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1.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 20470, 2022 Nov 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2151087

ABSTRACT

The urban environment influences human health, safety and wellbeing. Cities in Africa are growing faster than other regions but have limited data to guide urban planning and policies. Our aim was to use smart sensing and analytics to characterise the spatial patterns and temporal dynamics of features of the urban environment relevant for health, liveability, safety and sustainability. We collected a novel dataset of 2.1 million time-lapsed day and night images at 145 representative locations throughout the Metropolis of Accra, Ghana. We manually labelled a subset of 1,250 images for 20 contextually relevant objects and used transfer learning with data augmentation to retrain a convolutional neural network to detect them in the remaining images. We identified 23.5 million instances of these objects including 9.66 million instances of persons (41% of all objects), followed by cars (4.19 million, 18%), umbrellas (3.00 million, 13%), and informally operated minibuses known as tro tros (2.94 million, 13%). People, large vehicles and market-related objects were most common in the commercial core and densely populated informal neighbourhoods, while refuse and animals were most observed in the peripheries. The daily variability of objects was smallest in densely populated settlements and largest in the commercial centre. Our novel data and methodology shows that smart sensing and analytics can inform planning and policy decisions for making cities more liveable, equitable, sustainable and healthy.


Subject(s)
Deep Learning , Animals , Humans , Automobiles , Cities , City Planning , Ghana
2.
Br J Nurs ; 31(20): 1052-1056, 2022 Nov 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2115606

ABSTRACT

This article describes two Ghanaian students' experiences of connecting with learning, faculty, family and friends during an Erasmus+ semester abroad in Ireland during the COVID-19 pandemic. University faculty members' experiences are also explored. The students describe their experiences of adjusting to new ways of learning online and living through lockdown in a country far from home. These reflections highlight the students' positive learning experiences during a journey of both personal and professional development while also highlighting the challenges of converting to an online learning environment. These experiences illustrate the students' unexpected opportunities and challenges, demonstrating how support from the university faculty, Erasmus+ team and friends, both virtually and physically, helped them through this unprecedented time. This article presents an account of the students' and staff's learning experiences during a semester that was affected by the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Pandemics , Ghana/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Students
3.
PLoS One ; 17(11): e0276381, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2117167

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Adequate knowledge about COVID-19 in a population may be relevant in the fight to control its spread among the populace. Thus, the aim of this study was to assess the factors associated with real knowledge of COVID-19 among Ghanaians to promote effective dissemination of appropriate information aimed at containing the spread. METHODS: A cross-sectional online survey and computer assisted telephone interviews (CATI) was conducted among Ghanaians aged 18 years and above across the 260 districts of Ghana. The survey assessed the level of knowledge of COVID-19 and its associated factors and compared differences between perceived and real knowledge. One district health promotion officer per district was trained for the data collection. Participants were recruited via use of phone directories of both organized and non-organized local district groups. Phone calls were made to randomly selected phone contacts to schedule options for participation in the study. We used multivariable logistic regression to investigate the associated factors of COVID-19 knowledge among respondents. RESULTS: Of the 2,721 participants who completed the survey, the majority (99.3%) were aware of the existence of the COVID-19 outbreak, had good knowledge on infection prevention (87.0%) and rated their knowledge about COVID-19 as good (81.7%). Factors associated with COVID-19 knowledge were: age ≥56 years (aOR = 0.5; CI: 0.3-0.8; p = 0.002), tertiary education (aOR = 1.8; CI: 1.2-2.6; p = 0.003), residing in Greater Accra region (aOR = 2.0; CI: 1.1-3.6; p = 0.019), not infected with the novel coronavirus (aOR = 1.5; Cl: 1.0-2.1; p = 0.045), knowing an infected person (aOR = 3.5; CI = 1.5-7.9; p = 0.003), good practice of effective preventive measures (aOR = 1.2: Cl: 1.1-1.5: 0.008), not misinformed (aOR = 0.7; Cl: 0.5-0.9; 0.015), and perceiving spreading speed of the virus as slow (aOR = 0.7; Cl: 0.5-0.9; 0.007). CONCLUSION: The study found good knowledge regarding COVID-19, control measures, and preventive strategies. The Ghana Health Service should continuously provide accurate information to educate the media and citizens to prevent misinformation, which is vital in stopping the spread of the COVID-19 virus.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Ghana/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Disease Outbreaks , Surveys and Questionnaires , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
4.
PLoS One ; 17(11): e0277057, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2098771

