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Ann Med ; 53(1): 581-586, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1171161


Although coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a pandemic, it has several specificities influencing its outcomes due to the entwinement of several factors, which anthropologists have called "syndemics". Drawing upon Singer and Clair's syndemics model, I focus on synergistic interaction among chronic kidney disease (CKD), diabetes, and COVID-19 in Pakistan. I argue that over 36 million people in Pakistan are standing at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19, developing severe complications, and losing their lives. These two diseases, but several other socio-cultural, economic, and political factors contributing to structured vulnerabilities, would function as confounders. To deal with the critical effects of these syndemics the government needs appropriate policies and their implementation during the pandemic and post-pandemic. To eliminate or at least minimize various vulnerabilities, Pakistan needs drastic changes, especially to overcome (formal) illiteracy, unemployment, poverty, gender difference, and rural and urban difference.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Diabetes Mellitus/epidemiology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Renal Insufficiency, Chronic/epidemiology , Syndemic , COVID-19/prevention & control , Climate Change/economics , Climate Change/statistics & numerical data , Confounding Factors, Epidemiologic , Developing Countries/economics , Developing Countries/statistics & numerical data , Diabetes Mellitus/economics , Diabetes Mellitus/prevention & control , Food Supply/economics , Food Supply/statistics & numerical data , Health Literacy/economics , Health Literacy/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Pakistan/epidemiology , Pandemics/economics , Politics , Poverty/economics , Poverty/statistics & numerical data , Renal Insufficiency, Chronic/economics , Renal Insufficiency, Chronic/prevention & control , Unemployment/statistics & numerical data