.9%, respectively, and the causes of these hospitalizations and mortality remained similar over both the periods.

##### Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cameroon/epidemiology , Child , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies
7.
Travel Med Infect Dis ; 47: 102292, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1747538

##### ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Despite being a global pandemic, little is known about the factors influencing in-hospital mortality of COVID-19 patients in sub-Saharan Africa. This study aimed to provide data on in-hospital mortality among COVID-19 patients hospitalized in a single large center in Cameroon. METHODS: A hospital-based prospective follow-up was conducted from March 18 to June 30, 2020, including patients >18 years with positive PCR for SARS-COV-2 on nasopharyngeal swab admitted to the Laquintinie Douala hospital COVID unit. Predictors of in-hospital mortality were assessed using Kaplan Meir survival curves and Weibull regression for the accelerated time failure model. Statistical significance was considered as p < 0.05. RESULTS: Overall 712 patients (65,7% men) were included, mean age 52,80 ± 14,09 years. There were 580 (67,8% men) in-hospital patients. The median duration of hospital stay was eight days. The in-hospital mortality was 22.2%. Deceased patients compared to survivors were significantly older, had a higher temperature, respiratory rate, and heart rate, and lowest peripheral oxygen saturation at admission. After adjusting for age, sex, and other clinical patient characteristics, increased heart rate, increased temperature, decreased peripheral oxygen saturation. The critical clinical status was significantly associated with increased in-hospital mortality. In contrast, hospitalization duration greater than eight days and the use of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) + azithromycin (AZM) therapy was associated with decreased risk of in-hospital mortality. CONCLUSION: One in five hospitalized COVID-19 patients die in a low-middle income setting. Critical clinical status, dyspnea, and increased heart rate were predictors of in-hospital mortality. This study will serve as a prerequisite for more robust subsequent follow-up studies. Also, these results will aid in revising national guidelines for the management of COVID-19 in Cameroon.

##### Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cameroon/epidemiology , Female , Hospital Mortality , Hospitals , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Male , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
8.
J Public Health Policy ; 43(2): 325-328, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1740518

##### Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cameroon/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
9.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(5)2022 Feb 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1725779

##### ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Vaccination is claimed to be a key intervention against the COVID-19 pandemic. A major challenge today is to increase vaccine acceptance as vaccine hesitancy has delayed the eradication of polio. This study aimed to identify predictors associated with vaccine acceptance in the context of the Expanded Program on Immunization among parents of children between the ages of 12 to 23 months in the Foumbot district, Cameroon. METHODS: The design of this study is a cross-sectional survey. A total of 160 mothers of children between the ages of 12 to 23 months were selected using a simple random sampling technique. A pre-tested structured questionnaire was used for data collection. Incomplete vaccination status was considered "vaccine hesitancy". Data was analyzed along with 95% confidence intervals and the p-value < 0.05. The results showed 60% vaccine acceptance and 40% vaccine hesitancy. Factors such as age-appropriate vaccination, knowledge of vaccine-preventable diseases (VPD), and religion were associated with vaccine acceptance. CONCLUSION: Poor knowledge of VPDs is a matter of concern as it contributes to vaccine hesitancy. The study findings provide the basis to heighten health education, the public perceived threat of the VPDs, and the consequences if no measures are taken to ensure health.

##### Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cameroon , Child , Child, Preschool , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Immunization Programs , Infant , Pandemics , Patient Acceptance of Health Care , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Math Med Biol ; 39(1): 1-48, 2022 02 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1636003