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The declaration of COVID-19 as a pandemic on March 11 2020, by the World Health Organisation prompted the need for a sustained and a rapid international response. In a swift response, the Government of Ghana, in partnership with Zipline company, launched the use of Unmanned Automated Vehicles (UAV) to transport suspected samples from selected districts to two foremost testing centres in the country. Here, we present the experiences of employing this technology and its impact on the transport time to the second largest testing centre, the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine (KCCR) in Kumasi, Ghana. METHODS: Swab samples collected from suspected COVID-19 patients were transported to the Zipline office by health workers. Information on the samples were sent to laboratory personnel located at KCCR through a WhatsApp platform to get them ready to receive the suspected COVID-19 samples while Zipline repackaged samples and transported them via drone. Time of take-off was reported as well as time of drop-off. RESULTS: A total of 2537 COVID-19 suspected samples were received via drone transport from 10 districts between April 2020 to June 2021 in 440 deliveries. Ejura-Sekyedumase District Health Directorate delivered the highest number of samples (765; 30%). The farthest district to use the drone was Pru East, located 270 km away from KCCR in Kumasi and 173 km to the Zipline office in Mampong. Here, significantly, it took on the average 39 minutes for drones to deliver samples compared to 117 minutes spent in transporting samples by road (p<0.001). CONCLUSION: The use of drones for sample transport during the COVID-19 pandemic significantly reduced the travel time taken for samples to be transported by road to the testing site. This has enhanced innovative measures to fight the pandemic using technology.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Unmanned Aerial Devices , Humans , Ghana , Pandemics
5.
BMJ Open ; 12(10): e062557, 2022 10 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2088811

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To explore the psychosocial concerns and ways of coping of pregnant women with chronic hepatitis B infection in Ghana. SETTING: Participants were selected from public health facilities in the Tema Metropolis. DESIGN: Exploratory descriptive qualitative design was employed. PARTICIPANTS: Fourteen pregnant women were purposively selected to participate in face-to-face interviews. The data were analysed using the content analysis procedure. RESULTS: The participants' psychosocial concerns and coping strategies were diverse. A significant number of the participants were concerned about the impact their hepatitis B seropositivity would have on their relationships, finances, and general well-being. Specifically, they feared that their social network, especially their spouses, would perceive them as having led a promiscuous lifestyle in the past to acquire hepatitis B infection. Also, fear of transmitting the infection to their infants and the effects of the infection on their infants later in life were identified as major concerns by nearly all participants. The participants further reported feelings of distress and diminished self-esteem. These psychosocial afflictions reported were attributed to lack of pre-test counselling during the antenatal care period. However, the participants coped using different strategies, including avoidance/denial, spirituality, and alternative treatment use. CONCLUSION: To achieve optimal psychological and social well-being of pregnant women with chronic hepatitis B, it is important that their unique challenges are considered in their care and treatment cascade. Explicitly, protocols for supportive care addressing the specific needs of pregnant women with chronic hepatitis B should be implemented in the study setting.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hepatitis B, Chronic , Hepatitis B , Female , Pregnancy , Humans , Hepatitis B, Chronic/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Ghana/epidemiology , Adaptation, Psychological , Hepatitis B/epidemiology , Qualitative Research
6.
OMICS ; 26(11): 583-585, 2022 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2087720

