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1.
PLoS One ; 16(11): e0259229, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1528718

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has affected Ethiopia since March 13, 2020, when the first case was detected in Addis Ababa. Since then, the incidence of cases has continued to increase day by day. As a result, the health sector has recommended universal preventive measures to be practiced by the public. However, studies on adherence to these preventive measures are limited. OBJECTIVE: To monitor the status of preventive practices of the population related to hand washing, physical distancing, and respiratory hygiene practices at selected sites within the city of Addis Ababa. METHODS: Weekly cross-sectional non-participatory observations were done during the period of April-June, 2020. Data was collected using the Open Data Kit (ODK) tool in ten public sites involving eight public facilities targeted for individual observations. Ten individuals were randomly observed at each facility over two days a week at peak hours of public services. WHO operational definitions of the preventive behaviors were adopted for this study. Observations were conducted anonymously at gates or entrances of public facilities and places. RESULTS: A total of 12,056 individual observations with 53% males and 82% in an estimated age range of 18-50 years age group were involved in this study. There was an increase in the practice of respiratory hygiene from 14% in week one to 77% in week 10, while those of hand hygiene and physical distancing changed little over the weeks from their baseline of 24% and 34%, respectively. Overall, respiratory hygiene demonstrated an increased rate of 6% per week, while hand hygiene and physical distancing had less than a 1% change per week, Females and the estimated age group of 18-50 years had practice changes in respiratory hygiene with no difference in hand hygiene and physical distancing practices. Respiratory hygiene took about six weeks to reach a level of 77% from its baseline of 24%, making an increment of about 9% per week. CONCLUSION: The public practice of respiratory hygiene improved threefold whereas hand hygiene and physical distancing revealed no change. Regularly sustained public mobilization and mass education are required to sustain the achievements gained in respiratory hygiene and further hand hygiene and physical distancing.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/trends , Hand Disinfection/trends , Hand Hygiene/trends , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Physical Distancing , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Community Health Services/standards , Cross-Sectional Studies , Ethiopia/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Public Facilities/standards , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
5.
Pan Afr Med J ; 38: 196, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1209602

ABSTRACT

The onslaught of COVID-19 pandemic has greatly overwhelmed some of the best healthcare systems in the world. Medical practitioners working in hospitals at the epicenters of COVID-19 pandemic have emphasized on the need to manage mildly ill and convalescent COVID-19 patients at home or community facilities rather than at hospitals during a pandemic. In this article, we highlight that a standardized home- and community-based (HCBC) approach for management of COVID-19 patients will be a key component for preparing hospitals in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) for a potential surge in COVID-19 cases. So far, based on the trajectory of infection, we think that SSA seems to have a window of opportunity, albeit narrowing, for implementing HCBC. However, there are challenges that will need to be addressed in order to implement and maintain HCBC. Successful implementation and maintenance of HCBC in SSA will require international agencies and key donors to work closely with the national governments; providing them with policy, technical, and financial assistance. Home- and community-based care (HCBC) is also important because it can play a role in advocacy, education, training, and health promotion during COVID-19 pandemic. We further underscore the need for a delicate balance between HCBC and hospital-based care (HBC) approach as well as with COVID-19 mitigation and suppression measures in order to reduce the risk of SARS-CoV-2 community transmission and allow optimal continuity of the HBC. We conclude by emphasizing once again that, for countries in SSA to adequately prepare for the worst-case scenario of COVID-19 pandemic in the absence of a cure, policy makers of member states need to act collectively and fast.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Community Health Services/organization & administration , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Home Care Services/organization & administration , Africa South of the Sahara , Community Health Services/standards , Delivery of Health Care/standards , Home Care Services/standards , Hospitalization , Humans
6.
Public Health Rep ; 136(3): 301-308, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1119367

