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2.
PLoS One ; 17(2): e0261904, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1674004

ABSTRACT

The need for resilient health systems is recognized as important for the attainment of health outcomes, given the current shocks to health services. Resilience has been defined as the capacity to "prepare and effectively respond to crises; maintain core functions; and, informed by lessons learnt, reorganize if conditions require it". There is however a recognized dichotomy between its conceptualization in literature, and its application in practice. We propose two mutually reinforcing categories of resilience, representing resilience targeted at potentially known shocks, and the inherent health system resilience, needed to respond to unpredictable shock events. We determined capacities for each of these categories, and explored this methodological proposition by computing country-specific scores against each capacity, for the 47 Member States of the WHO African Region. We assessed face validity of the computed index, to ensure derived values were representative of the different elements of resilience, and were predictive of health outcomes, and computed bias-corrected non-parametric confidence intervals of the emergency preparedness and response (EPR) and inherent system resilience (ISR) sub-indices, as well as the overall resilience index, using 1000 bootstrap replicates. We also explored the internal consistency and scale reliability of the index, by calculating Cronbach alphas for the various proposed capacities and their corresponding attributes. We computed overall resilience to be 48.4 out of a possible 100 in the 47 assessed countries, with generally lower levels of ISR. For ISR, the capacities were weakest for transformation capacity, followed by mobilization of resources, awareness of own capacities, self-regulation and finally diversity of services respectively. This paper aims to contribute to the growing body of empirical evidence on health systems and service resilience, which is of great importance to the functionality and performance of health systems, particularly in the context of COVID-19. It provides a methodological reflection for monitoring health system resilience, revealing areas of improvement in the provision of essential health services during shock events, and builds a case for the need for mechanisms, at country level, that address both specific and non-specific shocks to the health system, ultimately for the attainment of improved health outcomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Delivery of Health Care/standards , Disaster Planning/methods , Health Resources/statistics & numerical data , Health Services Needs and Demand , Medical Assistance/standards , Resilience, Psychological , Africa/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , World Health Organization
9.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev ; 22(9): 2945-2950, 2021 Sep 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1441449

ABSTRACT

The COVID-pandemic has shown significant impact on cancer care from early detection, management plan to clinical outcomes of cancer patients. The Asian National Cancer Centres Alliance (ANCCA) has put together the 9 "Ps" as guidelines for cancer programs to better prepare for the next pandemic. The 9 "Ps" are Priority, Protocols and Processes, Patients, People, Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs), Pharmaceuticals, Places, Preparedness, and Politics. Priority: to maintain cancer care as a key priority in the health system response even during a global infectious disease pandemic. Protocol and processes: to develop a set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and have relevant expertise to man the Disease Outbreak Response (DORS) Taskforce before an outbreak. Patients: to prioritize patient safety in the event of an outbreak and the need to reschedule cancer management plan, supported by tele-consultation and use of artificial intelligence technology. People: to have business continuity planning to support surge capacity. PPEs and Pharmaceuticals: to develop plan for stockpiles management, build local manufacturing capacity and disseminate information on proper use and reduce wastage. Places: to design and build cancer care facilities to cater for the need of triaging, infection control, isolation and segregation. Preparedness: to invest early on manpower building and technology innovations through multisectoral and international collaborations. Politics: to ensure leadership which bring trust, cohesion and solidarity for successful response to pandemic and mitigate negative impact on the healthcare system.


Subject(s)
Cancer Care Facilities/organization & administration , Disaster Planning/methods , Infection Control/methods , Neoplasms/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Regional Health Planning/organization & administration , Telemedicine/methods , Artificial Intelligence , Asia/epidemiology , Delivery of Health Care , Humans , Neoplasms/epidemiology
10.
Viruses ; 13(8)2021 08 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1376992