ABSTRACT

The current pandemic has markedly shifted the focus of the global research and development ecosystem toward infectious agents such as SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent for COVID-19. A case in point is the chronic liver disease associated with hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection that continues to be a leading cause of severe liver disease and death globally. The burden of HBV infection is highest in the World Health Organization designated western Pacific and Africa regions. Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) is a nucleoside analogue used in treatment of HBV infection but carries a potential for kidney toxicity. TDF is not metabolized by the cytochrome P450 enzymes and, therefore, its clearance in the proximal tubule of the renal nephron is controlled mostly by membrane transport proteins. Clinical pharmacogenomics of TDF with a focus on drug transporters, discussed in this perspective article, offers a timely example where resource-limited countries and regions of the world with high prevalence of HBV can strengthen the collective efforts to fight both COVID-19 and liver diseases impacting public health. We argue that precision/personalized medicine is invaluable to guide this line of research inquiry. In all, our experience in Ghana tells us that it is important not to forget the burden of chronic diseases while advancing research on infectious diseases such as COVID-19. For the long game with COVID-19, we need to address the public health burden of infectious agents and chronic diseases in tandem.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hepatitis B, Chronic , Hepatitis B , Humans , Tenofovir/adverse effects , Hepatitis B virus/genetics , Hepatitis B, Chronic/drug therapy , Pharmacogenetics , Ecosystem , Antiviral Agents/adverse effects , DNA, Viral/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2 , Hepatitis B/complications , Hepatitis B/genetics , Kidney , Ghana
7.
BMC Public Health ; 22(1): 1920, 2022 10 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2079410

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the loss of millions of lives and economic breakdowns in many countries across the globe. Despite the limited availability of vaccines and the challenges of poor health infrastructure, few interventions have been developed and implemented for those who live in rural areas, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. In response, Cocoa360, a global health nonprofit in rural Ghana designed an intervention called Cocoa360's COVID-19 Preparedness and Outbreak Prevention Plan (CoCoPOPP). This paper aimed to examine the extent to which CoCoPOPP's design aligned with the Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services (PARIHS) framework. METHODS: We reviewed documents influencing CoCoPOPP's design between March and June 2021. A total of 11 documents were identified for analysis. Using the Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services (PARIHS) framework as a guide, thematic analysis was done to analyze the extracted data. RESULTS: Overall, CoCoPOPP's design aligned with the evidence, context, and facilitation domains of the PARIHS framework. It positioned CoCoPOPP as an intervention that considered the unique context of a rural Ghanaian setting. It was guided by robust and high-quality published and non-published evidence and engaged external and internal stakeholders during its implementation. CoCoPOPP's context-dependent nature positions it for potential replication in sub-Saharan Africa's rural communities with similar farming contexts. Specific areas that were less well and/or not addressed were the unintended negative consequences of community engagement, the absence of primary data in the guiding evidence, and the lack of a facilitation continuum coupled with the role of power during the facilitation process. CONCLUSION: CoCoPOPP, Cocoa360's response to the COVID-19 pandemic in rural Ghana, is an evidence-driven, context-dependent public health intervention that has been designed to reduce COVID-19 infections and prevent potential deaths. This study underscores the importance of considering the unique community and cultural contexts, employing evidence, and engaging local and external actors as facilitators when designing interventions to respond to global health pandemics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/prevention & control , Ghana/epidemiology , Health Services Research , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Rural Population
8.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 6131, 2022 Oct 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2077051

ABSTRACT

Real-world data on vaccine-elicited neutralising antibody responses for two-dose AZD1222 in African populations are limited. We assessed baseline SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence and levels of protective neutralizing antibodies prior to vaccination rollout using binding antibodies analysis coupled with pseudotyped virus neutralisation assays in two cohorts from West Africa: Nigerian healthcare workers (n = 140) and a Ghanaian community cohort (n = 527) pre and post vaccination. We found 44 and 28% of pre-vaccination participants showed IgG anti-N positivity, increasing to 59 and 39% respectively with anti-receptor binding domain (RBD) IgG-specific antibodies. Previous IgG anti-N positivity significantly increased post two-dose neutralizing antibody titres in both populations. Serological evidence of breakthrough infection was observed in 8/49 (16%). Neutralising antibodies were observed to wane in both populations, especially in anti-N negative participants with an observed waning rate of 20% highlighting the need for a combination of additional markers to characterise previous infection. We conclude that AZD1222 is immunogenic in two independent West African cohorts with high background seroprevalence and incidence of breakthrough infection in 2021. Waning titres post second dose indicates the need for booster dosing after AZD1222 in the African setting despite hybrid immunity from previous infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Viral Vaccines , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Antibody Formation , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 , Ghana , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Vaccination
9.
PLoS One ; 17(10): e0275976, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2065156