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has challenged the ability of harm reduction programs to provide vital services to adolescents, young adults, and people who use drugs, thereby increasing the risk of overdose, infection, withdrawal, and other complications of drug use. To evaluate the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on harm reduction services for adolescents and young adults in Boston, we conducted a quantitative assessment of the Community Care in Reach (CCIR) youth pilot program to determine gaps in services created by its closure during the peak of the pandemic (March 19-June 21, 2020). We also conducted semistructured interviews with staff members at 6 harm reduction programs in Boston from April 27 through May 4, 2020, to identify gaps in harm reduction services, changes in substance use practices and patterns of engagement with people who use drugs, and how harm reduction programs adapted to pandemic conditions. During the pandemic, harm reduction programs struggled to maintain staffing, supplies, infection control measures, and regular connection with their participants. During the 3-month suspension of CCIR mobile van services, CCIR missed an estimated 363 contacts, 169 units of naloxone distributed, and 402 syringes distributed. Based on our findings, we propose the following recommendations for sustaining harm reduction services during times of crisis: pursuing high-level policy changes to eliminate political barriers to care and fund harm reduction efforts; enabling and empowering harm reduction programs to innovatively and safely distribute vital resources and build community during a crisis; and providing comprehensive support to people to minimize drug-related harms.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Community Health Services/standards , Harm Reduction , Health Services Accessibility/standards , Adolescent , Boston/epidemiology , Humans , Naloxone/therapeutic use , Needle-Exchange Programs , Substance-Related Disorders/therapy , Young Adult
7.
BMJ Open ; 10(12): e044197, 2020 12 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1083582

ABSTRACT

AIM: To explore indigenous communities' responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences for maternal and neonatal health (MNH) care in the Peruvian Amazon. METHODS: Mamás del Río is a community-based, MNH programme with comprehensive supervision covering monthly meetings with community health workers (CHW), community leaders and health facilities. With the onset of the lockdown, supervisors made telephone calls to discuss measures against COVID-19, governmental support, CHW activities in communities and provision of MNH care and COVID-19 preparedness at facilities. As part of the programme's ongoing mixed methods evaluation, we analysed written summaries of supervisor calls collected during the first 2 months of Peru's lockdown. RESULTS: Between March and May 2020, supervisors held two rounds of calls with CHWs and leaders of 68 communities and staff from 17 facilities. Most communities banned entry of foreigners, but about half tolerated residents travelling to regional towns for trade and social support. While social events were forbidden, strict home isolation was only practised in a third of communities as conflicting with daily routine. By the end of April, first clusters of suspected cases were reported in communities. COVID-19 test kits, training and medical face masks were not available in most rural facilities. Six out of seven facilities suspended routine antenatal and postnatal consultations while two-thirds of CHWs resumed home visits to pregnant women and newborns. CONCLUSIONS: Home isolation was hardly feasible in the rural Amazon context and community isolation was undermined by lack of external supplies and social support. With sustained community transmission, promotion of basic hygiene and mask use becomes essential. To avoid devastating effects on MNH, routine services at facilities need to be urgently re-established alongside COVID-19 preparedness plans. Community-based MNH programmes could offset detrimental indirect effects of the pandemic and provide an opportunity for local COVID-19 prevention and containment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communicable Disease Control , Community Health Services , Infant Health , Maternal Health , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/organization & administration , Communicable Disease Control/standards , Community Health Services/methods , Community Health Services/organization & administration , Community Health Services/standards , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Female , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Health Services Needs and Demand , Health Services, Indigenous/trends , Humans , Infant Health/statistics & numerical data , Infant Health/trends , Infant, Newborn , Male , Maternal Health/statistics & numerical data , Maternal Health/trends , Peru/epidemiology , Pregnancy , Preventive Health Services/methods , SARS-CoV-2
8.
J Nerv Ment Dis ; 209(1): 49-53, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1066475

ABSTRACT

The novel coronavirus pandemic and the resulting expanded use of telemedicine have temporarily transformed community-based care for individuals with serious mental illness (SMI), challenging traditional treatment paradigms. We review the rapid regulatory and practice shifts that facilitated broad use of telemedicine, the literature on the use of telehealth and telemedicine for individuals with SMI supporting the feasibility/acceptability of mobile interventions, and the more limited evidence-based telemedicine practices for this population. We provide anecdotal reflections on the opportunities and challenges for telemedicine drawn from our daily experiences providing services and overseeing systems for this population during the pandemic. We conclude by proposing that a continued, more prominent role for telemedicine in the care of individuals with SMI be sustained in the post-coronavirus landscape, offering future directions for policy, technical assistance, training, and research to bring about this change.