ABSTRACT

While investigating a signal of adaptive evolution in humans at the gene LARGE, we encountered an intriguing finding by Dr. Stefan Kunz that the gene plays a critical role in Lassa virus binding and entry. This led us to pursue field work to test our hypothesis that natural selection acting on LARGE-detected in the Yoruba population of Nigeria-conferred resistance to Lassa Fever in some West African populations. As we delved further, we conjectured that the "emerging" nature of recently discovered diseases like Lassa fever is related to a newfound capacity for detection, rather than a novel viral presence, and that humans have in fact been exposed to the viruses that cause such diseases for much longer than previously suspected. Dr. Stefan Kunz's critical efforts not only laid the groundwork for this discovery, but also inspired and catalyzed a series of events that birthed Sentinel, an ambitious and large-scale pandemic prevention effort in West Africa. Sentinel aims to detect and characterize deadly pathogens before they spread across the globe, through implementation of its three fundamental pillars: Detect, Connect, and Empower. More specifically, Sentinel is designed to detect known and novel infections rapidly, connect and share information in real time to identify emerging threats, and empower the public health community to improve pandemic preparedness and response anywhere in the world. We are proud to dedicate this work to Stefan Kunz, and eagerly invite new collaborators, experts, and others to join us in our efforts.


Subject(s)
Disaster Planning , Lassa Fever/epidemiology , Lassa virus/physiology , Africa, Western/epidemiology , Disaster Planning/methods , Humans , Lassa Fever/genetics , Lassa Fever/prevention & control , Lassa Fever/virology , Lassa virus/genetics , N-Acetylglucosaminyltransferases/genetics , N-Acetylglucosaminyltransferases/immunology , Nigeria/epidemiology , Pandemics , Polymorphism, Genetic , Receptors, Virus/genetics , Receptors, Virus/immunology
13.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(6): e1009583, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1256050

ABSTRACT

The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic reveals a major gap in global biosecurity infrastructure: a lack of publicly available biological samples representative across space, time, and taxonomic diversity. The shortfall, in this case for vertebrates, prevents accurate and rapid identification and monitoring of emerging pathogens and their reservoir host(s) and precludes extended investigation of ecological, evolutionary, and environmental associations that lead to human infection or spillover. Natural history museum biorepositories form the backbone of a critically needed, decentralized, global network for zoonotic pathogen surveillance, yet this infrastructure remains marginally developed, underutilized, underfunded, and disconnected from public health initiatives. Proactive detection and mitigation for emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) requires expanded biodiversity infrastructure and training (particularly in biodiverse and lower income countries) and new communication pipelines that connect biorepositories and biomedical communities. To this end, we highlight a novel adaptation of Project ECHO's virtual community of practice model: Museums and Emerging Pathogens in the Americas (MEPA). MEPA is a virtual network aimed at fostering communication, coordination, and collaborative problem-solving among pathogen researchers, public health officials, and biorepositories in the Americas. MEPA now acts as a model of effective international, interdisciplinary collaboration that can and should be replicated in other biodiversity hotspots. We encourage deposition of wildlife specimens and associated data with public biorepositories, regardless of original collection purpose, and urge biorepositories to embrace new specimen sources, types, and uses to maximize strategic growth and utility for EID research. Taxonomically, geographically, and temporally deep biorepository archives serve as the foundation of a proactive and increasingly predictive approach to zoonotic spillover, risk assessment, and threat mitigation.


Subject(s)
Biological Specimen Banks/organization & administration , Communicable Disease Control , Communicable Diseases, Emerging/prevention & control , Community Networks/organization & administration , Public Health Surveillance/methods , Animals , Animals, Wild , Biodiversity , Biological Specimen Banks/standards , Biological Specimen Banks/supply & distribution , Biological Specimen Banks/trends , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Communicable Disease Control/organization & administration , Communicable Disease Control/standards , Communicable Diseases, Emerging/epidemiology , Communicable Diseases, Emerging/microbiology , Communicable Diseases, Emerging/virology , Community Networks/standards , Community Networks/supply & distribution , Community Networks/trends , Disaster Planning/methods , Disaster Planning/organization & administration , Disaster Planning/standards , Geography , Global Health/standards , Global Health/trends , Humans , Medical Countermeasures , Pandemics/prevention & control , Public Health , Risk Assessment , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Zoonoses/epidemiology , Zoonoses/prevention & control
16.
BMC Public Health ; 21(1): 580, 2021 03 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1148214