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Mass test, treat and track (MTTT) of malaria is ongoing in the Pakro sub district of Ghana. In the delivery of MTTT of malaria, community health volunteers are trained to routinely provide this service through a door-to-door strategy. Following the report of the first cases of COVID-19 in Ghana, we conducted this study to explore the effects of the pandemic on the implementation of the MTTT of malaria intervention. METHODS: Using qualitative methodology, we conducted ten focus groups discussions (FGDs) in eight communities: eight with community members (N = 49); one with health workers (N = 6), and one with MTTT of malaria volunteers. In addition, two in-depth interviews (IDI) were conducted, one with health worker and another with a health manager. All interviews were recorded, translated into English during transcription and analysed using QSR NVivo 12. Thematic content analysis was used in this study. RESULTS: The findings of the study showed an increase in the number of people reporting with complications of malaria in health facilities in the study communities during the COVID-19 period. Some participants were of the view that COVID-19 rumours and misinformation could largely be responsible for the low coverage and uptake of the MTTT of malaria intervention. To sustain the uptake of the MTTT intervention, community engagement strategies were employed to identify and respond to these rumours. Also, incentive schemes were introduced to encourage parents and children to participate in the MTTT intervention during this period of COVID-19. CONCLUSION: Findings suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected the provision and uptake of malaria prevention and treatment services, especially the MTTT of malaria being implemented at the community level. These observations underscore the need to find innovative ways to address the challenges encountered in providing essential services during public health emergencies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Malaria , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Testing , Child , Ghana/epidemiology , Humans , Malaria/diagnosis , Malaria/epidemiology , Malaria/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Rural Population
10.
BMC Med ; 20(1): 370, 2022 10 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2053904

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: West Africa has recorded a relatively higher proportion of asymptomatic coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases than the rest of the world, and West Africa-specific host factors could play a role in this discrepancy. Here, we assessed the association between COVID-19 severity among Ghanaians with their immune profiles and ABO blood groups. METHODS: Plasma samples were obtained from Ghanaians PCR-confirmed severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-positive individuals. The participants were categorized into symptomatic and asymptomatic cases. Cytokine profiling and antibody quantification were performed using Luminex™ multiplex assay whereas antigen-driven agglutination assay was used to assess the ABO blood groups. Immune profile levels between symptomatic and asymptomatic groups were compared using the two-tailed Mann-Whitney U test. Multiple comparisons of cytokine levels among and between days were tested using Kruskal-Wallis with Dunn's post hoc test. Correlations within ABO blood grouping (O's and non-O's) and between cytokines were determined using Spearman correlations. Logistic regression analysis was performed to assess the association of various cytokines with asymptomatic phenotype. RESULTS: There was a trend linking blood group O to reduced disease severity, but this association was not statistically significant. Generally, symptomatic patients displayed significantly (p < 0.05) higher cytokine levels compared to asymptomatic cases with exception of Eotaxin, which was positively associated with asymptomatic cases. There were also significant (p < 0.05) associations between other immune markers (IL-6, IL-8 and IL-1Ra) and disease severity. Cytokines' clustering patterns differ between symptomatic and asymptomatic cases. We observed a steady decrease in the concentration of most cytokines over time, while anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody levels were stable for at least a month, regardless of the COVID-19 status. CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest that genetic background and pre-existing immune response patterns may in part shape the nature of the symptomatic response against COVID-19 in a West African population. This study offers clear directions to be explored further in larger studies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , ABO Blood-Group System , Biomarkers , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cytokines , Ghana/epidemiology , Humans , Interleukin 1 Receptor Antagonist Protein , Interleukin-6 , Interleukin-8 , SARS-CoV-2
11.
BMC Health Serv Res ; 22(1): 1163, 2022 Sep 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2038741

