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Am J Trop Med Hyg ; 105(2): 323-330, 2021 Jun 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1280855


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic may have short-term and long-term impacts on health services across sub-Saharan African countries. A telephone survey in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, and Nigeria was conducted to assess the effects of the pandemic on healthcare services from the perspectives of healthcare providers (HCPs) and community members. A total of 900 HCPs (300 from each country) and 1,797 adult community members (approximately 600 from each country) participated in the study. Adjusted risk ratios (ARRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were computed using modified Poisson regression. According to the HCPs, more than half (56%) of essential health services were affected. Child health services and HIV/surgical/other services had a slightly higher percentage of interruption (33%) compared with maternal health services (31%). A total of 21.8%, 19.3%, and 7.7% of the community members reported that their family members and themselves had difficulty accessing childcare services, maternal health, and other health services, respectively. Nurses had a lower risk of reporting high service interruptions than physicians (ARR, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.56-0.95). HCPs at private facilities (ARR, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.59-0.84) had a lower risk of reporting high service interruptions than those at governmental facilities. Health services in Nigeria were more likely to be interrupted than those in Burkina Faso (ARR, 1.38; 95% CI, 1.19-1.59). Health authorities should work with multiple stakeholders to ensure routine health services and identify novel and adaptive approaches to recover referral services, medical care, maternal and child health, family planning, immunization and health promotion, and prevention during the COVID-19 era.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Health Services Accessibility/standards , Surveys and Questionnaires/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , Burkina Faso/epidemiology , Child , Child Health Services/standards , Child Health Services/statistics & numerical data , Ethiopia/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Maternal Health Services/standards , Maternal Health Services/statistics & numerical data , Middle Aged , Nigeria/epidemiology , Pregnancy , Telephone , Young Adult
BMJ Glob Health ; 6(3)2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1148159


We have worked to develop a Clinical Information Network (CIN) in Kenya as an early form of learning health systems (LHS) focused on paediatric and neonatal care that now spans 22 hospitals. CIN's aim was to examine important outcomes of hospitalisation at scale, identify and ultimately solve practical problems of service delivery, drive improvements in quality and test interventions. By including multiple routine settings in research, we aimed to promote generalisability of findings and demonstrate potential efficiencies derived from LHS. We illustrate the nature and range of research CIN has supported over the past 7 years as a form of LHS. Clinically, this has largely focused on common, serious paediatric illnesses such as pneumonia, malaria and diarrhoea with dehydration with recent extensions to neonatal illnesses. CIN also enables examination of the quality of care, for example that provided to children with severe malnutrition and the challenges encountered in routine settings in adopting simple technologies (pulse oximetry) and more advanced diagnostics (eg, Xpert MTB/RIF). Although regular feedback to hospitals has been associated with some improvements in quality data continue to highlight system challenges that undermine provision of basic, quality care (eg, poor access to blood glucose testing and routine microbiology). These challenges include those associated with increased mortality risk (eg, delays in blood transfusion). Using the same data the CIN platform has enabled conduct of randomised trials and supports malaria vaccine and most recently COVID-19 surveillance. Employing LHS principles has meant engaging front-line workers, clinical managers and national stakeholders throughout. Our experience suggests LHS can be developed in low and middle-income countries that efficiently enable contextually appropriate research and contribute to strengthening of health services and research systems.

Child Health Services/standards , Delivery of Health Care/standards , Health Services Accessibility/standards , Health Services Research , Quality Improvement , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Child , Child, Preschool , Developing Countries , Diarrhea/epidemiology , Diarrhea/prevention & control , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Kenya/epidemiology , Malaria/epidemiology , Malaria/prevention & control , Pandemics , Pneumonia/epidemiology , Pneumonia/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2
Pediatrics ; 148(1)2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1105894


OBJECTIVES: The coronavirus pandemic created significant, abrupt challenges to the delivery of ambulatory health care. Because tertiary medical centers limited elective in-person services, telehealth was rapidly enacted in settings with minimal previous experience to allow continued access to care. With this quality improvement (QI) initiative, we aimed to achieve a virtual visit volume of at least 75% of our prepandemic volume. We also describe patient and provider experience with telehealth services. METHODS: Our QI team identified the primary drivers contributing to low telehealth volume and developed a telehealth scheduling protocol and data tracking system using QI-based strategies. Patients and providers were surveyed on their telehealth experience. RESULTS: At the onset of the pandemic, weekly visit volume dropped by 65% (99 weekly visits; historical average of 281). Over the subsequent 3 weeks, using rapid Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles, we achieved our goal volume. In surveys, it was indicated that most participants had never before used telehealth (71% of patients; 82% of providers) yet reported high satisfaction (90% of patients; 81% of providers). Both groups expressed concern over the lack of in-person assessments. Most respondents were interested in future use of telehealth. CONCLUSIONS: With a QI-based approach, we successfully maintained access to care via telehealth services for pediatric pulmonary patients during the coronavirus pandemic and found high rates of satisfaction among patients and providers. Telehealth will likely continue to be a part of our health care delivery platform, expanding the reach of our services. Further work is needed to understand the effects on clinical outcomes.

Ambulatory Care Facilities/organization & administration , Ambulatory Care/standards , COVID-19 , Child Health Services/organization & administration , Lung Diseases , Quality Improvement , Telemedicine/organization & administration , Child , Child Health Services/standards , Hospitals, Pediatric , Humans , Lung Diseases/diagnosis , Lung Diseases/therapy , Telemedicine/standards , Time Factors