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 pandemic a public health emergency of international concern. South Africa, like many other countries, initiated a multifaceted national response to the pandemic. Self-isolation and quarantine are essential components of the public health response in the country. This paper examined perceptions and preparedness for self-isolation or quarantine during the initial phase of the pandemic in South Africa. METHODS: The analysis used data obtained from an online quantitative survey conducted in all nine provinces using a data-free platform. Descriptive statistics and multivariable logistic regression models were used to analyse the data. RESULTS: Of 55,823 respondents, 40.1% reported that they may end up in self-isolation or quarantine, 32.6% did not think that they would and 27.4% were unsure. Preparedness for self-isolation or quarantine was 59.0% for self, 53.8% for child and 59.9% for elderly. The odds of perceived possibility for self-isolation or quarantine were significantly higher among Coloureds, Whites, and Indians/Asians than Black Africans, and among those with moderate or high self-perceived risk of contracting COVID-19 than those with low risk perception. The odds were significantly lower among older age groups than those aged 18-29 years, and those unemployed than fully employed. The odds of preparedness for self-isolation or quarantine were significantly less likely among females than males. Preparedness for self, child and elderly isolation or quarantine was significantly more likely among other population groups than Black Africans and among older age groups than those aged 18-29 years. Preparedness for self, child and elderly isolation or quarantine was significantly less likely among those self-employed than fully employed and those residing in informal dwellings than formal dwellings. In addition, preparedness for self-isolation or quarantine was significantly less likely among those with moderate and high self-perceived risk of contracting COVID-19 than low risk perception. CONCLUSION: The findings highlight the challenge of implementing self-isolation or quarantine in a country with different and unique social contexts. There is a need for public awareness regarding the importance of self-isolation or quarantine as well as counter measures against contextual factors inhibiting this intervention, especially in impoverished communities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Civil Defense/organization & administration , Communicable Disease Control/organization & administration , Disaster Planning/organization & administration , Pandemics/prevention & control , Quarantine , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Disaster Planning/methods , Female , Humans , Male , Public Health , Quarantine/psychology , SARS-CoV-2 , South Africa , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
17.
18.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(3): e212382, 2021 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1141275

ABSTRACT

Importance: The 2017-2018 influenza season in the US was marked by a high severity of illness, wide geographic spread, and prolonged duration compared with recent previous seasons, resulting in increased strain throughout acute care hospital systems. Objective: To characterize self-reported experiences and views of hospital capacity managers regarding the 2017-2018 influenza season in the US. Design, Setting, and Participants: In this qualitative study, semistructured telephone interviews were conducted between April 2018 and January 2019 with a random sample of capacity management administrators responsible for throughput and hospital capacity at short-term, acute care hospitals throughout the US. Main Outcomes and Measures: Each participant's self-reported experiences and views regarding high patient volumes during the 2017-2018 influenza season, lessons learned, and the extent of hospitals' preparedness planning for future pandemic events. Interviews were recorded and transcribed and then analyzed using thematic content analysis. Outcomes included themes and subthemes. Results: A total of 53 key hospital capacity personnel at 53 hospitals throughout the US were interviewed; 39 (73.6%) were women, 48 (90.6%) had a nursing background, and 29 (54.7%) had been in the occupational role for more than 4 years. Participants' experiences were categorized into several domains: (1) perception of strain, (2) effects of influenza and influenza-like illness on staff and patient care, (3) immediate staffing and capacity responses to influenza and influenza-like illness, and (4) future staffing and capacity preparedness for influenza and influenza-like illness. Participants reported experiencing perceived strain associated with concerns about preparedness for seasonal influenza and influenza-like illness as well as concerns about staffing, patient care, and capacity, but future pandemic planning within hospitals was not reported as being a high priority. Conclusions and Relevance: The findings of this qualitative study suggest that during the 2017-2018 influenza season, there were systemic vulnerabilities as well as a lack of hospital preparedness planning for future pandemics at US hospitals. These issues should be addressed given the current coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Capacity Building , Change Management , Civil Defense/organization & administration , Disaster Planning/methods , Disease Outbreaks , Influenza, Human , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Capacity Building/methods , Capacity Building/organization & administration , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Disease Outbreaks/statistics & numerical data , Health Workforce/organization & administration , Humans , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Influenza, Human/therapy , Personnel Management/methods , Qualitative Research , SARS-CoV-2 , Seasons , Severity of Illness Index , United States/epidemiology
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