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Burnout syndrome is a psycho-social disorder which develops in an individual exposed to chronic stress on the job. Health workers in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are at increased risk of burnout due to job-related challenges. Burnout does not only affect the job performance of employees, but could result in dysregulation of multiple physiological systems (allostatic load) in victims and predispose them to non-communicable diseases (NCDs). This study examined the association between burnout and allostatic load among health workers engaged in human resourced-constrained hospitals in Accra, Ghana. METHOD: This study was a hospital-based cross-sectional study involving 1264 health workers (clinicians and non-clinicians) from three public hospitals in Accra, Ghana who were recruited using a proportionate stratified random sampling technique. The participants completed a questionnaire which collected general and burnout information. In addition, each participant's anthropometric; biochemical and hemodynamic indices were measured. The allostatic load in the participants was determined using eleven (11) biomarkers from the neuro-endocrine, cardiovascular, metabolic and anthropometric measures. The relationship between burnout and allostatic overload (high allostatic load) was determined at the bivariate and multivariable levels. The data analysis was done with the aid of Stata 15.0 at a 95% confidence level. RESULTS: The prevalence of burnout was 20.57%, higher in non-clinicians than clinicians (26.74% vs 15.64, p <  0.001). Also, non-clinical participants had higher levels of emotional exhaustion and depersonalization than the clinical participants. Over a quarter (26.27%) of the participants had allostatic overload manifesting as high allostatic load. Furthermore, for a one unit increase in overall burnout, the odds of experiencing allostatic overload was increased by 17.59 times (AOR = 17.59, 95% CI: 11.7-26.4) as compared to those without burnout and similar findings were found for the individual components of burnout syndrome with high allostatic load. CONCLUSION: Burnout among health workers is associated with multi-system physiological dysregulation manifesting as high allostatic load; a major risk factor for NCDs. It is recommended that measures aimed at reducing burnout and allostatic overload such as structured psychological counseling and healthy lifestyle patterns are recommended for health workers engaged in stressful work settings to reduce their risk of NCDs.


Subject(s)
Allostasis , Burnout, Professional , Allostasis/physiology , Burnout, Professional/psychology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Ghana/epidemiology , Hospitals , Humans
12.
J Environ Manage ; 320: 115810, 2022 Oct 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2036229

ABSTRACT

Most studies on the novel COVID-19 pandemic have focused mainly on human health, food systems, and employment with limited studies on how farmers implement sustainable agricultural practices (SAPs) in response to the pandemic. This study examines how perceptions of COVID-19 shocks influence the adoption of SAPs among smallholder farmers in Ghana. We find that perceptions of COVID-19 shocks influence the probability and intensity of SAPs adoption. Secondly, households who anticipated COVID-19 shocks recorded heterogeneity effects in the combinations (complementarity and substitutability) of SAPs. Farmers who anticipated an increase in input prices and loss of income due to COVID-19 recorded the highest complementarity association between pesticide and zero tillage while farmers who expected limited market access reported the highest complementarity between mixed cropping and mulching. Farmers who projected a decrease in output prices complements pesticides with mixed cropping. The findings suggest that understanding the heterogeneity effects in the combinations of SAPs due to COVID-19 shocks is critical to effectively design, target and disseminate sustainable intensification programs in a post-pandemic period.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pesticides , Agriculture , COVID-19/epidemiology , Farmers , Ghana , Humans , Pandemics
13.
PLoS One ; 17(9): e0274490, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2029791

ABSTRACT

The straw-colored fruit bat (Eidolon helvum) is a pteropodid whose conservation is crucial for maintaining functional connectivity of plant populations in tropical Africa. Land conversion has pushed this species to adapt to roosting in urban centers across its range. These colonies often host millions of individuals, creating intensive human-bat contact interfaces that could facilitate the spillover of coronaviruses shed by these bats. A better understanding of coronavirus dynamics in these roosts is needed to identify peak times of exposure risk in order to propose evidence-based management that supports safe human-bat coexistence, as well as the conservation of this chiropteran. We studied the temporal patterns of coronavirus shedding in E. helvum, by testing thousands of longitudinally-collected fecal samples from two spatially distant urban roosts in Ghana and Tanzania. Shedding of coronaviruses peaked during the second part of pup weaning in both roosts. Assuming that coronavirus shedding is directly related to spillover risk, our results indicate that exposure mitigation should target reducing contact between people and E. helvum roosts during the pup "weaning" period. This recommendation can be applied across the many highly-populated urban sites occupied by E. helvum across Africa.