##### ABSTRACT

In this paper, we propose and analyse a compartmental model of COVID-19 to predict and control the outbreak. We first formulate a comprehensive mathematical model for the dynamical transmission of COVID-19 in the context of sub-Saharan Africa. We provide the basic properties of the model and compute the basic reproduction number $\mathcal {R}_0$ when the parameter values are constant. After, assuming continuous measurement of the weekly number of newly COVID-19 detected cases, newly deceased individuals and newly recovered individuals, the Ensemble of Kalman filter (EnKf) approach is used to estimate the unmeasured variables and unknown parameters, which are assumed to be time-dependent using real data of COVID-19. We calibrated the proposed model to fit the weekly data in Cameroon and Gabon before, during and after the lockdown. We present the forecasts of the current pandemic in these countries using the estimated parameter values and the estimated variables as initial conditions. During the estimation period, our findings suggest that $\mathcal {R}_0 \approx 1.8377$ in Cameroon, while $\mathcal {R}_0 \approx 1.0379$ in Gabon meaning that the disease will not die out without any control measures in theses countries. Also, the number of undetected cases remains high in both countries, which could be the source of the new wave of COVID-19 pandemic. Short-term predictions firstly show that one can use the EnKf to predict the COVID-19 in Sub-Saharan Africa and that the second vague of the COVID-19 pandemic will still increase in the future in Gabon and in Cameroon. A comparison between the basic reproduction number from human individuals $\mathcal {R}_{0h}$ and from the SARS-CoV-2 in the environment $\mathcal {R}_{0v}$ has been done in Cameroon and Gabon. A comparative study during the estimation period shows that the transmissions from the free SARS-CoV-2 in the environment is greater than that from the infected individuals in Cameroon with $\mathcal {R}_{0h}$ = 0.05721 and $\mathcal {R}_{0v}$ = 1.78051. This imply that Cameroonian apply distancing measures between individual more than with the free SARS-CoV-2 in the environment. But, the opposite is observed in Gabon with $\mathcal {R}_{0h}$ = 0.63899 and $\mathcal {R}_{0v}$ = 0.39894. So, it is important to increase the awareness campaigns to reduce contacts from individual to individual in Gabon. However, long-term predictions reveal that the COVID-19 detected cases will play an important role in the spread of the disease. Further, we found that there is a necessity to increase timely the surveillance by using an awareness program and a detection process, and the eradication of the pandemic is highly dependent on the control measures taken by each government.

##### Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cameroon/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Gabon/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2
11.
Nature ; 595(7865): 30, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1569227
12.
Pan Afr Med J ; 39: 228, 2021.
Article in French | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1551883

##### ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: the COVID-19 pandemic causes biological diagnostic problems that remain relevant in low-income countries in general and in Cameroon in particular. Rapids tests that reliably detect SARS-CoV-2 virus antigen present themselves as an important alternative in several contexts. The objective of our study was to evaluate the diagnostic performance of two rapid diagnostic tests BIOSYNEX® COVID-19 Ag BSS and BIOSYNEX® COVID-19 Ag + BSS, compared to each other and to the AmpliQuick® SARS-CoV-2 PCR test. METHODS: a cross-sectional and comparative study was carried out from April 27 to May 29, 2021 in the city of Douala in Cameroon. The samples consisted of nasopharyngeal swabs received at the molecular biology laboratory of the Douala Gyneco-obstetric and pediatric hospital, whatever their origin. The socio-demographic parameters (age, profession, football players, travelers, others), marital status, nationality), comorbidity and known status of COVID-19, were recorded on the collection sites. The main collection sites were the Deïdo Health District and the Douala Gyneco-Obstetric and Pediatric Hospital. We performed the diagnosis of COVID-19 using the rapid diagnostic test (RDT) BIOSYNEX® COVID-19 Ag BSS and RDT BIOSYNEX® COVID-19 Ag + BSS compared to each other and to the AmpliQuick® SARS-CoV-2 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test on each sample. Statistical analysis of the data was performed using Microsoft Excel and SPSS version 17 software. To determine the sensitivity of the two RDTs, the Bayesian latent class model was performed on the median with a 95% confidence interval with p<0.05 as the significant level. An ethical clearance was sought and obtained from the University of Douala Institutional Ethics Committee. RESULTS: a total of 1813 participants were included in our study, with a predominance of men (1226, 68.68 %) and the most represented age group was that of 31 to 40 years (568, 31.33 %). Most of the participants were married (888, 53.46%) and only a few had a known COVID-19 status (75, 5.47%). The two rapid tests on our study population show much closed COVID-19 prevalence values, respectively 2.03 for BIOSYNEX® COVID-19 Ag BSS and 2.17 for BIOSYNEX® COVID-19 Ag + BSS. RDT BIOSYNEX® COVID-19 Ag + BSS showed higher sensitivity 94.1% vs. 87.5% for RDT BIOSYNEX® COVID-19 Ag BSS with almost identical specificity 98.9% for RDT BIOSYNEX® COVID-19 Ag + BSS vs. 98.7% for RDT BIOSYNEX® COVID-19 Ag BSS compared to AmpliQuick® SARS-CoV-2. BIOSYNEX® COVID-19 Ag + BSS RDT showed a negative predictive value of 99.9% compared to BIOSYNEX® COVID-19 Ag BSS RDT. There is a 99.9% agreement between the RDT BIOSYNEX® COVID-19 Ag BSS and the RDT BIOSYNEX® COVID-19 Ag + BSS. Conclusion: the RDT BIOSYNEX®COVID-19 Ag + BSS and RDT BIOSYNEX® COVID-19 Ag BSS can be used for the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 and can have an important contribution in the context of mass screenings and screening in remote areas.