Subject(s)
Attitude of Health Personnel , COVID-19 , Community Health Services , Health Services Accessibility , Mental Disorders/therapy , Mental Health Services , Patient Acceptance of Health Care , Telemedicine , Community Health Services/economics , Community Health Services/organization & administration , Community Health Services/standards , Health Services Accessibility/economics , Health Services Accessibility/organization & administration , Health Services Accessibility/standards , Humans , Mental Health Services/economics , Mental Health Services/organization & administration , Mental Health Services/standards , Telemedicine/economics , Telemedicine/organization & administration , Telemedicine/standards
9.
Am J Manag Care ; 26(12): 502-504, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1068412

ABSTRACT

The scale of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic and its disproportionate impact on vulnerable populations has spurred unprecedented focus on and investment in social determinants of health (SDOH). Although the greater focus on social determinants is laudable and necessary, there is a tendency for health care organizations to implement SDOH programs at scale without rigorous evidence of effect, rather than targeting interventions to specific patients and assessing their impact. This broad, and sometimes blind, application of SDOH interventions can be costly and wasteful. We argue for rejecting the "more is better" mindset and specifically targeting patients who truly need and would substantially benefit from SDOH interventions. Matching interventions to the most appropriate patients involves screening for social needs, developing rigorous evidence of effect, and accompanying policy reform.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Community Health Services/organization & administration , Health Promotion/organization & administration , Social Determinants of Health/trends , Community Health Services/economics , Community Health Services/standards , Comprehensive Health Care/organization & administration , Health Policy , Health Promotion/economics , Health Promotion/standards , Health Status Disparities , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Public Health Rep ; 136(1): 39-46, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-961218

ABSTRACT

Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) at the University of New Mexico is a telementoring program that uses videoconferencing technology to connect health care providers in underserved communities with subject matter experts. In March 2020, Project ECHO created 10 coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) telementoring programs to meet the public health needs of clinicians and teachers living in underserved rural and urban regions of New Mexico. The newly created COVID-19 programs include 7 weekly sessions (Community Health Worker [in English and Spanish], Critical Care, Education, First-Responder Resiliency, Infectious Disease Office Hours, and Multi-specialty) and 3 one-day special sessions. We calculated the total number of attendees, along with the range and standard deviation, per session by program. Certain programs (Critical Care, Infectious Disease Office Hours, Multi-specialty) recorded the profession of attendees when available. The Project ECHO research team collected COVID-19 infection data by county from March 11 through May 31, 2020. During that same period, 9765 health care and general education professionals participated in the COVID-19 programs, and participants from 31 of 35 (89%) counties in New Mexico attended the sessions. Our initial evaluation of these programs demonstrates that an interprofessional clinician group and teachers used the Project ECHO network to build a community of practice and social network while meeting their educational and professional needs. Because of Project ECHO's large reach, the results of the New Mexico COVID-19 response suggest that the rapid use of ECHO telementoring could be used for other urgent national public health problems.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Community Health Services/organization & administration , Health Personnel/education , Inservice Training/organization & administration , Mentoring/organization & administration , Rural Population , Community Health Services/standards , Community Health Workers/education , Evidence-Based Practice , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Health Personnel/psychology , Humans , Medically Underserved Area , Mental Health Services/organization & administration , New Mexico/epidemiology , Pandemics , Resilience, Psychological , SARS-CoV-2 , Telemedicine , Urban Population , Videoconferencing
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