Subject(s)
Chiroptera , Coronavirus Infections , Coronavirus , Animals , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/veterinary , Ghana , Humans , Seasons
14.
PLoS One ; 17(9): e0273969, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2021953

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The rapid spread of COVID-19 has been a global public health problem and it is yet to be put under control. Active COVID-19 is associated with unrestrained secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines and imbalances in haematological profile including anaemia, leukocytosis and thrombocytopaenia. However, the haematological profile and immune status following recovery from COVID-19 has not been recognized. We evaluated the immunohaematological profile among COVID-19 patients with active infection, recovered cases and unexposed healthy individuals in the Ashanti region of Ghana. METHODOLOGY: A total of 95 adult participants, consisting of 35 positive, 30 recovered and 30 unexposed COVID-19 negative individuals confirmed by RT-PCR were recruited for the study. All the patients had the complete blood count performed using the haematological analyzer Sysmex XN-1500. Their plasma cytokine levels of interleukin (IL)-1ß, IL-6, IL-10, IL-17, tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and interferon gamma (IFN-γ) were analysed using ELISA. Statistical analyses were performed on R statistical software. RESULT: The Patients with COVID-19 active infection had significantly higher levels of IL10 (181±6.14 pg/mL vs 155.00±14.32 pg/mL vs 158.80±11.70 pg/mL, p = 0.038), WBC count (5.5±0.4 x109 /L vs 4.5±0.6 x109 /L vs 3.8±0.5, p < 0.0001) and percentage basophil (1.8±0.1% vs 0.8±0.3% vs 0.7±0.2%, p = 0.0040) but significantly lower levels of IFN-γ (110.10±9.52 pg/mL vs 142.80±5.46 pg/mL vs 140.80±6.39 pg/mL, p = 0.021), haematocrit (24.1±3.7% vs 38.3± 3.0% vs 38.5±2.2%, p < 0.0001), haemoglobin concentration (9.4±0.1g/dl vs 12.5± 5.0g/dl vs 12.7±0.8, p < 0.0001) and MPV (9.8±0.2fL vs 11.1±0.5fL vs 11.6±0.3fL, p < 0.0001) compared to recovered and unexposed controls respectively. There were significant association between IL-1ß & neutrophils (r = 0.42, p<0.05), IL-10 & WBC (r = 0.39, p<0.05), IL-10 & Basophils (r = -0.51, p<0.01), IL-17 & Neutrophil (r = 0.39, p<0.05) in the active COVID-19 cases. CONCLUSION: COVID-19 active infection is associated with increased IL-10 and WBC with a concomitant decrease in IFN-γ and haemoglobin concentration. However, recovery from the disease is associated with immune recovery with appareantly normal haematological profile.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Interleukin-10 , Adult , Cytokines , Ghana/epidemiology , Hemoglobins , Humans , Interferon-gamma , Interleukin-17
15.
PLoS One ; 17(8): e0272801, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2021892

ABSTRACT

Few studies have examined the intentions of parents and guardians to vaccinate their children younger than 18 years against COVID-19 in Ghana. Parents are the decision makers for children younger than 18 years; therefore, we examined parents' and guardians' intentions to accept the COVID-19 vaccines for their children. An online survey was conducted among 415 parents and guardians in Ghana. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 25 was used to analyse the data. We found that 73.3% of parents/guardians would allow their children to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The binary logistic regression analysis shows that parents/guardians with Senior High School education, those who believed COVID-19 could not be cured, and those who agreed and those who neither agreed nor disagreed with the statement "once the vaccine is available and approved, it would be safe" were less likely to accept COVID-19 vaccine for their children. Also, parents/guardians who neither agreed nor disagreed that "the best way to avoid the complications of COVID-19 is by being vaccinated", those who agreed that "I am of the notion that physiological/natural community is better compared to vaccine-induced immunity" and "I believe the vaccine programming may be likened to the new world order" were less likely to accept COVID-19 vaccine for their children. There is a need for public health practitioners to intensify education on the benefits and side effects of COVID-19 vaccines, as well as provide regular and up-to-date information about vaccines' safety to parents and guardians.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Child , Ghana/epidemiology , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Humans , Parents/education , Vaccination , Vaccines/adverse effects
16.
BMC Psychol ; 10(1): 208, 2022 Aug 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2021343