##### Subject(s)
Antigens, Viral/analysis , COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Cameroon , Child , Child, Preschool , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Middle Aged , Predictive Value of Tests , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity , Young Adult
13.
Pan Afr Med J ; 38: 348, 2021.
Article in French | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1547772

##### ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: since its appearance, the COVID-19 has exhausted global health systems. It was predictable that countries with weak health systems will be severly wiped out by the pandemic. Countries across Europe faced severe human loses and it was foreseable that Africa will experience an even worse tragedy. Suprisingly, since the evolution of the pandemic, there has been remarkable resistance from African countries, including Cameroon. METHOD: the study was phenomenographic. The data were collected successively from media observations (in particular the WHO site, national TV (CRTV) programs 'Parlons COVID'), social networks - Facebook and Whatsapp) and direct observations of some quarters of Garoua (Roumdé-Adjia, Foulbéré, Kakataré) and Mora for the Far North and the southern zone of Yaoundé (Ngoa-Ekelé, Nkolondom, Mokolo). These observations were associated with individual interview, reviews and note-taking around places of public circulation (places of worship, markets and discussion sites (Faada). The theory of functionalism was mobilized in this study. RESULTS: the results show that Cameroonians perceive the pandemic as an eminently metasocial phenomenon which explains their tendency to use prayers, nature to counter this attack. CONCLUSION: the study suggests that a multidimensional approach is capable of offering avenues of « liberation ¼. Also, the study once again raises the place of traditional medecine in health systems and shows the close link that exists between traditional medicine and spirituality.

##### Subject(s)
Attitude to Health , COVID-19/epidemiology , Anthropology, Cultural , Cameroon/epidemiology , Humans , Poverty , Religion , Sociological Factors , Urban Health
14.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0260819, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1546969

##### ABSTRACT

Studies assessing the mental health of patients with COVID-19 infection remain limited. Disasters and major emergencies, not just COVID-19, undoubtedly lead to greater incidence of mental health problems. Previous studies indicate that the novel Coronavirus disease can cause panic and stress in patients. Our literature search didn't reveal any previous published data from Cameroon and the Central African sub-region. In order to bridge this gap, we assessed the prevalence and factors associated with depression and anxiety in COVID-19 patients. We carried out a cross-sectional study in a secondary hospital in the Littoral Region of Cameroon. We recruited hospitalised COVID-19 patients during a 4-month period. We collected data on sociodemographic characteristics. The HADS score was used to assess levels of anxiety and depression. All analysis were done using Stata 14. A P value of <0.05 was used as the cut-off for statistical significance. A total number of 285 patients took part in this study with a mean age of 48.47 years. The prevalence of anxiety in COVID-19 patients was 60.35% while the prevalence of depression was 81.40%. At multivariate logistic regression male gender (OR: 1.89, P = 0.04), hypoxaemia (OR: 2.20, P = 0.01), presence of COVID-19 complications (OR: 1.61, P = 0.02) and current episode of depression (OR: 4.14, P<0.01) were independently associated with anxiety. Similarly, age > 35 years (OR:2.03, P = 0.02), presence of comorbidity (OR: 1.68, P = 0.01), BMI > = 30kg/m2 (OR: 1.78, P = 0.02), presence of COVID-19 complications (OR: 1.28, P = 0.01) and anxiety (OR: 4.60, P<0.001) were independently associated with depression. Hospitalised patients with COVID-19 experienced high levels of anxiety and depression. Treatment of hospitalised patients with COVID-19 should therefore include psychotherapy and psychiatric support.