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 and its associated social restrictive measures and lockdowns exacerbated the use of social media and other technological facilities for communication. This study, therefore, examined Ghanaian students' social media use and its relationship with fear of COVID-19, paying close attention to the moderating role of gender. METHODS: A correlational online survey was used to collect data from a purposive sample of 209 University students in June and July 2020. Participants completed online measures on social media use and fear of COVID-19. Statistical analyses including independent-t test, Pearson correlation test and moderation analysis in PROCESS were conducted using SPSS v.24. RESULTS: Findings revealed that the mean scores of social media use and fear of COVID-19 did not statistically differ by gender. However, social media use had a small and positive association with fear of COVID-19 (r = 0.18, p = 0.009). Furthermore, gender was a significant moderator of the relationship between social media use and fear of COVID-19. Specifically, the increased use of social media resulted in greater experiences of fearing COVID-19 for females (B = - 0.24, p = 0.034) compared to males. CONCLUSION: Although social media was useful in connecting with people and accessing pandemic-related information, our findings clearly suggest that overuse or over-engagement with social media was problematic, especially for females. Aside from developing interventions to reduce students' fears of COVID-19, appropriate usage of social media should be advocated.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Social Media , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Fear , Female , Ghana/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Students , Universities
17.
PLoS One ; 17(9): e0274049, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2009719

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Corona Virus Disease of 2019 (COVID-19) emerged in 2019 and caused widespread disruption to many facets of life, including healthcare. Healthcare workers, particularly nurses, became the front-line fighters against the pandemic, making it imperative to comply with recommended safety protocols. However, many nurses were infected by the virus in the Tamale Metropolis, raising concerns regarding their level of adherence to the safety protocols. This study assessed the predictors of knowledge and adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols among nurses at selected health facilities in the Tamale Metropolis of northern Ghana. METHODS: A facility based cross-sectional study design was adopted and 339 nurses from six (6) public health facilities in the Tamale Metropolis were recruited for the study using questionnaires. The questionnaires were transformed into Google Forms for respondents to answer online via WhatsApp or email. The data were exported from the Google spreadsheet into SPSS and analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. RESULTS: Of the 339 participants, 60.2% were classified as having adequate knowledge while only 9.1% demonstrated high adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols. Knowledge of COVID-19 was predicted by source of information, and marital status, whereas health facility types predicted level of adherence. The odds of having adequate knowledge were higher among unmarried nurses (AOR = 1.94; 95% CI: 1.16-3.25; p = 0.012) and nurses using social media (AOR = 1.80; 95%CI 1.02-3.18; p = 0.042) compared to their counterparts. Meanwhile, primary health care nurses (AOR = 0.24; 95% CI = 0.12-0.50; p<0.001) and secondary health care nurses (AOR = 0.52; 95% CI = 0.31-0.88; P = 0.016) had reduced odds of exhibiting higher adherence compared to nurses from tertiary-level facility. CONCLUSION: In this study, we found that knowledge was high but adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols was low. We suggest that facility managers should enforce compliance of their staff to the safety protocols to prevent spread of the virus within healthcare settings.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Ghana/epidemiology , Health Facilities , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Health Personnel , Humans , Surveys and Questionnaires
18.
PLoS One ; 17(9): e0272597, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2009689

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Attrition of the Nursing Workforce from low-and middle-income countries to high-resourced settings is a reality that has escalated in the current Coronavirus pandemic due to varied reasons. With increased job stress resulting from the pandemic, the Quality of Work-Life of the Nursing Workforce is affected, with its effect on poor quality care to the client. This study sought to assess the perception of the Nursing Workforce about the Quality of Work-Life, and the factors that predict turnover intention among nurses in the Kumasi Metropolis, Ghana. METHODS: A cross-sectional, descriptive design involving multiple centres was used. The participants were made up of 348 Registered Nurses working in primary, secondary, and tertiary healthcare in five (5) hospitals in the Kumasi Metropolis. Data collection was done using questionnaires adapted from the Work-Related Quality of Life Scale and the Turnover Intention Scale and analyzed using frequencies, mean, standard deviation, Pearson's Product Moment Correlation, and Multiple Regression. RESULTS: The Registered Nurses perceived Quality of Work-Life as low; with close to half of them having a turnover intention. All the domains of Quality of Work-Life of the Nursing Workforce significantly correlated with Turnover intentions. Regression analysis showed that the number of years in a healthcare setting, general well-being, job control and satisfaction, and working condition of the Registered Nurse significantly predicted their turnover intentions at the p-value of 0.05. CONCLUSION: The findings of the study have provided an understanding of the Quality of Work-Life, and factors that contribute to increased turnover intentions among the Nursing Workforce amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Healthcare systems must enrol in requisite programmes that provide psychological and social support through counselling to promote the Quality of Work-Life of nurses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Nursing Staff, Hospital , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Ghana/epidemiology , Humans , Intention , Job Satisfaction , Nursing Staff, Hospital/psychology , Pandemics , Personnel Turnover , Quality of Life , Surveys and Questionnaires , Workforce
19.
Health Res Policy Syst ; 20(1): 94, 2022 Sep 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2009417

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Ghana became the first African country to take delivery of the first wave of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine from the COVAX facility. But why has this promising start of the vaccination rollout not translated into an accelerated full vaccination of the population? To answer this question, we drew on the tenets of a policy analytical framework and analysed the diverse interpretations, issue characteristics, actor power dynamics and political context of the COVID-19 vaccination process in Ghana. METHODS: We conducted a rapid online review of media reports, journal articles and other documents on debates and discussions of issues related to framing of the vaccination rollout, social constructions generated around vaccines, stakeholder power dynamics and political contentions linked to the vaccination rollout. These were complemented by desk reviews of parliamentary reports. RESULTS: The COVID-19 vaccination was mainly framed along the lines of public health, gender-centredness and universal health coverage. Vaccine acquisition and procurement were riddled with politics between the ruling government and the largest main opposition party. While the latter persistently blamed the former for engaging in political rhetoric rather than a tactical response to vaccine supply issues, the former attributed vaccine shortages to vaccine nationalism that crowded out fair distribution. The government's efforts to increase vaccination coverage to target levels were stifled when a deal with a private supplier to procure 3.4 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine collapsed due to procurement breaches. Amidst the vaccine scarcity, the government developed a working proposal to produce vaccines locally which attracted considerable interest among pharmaceutical manufacturers, political constituents and donor partners. Regarding issue characteristics of the vaccination, hesitancy for vaccination linked to misperceptions of vaccine safety provoked politically led vaccination campaigns to induce vaccine acceptance. CONCLUSIONS: Scaling up vaccination requires political unity, cohesive frames, management of stakeholder interests and influence, and tackling contextual factors promoting vaccination hesitancy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , COVID-19/prevention & control , Ghana , Health Policy , Humans , Vaccination
20.
BMC Public Health ; 22(1): 1676, 2022 09 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2009371

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The current COVID-19 pandemic affects the entire world population and has serious health, economic and social consequences. Assessing the prevalence of COVID-19 through population-based serological surveys is essential to monitor the progression of the epidemic, especially in African countries where the extent of SARS-CoV-2 spread remains unclear. METHODS: A two-stage cluster population-based SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence survey was conducted in Bobo-Dioulasso and in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Fianarantsoa, Madagascar and Kumasi, Ghana between February and June 2021. IgG seropositivity was determined in 2,163 households with a specificity improved SARS-CoV-2 Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay. Population seroprevalence was evaluated using a Bayesian logistic regression model that accounted for test performance and age, sex and neighbourhood of the participants. RESULTS: Seroprevalence adjusted for test performance and population characteristics were 55.7% [95% Credible Interval (CrI) 49·0; 62·8] in Bobo-Dioulasso, 37·4% [95% CrI 31·3; 43·5] in Ouagadougou, 41·5% [95% CrI 36·5; 47·2] in Fianarantsoa, and 41·2% [95% CrI 34·5; 49·0] in Kumasi. Within the study population, less than 6% of participants performed a test for acute SARS-CoV-2 infection since the onset of the pandemic. CONCLUSIONS: High exposure to SARS-CoV-2 was found in the surveyed regions albeit below the herd immunity threshold and with a low rate of previous testing for acute infections. Despite the high seroprevalence in our study population, the duration of protection from naturally acquired immunity remains unclear and new virus variants continue to emerge. This highlights the importance of vaccine deployment and continued preventive measures to protect the population at risk.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Bayes Theorem , Burkina Faso/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Ghana/epidemiology , Humans , Madagascar/epidemiology , Pandemics , Seroepidemiologic Studies
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