##### Subject(s)
Anxiety/etiology , COVID-19/psychology , Depression/etiology , Inpatients/psychology , Anxiety/epidemiology , COVID-19/complications , Cameroon/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression/epidemiology , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Inpatients/statistics & numerical data , Logistic Models , Male , Middle Aged , Prevalence , Psychiatric Status Rating Scales , Risk Factors , Sex Factors
15.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 5851, 2021 10 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1454760

##### ABSTRACT

The extent of SARS-CoV-2 circulation in many African countries remains unclear, underlining the need for antibody sero-surveys to assess the cumulative attack rate. Here, we present the results of a cross-sectional sero-survey of a random sample of residents of a health district in Yaounde, Cameroon, conducted from October 14 to November 26, 2020. Among the 971 participants, the test-adjusted seroprevalence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies was 29·2% (95% CI 24·3-34·1). This is about 322 times greater than the 0.09% nationwide attack rate implied by COVID-19 case counts at the time. Men, obese individuals and those living in large households were significantly more likely to be seropositive, and the majority (64·2% [58·7-69·4]) of seropositive individuals reported no symptoms. Despite the high seroprevalence, most of the population had not been infected with SARS-CoV-2, highlighting the importance of continued measures to control viral spread and quick vaccine deployment to protect the vulnerable.

##### Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Urban Population , Adolescent , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Cameroon/epidemiology , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Geography , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Acceptance of Health Care , Risk Factors , Sex Factors , Young Adult
16.
Pan Afr Med J ; 39: 214, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1449268

##### ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: COVID-19 equation in Cameroon is yet to be resolved. There is an urgent need for a rapid response strategy to the increasing demand of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test results for both patients, travelers and competitors to various games. We assessed the diagnostic performance of the AmpliQuick® SARS-CoV-2 against the classic Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). METHODS: a cross-sectional and comparative study was conducted from April 27th to May 29th, 2021 in the city of Douala, Cameroon. The samples consisted of any nasopharyngeal sample received at the Douala Gynaeco-Obstetrics and Pediatric Hospital molecular biology laboratory, regardless of its origin. Sociodemographic parameters (age, profession (footballers, travelers, other), matrimonial status, nationality), comorbidity and known status of COVID-19, were recorded at collection sites. The main collection sites were the Deido Health District and the Douala Gynaeco-Obstetric and Pediatric Hospital. We performed testing using AmpliQuick® SARS-CoV-2 and the classic RT-PCR (Da An Gene Co.Ltd) on each sample during the one month period. Analytical performance parameters were determined. To determine the sensitivity of both methods, the Bayesian latent class model was performed on the median with 95% confidence interval, with p≤0.05 as significant level, as well as Kappa (κ) agreement between tests. An ethical clearance was sought and obtained from the University of Douala Institutional Ethics Committee. RESULTS: a total of 1813 participants were enrolled, with the predominance of male (68.68%) and the age group 31 to 40 years old (31.33%). Most participants were married (53.46%) with only few with known COVID-19 status (5.47%). One thousand eight hundred and ten (1810) tests were performed by AMPLIQUICK® SARS-CoV-2 while only 1107 could be achieved with the classic RT-PCR. Over the study period, it was noted a drastic reduction in the time necessary to render results with the AMPLIQUICK® SARS-CoV-2 from 24 hours to 3 hours. The AMPLIQUICK® SARS-CoV-2 reduced technician hands-on time and its practicability was noticed based on the prefilled and ready-to-use microplates. A prevalence of 1.93% and 1.45% were obtained for AMPLIQUICK® SARS-CoV-2 and the classic RT-PCR respectively. This difference in the prevalence showed that AMPLIQUICK® SARS-CoV-2 (Sensitivity 83.5% [CI=64.6-95.2]) was more accurate than the classic RT-PCR (67.8% [CI=46.6-84.9]). CONCLUSION: it is time for a change of attitude to scale up the COVID-19 testing ability in Cameroon and the AMPLIQUICK® SARS-CoV-2 is an alternative diagnosis strategy which should help resolve the situation of timely and reliable results.

##### Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Cameroon , Child , Child, Preschool , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Middle Aged , Reproducibility of Results , Sensitivity and Specificity , Time Factors , Young Adult
17.
PLoS One ; 16(6): e0252507, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388918

##### ABSTRACT

We recently developed 'cellular' reagents-lyophilized bacteria overexpressing proteins of interest-that can replace commercial pure enzymes in typical diagnostic and molecular biology reactions. To make cellular reagent technology widely accessible and amenable to local production with minimal instrumentation, we now report a significantly simplified method for preparing cellular reagents that requires only a common bacterial incubator to grow and subsequently dry enzyme-expressing bacteria at 37°C with the aid of inexpensive chemical desiccants. We demonstrate application of such dried cellular reagents in common molecular and synthetic biology processes, such as PCR, qPCR, reverse transcription, isothermal amplification, and Golden Gate DNA assembly, in building easy-to-use testing kits, and in rapid reagent production for meeting extraordinary diagnostic demands such as those being faced in the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Furthermore, we demonstrate feasibility of local production by successfully implementing this minimized procedure and preparing cellular reagents in several countries, including the United Kingdom, Cameroon, and Ghana. Our results demonstrate possibilities for readily scalable local and distributed reagent production, and further instantiate the opportunities available via synthetic biology in general.

##### Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/standards , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Diagnostic Tests, Routine/standards , Indicators and Reagents/standards , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/standards , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Testing/methods , Cameroon/epidemiology , Escherichia coli/genetics , Escherichia coli/metabolism , Gene Expression , Geobacillus stearothermophilus/genetics , Geobacillus stearothermophilus/metabolism , Ghana/epidemiology , Humans , Indicators and Reagents/chemistry , Indicators and Reagents/metabolism , Indicators and Reagents/supply & distribution , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques , Plasmids/chemistry , Plasmids/metabolism , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Recombinant Proteins/biosynthesis , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Synthetic Biology/methods , Transformation, Bacterial , United Kingdom/epidemiology
18.
Pan Afr Med J ; 38: 392, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1335406

##### ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: since 1971, Cameroon is facing a growing series of cholera epidemics despite all the efforts made by the government to address this huge public health threat. In 2020, in addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cameroon recorded a high cholera case fatality rate of 4.3% following epidemics noted in the South, Littoral and South-West regions. The Cameroon Ministry of Public Health, has thus organized a reactive vaccination campaign against cholera to address the high mortality rate in the affected health districts of those regions. The objective of this study was to describe the challenges, best practices and lessons learned drawing from daily experiences from this reactive vaccination campaign against cholera. METHODS: we conducted a cross-sectional study drawn from the results of the campaign. We had a target population of 631,109 participants aged 1 year and above resident of the targeted health areas. RESULTS: the overall vaccination coverage was 64.4% with a refusal rate ranging from 0-10% according to health districts. Vaccination coverage was the lowest among people aged 20 years and above. The main challenge was difficulty maintaining physical distanciation, the main best practice was the screening of all actors taking part at the vaccination against COVID-19 and we found that emphasizing on thorough population sensitization through quarter heads and social mobilizers and adequately programming the campaign during a good climate season is crucial to achieving good vaccination coverage. CONCLUSION: lessons learned from this study could serve to inform various agencies in the event of planning rapid mass vaccination programs during pandemics.

##### Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cholera Vaccines/administration & dosage , Cholera/prevention & control , Mass Vaccination/methods , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Cameroon , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Public Health , Vaccination/methods , Vaccination Coverage/statistics & numerical data , Young Adult
19.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 21(8): 1064-1065, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1328826
20.
Vox Sang ; 116(6): 637-644, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1319365

##### ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 pandemic, caused by a novel coronavirus, has already affected over 99 062 people in 53 African countries and killed 3082. The pandemic threatens blood supply but we do not yet know its impact on blood donations or on the perceptions and expectations of donors. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional study in four hospital-based blood services in Cameroon, using a survey design and focusing on the subjective and cultural aspects of donors. Using a semi-structured questionnaire, we collected the participants' responses as to their understanding of COVID-19 and of current protection measures, and their expectations. Data on trends of blood donations were collected retrospectively for the period from 1st January to 30th April 2019 and the same period in 2020. RESULTS: Of 494 donors included, 432 (87·4%) were enrolled from fixed blood collection sites and 62 (12·6%) were contacted by phone. A total of 464 (93·9%) participants believed that the COVID-19 is a lung disease, but some declared it to be imaginary (7·7%), a foreign disease (8·3%) or a blood-borne disease (3·2%). The participants reported that the distribution of face masks and hydroalcoholic solutions (92·5%), social distancing and hygiene (6·3%) are the most important measures that need to be in place for safe donation. The number of blood donations dropped by 21·5% between 2019 and 2020. CONCLUSION: Most of the donors know COVID-19, its transmission routes and manifestations. In the absence of barrier measures, they perceive blood donation as a threat to their health. Distribution of masks and hydroalcoholic solution might motivate more donors and improve the blood supply.

##### Subject(s)
Blood Donors/psychology , Blood Donors/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Pandemics , Adolescent , Adult , Cameroon/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult