Your browser doesn't support javascript.
Show: 20 | 50 | 100
Results 1 - 20 de 74
Filter
1.
BMC Infect Dis ; 22(1): 106, 2022 Jan 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1745494

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in a major breakdown of health service provision in the fight against neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). COVID-19 may impact NTDs service delivery in varied ways. As the Ghana NTD programme planned to resume MDA activities, we examined the COVID-19 related perceptions and practices among some community members and frontline health workers for NTD control activities in the country. METHODS: The study was conducted in seven communities in the Ahanta West district of Ghana. This was a qualitative study using in-depth interviews (IDI) and focus group discussions (FGDs) for data collection. Participants were purposively selected from varied backgrounds to represent both beneficiaries and service providers directly involved in NTD programme implementation. Trained and experienced qualitative data collectors conducted the FGD and IDI sessions in the local Twi language, while health worker sessions were conducted in English. Discussions were audio-recorded and transcribed directly into English. Data was analysed using an iterative process. The transcripts were pre-coded using the broad themes, entered into a computer using Microsoft Word, and then imported into the MAXQDA software for thematic content analysis to select relevant representative narratives for presentation. RESULTS: Participants were aware of the COVID-19 pandemic and referred to it appropriately as 'coronavirus', COVID-19, and often as 'the new disease'. Though many respondents could not describe the route of transmission, most of them reported that it is transmitted through touch or sharing of common items. They reported some signs/symptoms like fever, headache and difficulty breathing, and prevention methods like the use of hand sanitiser, washing of hands and sneezing appropriately. Respondents have reported that COVID-19 has negatively affected their daily lives by limiting their movements and therefore work. It also came to light that COVID-19 has also negatively affected the NTD programme implementation, especially mass drug administration (MDA) activities, leading to the postponement of the yearly MDA. The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected clinic attendance; people are afraid that they may be tested for COVID-19 at the clinic. CONCLUSION: COVID-19 has negatively affected the NTD programme. Education and the provision of personal protective equipment will be required to build the confidence of frontline care providers including community drug distributors and community members in order to enhance quality service and participation in future MDA activities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Ghana/epidemiology , Health Personnel , Humans , Pandemics , Perception , SARS-CoV-2
2.
PLoS One ; 17(2): e0263610, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1690718

ABSTRACT

Vaccination has emerged as the most cost-effective public health strategy for maintaining population health, with various social and economic benefits. These vaccines, however, cannot be effective without widespread acceptance. The present study examines the effect of media attention on COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy by incorporating fear of COVID-19 as a mediator, whereas trust in leadership served as a moderator. An analytical cross-sectional study is performed among rural folks in the Wassa Amenfi Central of Ghana. Using a questionnaire survey, we were able to collect 3079 valid responses. The Smart PLS was used to estimate the relationship among the variables. The results revealed that media attention had a significant influence on vaccine hesitancy. Furthermore, the results showed that fear of COVID-19 played a significant mediating role in the relationship between media and vaccine hesitancy. However, trust in leadership had an insignificant moderating relationship on the fear of COVID-19 and vaccine hesitancy. The study suggests that the health management team can reduce vaccine hesitancy if they focus on lessening the negative impact of media and other antecedents like fear on trust in leadership.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communications Media/statistics & numerical data , Mass Vaccination/psychology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Anti-Vaccination Movement/psychology , Anti-Vaccination Movement/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Fear , Female , Ghana/epidemiology , Humans , Leadership , Male , Mass Vaccination/statistics & numerical data , Middle Aged , Rural Population/statistics & numerical data , Surveys and Questionnaires/statistics & numerical data , Trust , Young Adult
3.
Vaccine ; 40(12): 1879-1887, 2022 03 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1665510

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: This study estimated cost of COVID-19 vaccine introduction and deployment in Ghana. METHODS: Using the WHO-UNICEF COVID-19 Vaccine Introduction and deployment Costing (CVIC) tool Ghana's Ministry of Health Technical Working Group for Health Technology Assessment (TWG-HTA) in collaboration with School of Public Health, University of Ghana, organized an initial two-day workshop that brought together partners to deliberate and agree on input parameters to populate the CVIC tool. A further 2-3 days validation with the Expanded Program of Immunization (EPI) and other partners to finalize the analysis was done. Three scenarios, with different combinations of vaccine products and delivery modalities, as well as time period were analyzed. The scenarios included AstraZeneca (40%), Johnson & Johnson (J&J) (30%), Moderna, Pfizer, and Sputnik V at 10% each; with primary schedule completed by second half of 2021 (Scenario 1); AstraZeneca (30%), J&J (40%), Moderna, Pfizer, and Sputnik V at 10% each with primary schedule completed by first half of 2022 (Scenario 2); and equal distribution (20%) among AstraZeneca, J&J, Moderna, Pfizer, and Sputnik V with primary schedule completed by second half of 2022 (Scenario 3). RESULTS: The estimated total cost of COVID-19 vaccination ranges between $348.7 and $436.1 million for the target population of 17.5 million. These translate into per person completed primary schedule cost of $20.9-$26.2 and per dose (including vaccine cost) of $10.5-$13.1. Again, per person completed primary schedule excluding vaccine cost was $4.5 and $4.6, thus per dose excluding vaccine also ranged from $2.2 - $2.3. The main cost driver was vaccine doses, including shipping, which accounts for between 78% and 83% of total cost. Further, an estimated 8,437-10,247 vaccinators (non-FTEs) would be required during 2021-2022 to vaccinate using a mix of delivery strategies, accounting for 8-10% of total cost. CONCLUSION: These findings provide the estimates to inform resource mobilization efforts by government and other partners.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , COVID-19/prevention & control , Ghana/epidemiology , Humans , Immunization Programs , SARS-CoV-2
4.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0261849, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1623664

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Tuberculosis (TB) and COVID-19 pandemics are both diseases of public health threat globally. Both diseases are caused by pathogens that infect mainly the respiratory system, and are involved in airborne transmission; they also share some clinical signs and symptoms. We, therefore, took advantage of collected sputum samples at the early stage of COVID-19 outbreak in Ghana to conduct differential diagnoses of long-standing endemic respiratory illness, particularly tuberculosis. METHODOLOGY: Sputum samples collected through the enhanced national surveys from suspected COVID-19 patients and contact tracing cases were analyzed for TB. The sputum samples were processed using Cepheid's GeneXpert MTB/RIF assay in pools of 4 samples to determine the presence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex. Positive pools were then decoupled and analyzed individually. Details of positive TB samples were forwarded to the NTP for appropriate case management. RESULTS: Seven-hundred and seventy-four sputum samples were analyzed for Mycobacterium tuberculosis in both suspected COVID-19 cases (679/774, 87.7%) and their contacts (95/774, 12.3%). A total of 111 (14.3%) were diagnosed with SARS CoV-2 infection and six (0.8%) out of the 774 individuals tested positive for pulmonary tuberculosis: five (83.3%) males and one female (16.7%). Drug susceptibility analysis identified 1 (16.7%) rifampicin-resistant tuberculosis case. Out of the six TB positive cases, 2 (33.3%) tested positive for COVID-19 indicating a coinfection. Stratifying by demography, three out of the six (50%) were from the Ayawaso West District. All positive cases received appropriate treatment at the respective sub-district according to the national guidelines. CONCLUSION: Our findings highlight the need for differential diagnosis among COVID-19 suspected cases and regular active TB surveillance in TB endemic settings.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Coinfection/diagnosis , Coinfection/epidemiology , Mycobacterium tuberculosis/genetics , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Tuberculosis, Pulmonary/diagnosis , Tuberculosis, Pulmonary/epidemiology , Antibiotics, Antitubercular/pharmacology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Coinfection/virology , Diagnosis, Differential , Drug Resistance, Bacterial/drug effects , Female , Ghana/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Microbial Sensitivity Tests , Mycobacterium tuberculosis/drug effects , Rifampin/pharmacology , Sputum/microbiology , Tuberculosis, Pulmonary/microbiology
5.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(1)2022 Jan 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1613762

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: There is paucity of data on determinants of length of COVID-19 admissions and long COVID, an emerging long-term sequel of COVID-19, in Ghana. Therefore, this study identified these determinants and discussed their policy implications. METHOD: Data of 2334 patients seen at the main COVID-19 treatment centre in Ghana were analysed in this study. Their characteristics, such as age, education level and comorbidities, were examined as explanatory variables. The dependent variables were length of COVID-19 hospitalisations and long COVID. Negative binomial and binary logistic regressions were fitted to investigate the determinants. RESULT: The regression analyses showed that, on average, COVID-19 patients with hypertension and diabetes mellitus spent almost 2 days longer in hospital (p = 0.00, 95% CI = 1.42-2.33) and had 4 times the odds of long COVID (95% CI = 1.61-10.85, p = 0.003) compared to those with no comorbidities. In addition, the odds of long COVID decreased with increasing patient's education level (primary OR = 0.73, p = 0.02; secondary/vocational OR = 0.26, p = 0.02; tertiary education OR = 0.23, p = 0.12). CONCLUSION: The presence of hypertension and diabetes mellitus determined both length of hospitalisation and long COVID among patients with COVID-19 in Ghana. COVID-19 prevention and management policies should therefore consider these factors.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cross-Sectional Studies , Ghana/epidemiology , Humans , Length of Stay , SARS-CoV-2
6.
J Public Health Policy ; 43(1): 129-139, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1603623

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 exacts huge health and economic burdens on the global economy. To minimize spread of the virus, most governments of the wealthiest countries implemented lockdowns-a tough preventive measure. Ghana implemented a partial lockdown of two major cities, then lifted it in few weeks despite rising numbers of cases. This Viewpoint presents perspectives of key stakeholders in the public about lockdown implementation in Ghana. Respondents characterize the lifting of the lockdown as hasty, poorly communicated, and lacking transparency. Most would have preferred a longer lockdown despite the pressures it imposed especially on the urban poor. Participants expressed uncertainty about the health systems' ability to respond to increases in disease transmission and to provide education, engagement, and empowerment needed in communities, but even so would have preferred a longer lockdown. We offer lessons for more effective policy and implementation of lockdowns.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cities , Communicable Disease Control , Ghana/epidemiology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Inquiry ; 58: 469580211067479, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1598486

ABSTRACT

To assess the prevalence and factors associated with psychological distress (PD) and Medical Laboratory Professionals (MLPs) involvement in COVID-19-related duties. This study adopted an online cross-sectional, nationally stratified survey among 473 MLPs using Google Form with a designated link; Depression, anxiety, and stress scale-21 (DASS-21) was used to measure depression, anxiety, and stress (secondary outcome). We employed generalized Negative Binomial (NBR) and Poisson regression analytical approach to our study outcomes. All analyses were performed using Stata 16, and P-value≤.05 deemed significant. The overall DASS-21 score ranged from asymptomatic psychological distress to severe symptomatic PD. The prevalence of depression, anxiety, and stress were 9.1 [95%CI=6.8-12.0], 17.8 [95%CI=14.6-21.5], and 7.5 [95%CI=5.4-10.1], respectively. The result evinced a high and significant association; the univariate NBR predicted a significant increase of PD score by 12% and 18% among participants who were involved in one and two or more COVID-19-related duties, respectively, (ß[95%CI] = .12 [.05-.18] and .18 [.10-.26], respectively). A binary outcome predicted approximately 2-folds of overall psychological distress among participants involved in two or more COVID-19-related duties compared with non-involvement (adjusted Prevalence Ratio [95%CI]= 2.34 [1.12-4.85]). For depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms, both univariate and multivariate data analyses evinced a higher disadvantage among MLP involved in COVID-19-related duties. We observed a high tendency of experiencing significant psychological distress amongst MLP involved in COVID-19-related duties. Experience of psychological distress increased with deeper involvement in COVID-19-related activities. Psychological support should be extended to MLPs to limit the effect of these negative emotions on their cognitive and social behavior as well as job performance.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Psychological Distress , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression/epidemiology , Ghana/epidemiology , Humans , Laboratories , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
8.
Biomed Res Int ; 2021: 6995096, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1573872

ABSTRACT

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, early modelling studies estimated a reduction in childhood vaccinations in low- and middle-income countries. Regular provision of both curative and preventive services such as antenatal care and childhood immunizations has been negatively affected since the onset of the pandemic. Our study was aimed at examining the impact that the pandemic had on childhood vaccination services at the Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH). A mixed methods study design was employed for the study, which was conducted at the Child Welfare Clinic (CWC) of the TTH. With quantitative approach, we retrospectively looked at the uptake of the various vaccines during the pandemic era, defined as the period between 1st March 2020 and 28th February, 2021, and the prepandemic era defined as the period 1st March 2019 to 29th February, 2020. The qualitative approach was used to understand the perspective of five healthcare providers at the CWC and the four caregivers of children who have missed a vaccine or delayed in coming, on the factors accounting for any observed change. Data analysis was done using Microsoft Excel 2016 and thematic content analysis. Quantitative data were presented in frequencies, percentages, and line graphs. With the exception of the Measles Rubella (MR) 2 vaccine, we observed a decline ranging from 47% (2298) to 10.5% (116), with the greatest decline seen in the BCG and the least decline seen in the MR1 vaccine. The month of May 2020 saw the greatest decline, that is, 70.6% (813). A decline of 38.3% (4473) was noted when comparison was made between the designated prepandemic and pandemic eras, for all the vaccines in our study. Fear of COVID-19 infection and misinformation were commonly given as reasons for the decline. Catch-up immunization schedule should be instituted to curtail possible future outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases.


Subject(s)
Immunization Programs/trends , Vaccination/trends , BCG Vaccine , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/psychology , Female , Ghana/epidemiology , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Measles Vaccine , Pandemics , Pregnancy , Retrospective Studies , Tertiary Care Centers/trends
9.
Front Public Health ; 9: 772933, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1555109

ABSTRACT

While studies exploring COVID-19 and its global influence have begun, social networks and support among older adults in low-and middle-income countries, such as Ghana have been inadequate despite its enormous relevance. Thus, the study presents the voices of older adults in Jamestown, Accra and their social networks during the COVID-19 pandemic in Ghana. Using a phenomenological approach, data were collected from 15 older adults through in-depth interviews on older adults' social network experiences during COVID-19 pandemic situation. Older adults generally struggled to maintain connections with their family members, friends, neighbors, and the community, especially during the lockdown. They ascribed their limited interaction to COVID-19 preventive measures, such as social distancing and the limitation of face-to-face meetings imposed by the government. Loneliness, stress, and depression are also linked to the breakdown of social networks. The findings provide a deeper understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on older adults' quality of life. It emerged that the Ghanaian society could reconsider the professional services of gerontologists, social workers, community outreach workers, and philanthropists in mitigating loneliness, stress, and depression among older adults in current and future pandemics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Aged , Communicable Disease Control , Ghana/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , Quality of Life , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Networking , Social Support
10.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(24)2021 12 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1555017

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected populations globally, including Ghana. Knowledge of the COVID-19 disease, and the application of preventive public health interventions are pivotal to its control. Besides a lockdown, measures taken against the spread of the virus include the wearing of face masks, social distancing, regular hand washing with soap and, more recently, vaccination against the virus. In order to establish a possible link between the knowledge of the disease and compliance with preventive measures, including vaccination, a cross-sectional study employing an interview-structured questionnaire was conducted in six regions of Ghana (n = 1560). An adequate level of knowledge of COVID-19 (69.9%) was reported. The linear multiple regression analysis further explicated the differences in the knowledge of COVID-19 among the respondents by their knowledge of cholera and influenza (adjusted R-Square = 0.643). Despite this profound knowledge of the illness, two thirds of the respondents were unwilling to follow basic preventive measures and only 35.3% were willing to be vaccinated. Amazingly, neither knowledge of COVID-19 nor the socio-demographic characteristics had any meaningful influence on the practice of preventive measures. Personal attitude leading to efficient public compliance with preventive measures, therefore, is a critical issue demanding special attention and effective interventions by the government and locals with authority to curb the spread of the pandemic which surpasses the traditional channels of public health communication. This includes a roll-out of persuasion, possibly including public figures and influencers, and in any case, a balanced and open discussion addressing the acceptance of the COVID-19 vaccine in order to avoid new variants and comparable problems currently facing many countries of Western Europe. Indeed, a profound hesitancy against vaccination may turn African countries such as Ghana for many years into hotspots of new viral variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , COVID-19 Vaccines , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Ghana/epidemiology , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
11.
BMC Health Serv Res ; 21(1): 1295, 2021 Dec 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1551208

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Ghana has a generalized HIV epidemic and efforts have been made to curb the spread and reverse its effects on the general population. In the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, the health system was unsettled and antiretroviral therapy (ART) care has been impacted in diverse ways. The study sought to explore the effects of COVID-19 on ART service provision in Ghana from the perspectives of the healthcare workers. METHODS: An exploratory-descriptive qualitative approach was employed in this study. Using maximum variation sampling method, fifteen healthcare workers; nurses, data managers and pharmacists were recruited from an ART clinic in a Teaching Hospital in Ghana. In-depth interviews were conducted and analysed using Braun and Clarke thematic approach. RESULTS: Three themes emerged from the data; "… And the pandemic struck", "Impact of the pandemic on ART service delivery"; "Effecting the needed change". The healthcare workers' initial reactions to the pandemic and their show of commitment in ensuring continued ART service was evident. COVID-19 impacted service delivery in three main ways; (1) clients' clinic attendance was erratic at various stages of the pandemic, (2) irregular resource availability as shortage was reported due to affected last mile delivery as a result of the lockdown in Accra, and (3) the health worker-patient interaction became less engaging because of established COVID-19 protocols. The healthcare workers however instituted strategies such as adjusting the patient appointment schedule, health professionals' work schedule, establishing several work stations, task-shifting, and ensuring the implementation of all the COVID-19 protocols within the ART unit to ensure consistent service delivery as well as patient and staff safety. The study also found a decline in the implementation of several strategies established in the ART clinic during the initial phases of the pandemic such as a decline in the supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) by hospital management. CONCLUSIONS: Although several strategies were implemented to manage the effects of the pandemic on ART care, there is a need to establish pathways of support for healthcare workers within the ART clinic and to consolidate as well as institutionalise the changes that ensured continuous but safe service delivery.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Communicable Disease Control , Ghana/epidemiology , HIV Infections/drug therapy , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Health Personnel , Hospitals, Teaching , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2
12.
Ghana Med J ; 55(2 Suppl): 51-55, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1502653

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 is an important subject for global health. Ghana experienced low-moderate transmission of the disease when the first case was detected in March 12, 2020 until the middle of July when the number of cases begun to drop. By August 24, 2020, the country's total number of confirmed cases stood at 43,622, with 263 deaths. By the same time, the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) of the University of Ghana, the primary testing centre for COVID-19, had tested 285,501 with 28,878 confirmed cases. Due to database gaps, there were initial challenges with timely reporting and feedback to stakeholders during the peak surveillance period. The gaps resulted from mismatches between samples and their accompanying case investigation forms, samples without case investigation forms and vice versa, huge data entry requirements, and delayed test results. However, a revamp in data management procedures, and systems helped to improve the turnaround time for reporting results to all interested parties and partners. Additionally, inconsistencies such as multiple entries and discrepant patient-sample information were resolved by introducing a barcoding electronic capture system. Here, we describe the main challenges with COVID-19 data management and analysis in the laboratory and recommend measures for improvement. Funding: The work was supported by the Government of Ghana.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Data Management , Disease Outbreaks , Ghana/epidemiology , Humans , Laboratories , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
13.
Ghana Med J ; 55(2 Suppl): 48-50, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1502652

ABSTRACT

Objectives: To determine the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 detection among international travellers to Ghana during mandatory quarantine. Design: A retrospective cross-sectional study. Setting: Air travellers to Ghana on 21st and 22nd March 2020. Participants: On 21st and 22nd March 2020, a total of 1,030 returning international travellers were mandatorily quarantined in 15 different hotels in Accra and tested for SARS-CoV-2. All of these persons were included in the study. Main outcome measure: Positivity for SARS-CoV-2 by polymerase chain reaction. Results: The initial testing at the beginning of quarantine found 79 (7.7%) individuals to be positive for SARS-CoV-2. In the exit screening after 12 to 13 days of quarantine, it was discovered that 26 of those who tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 in the initial screening subsequently tested positive. Conclusions: Ghana likely averted an early community spread of COVID-19 through the proactive approach to quarantine international travellers during the early phase of the pandemic. Funding: None.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Quarantine , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Ghana/epidemiology , Humans , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
14.
Ghana Med J ; 55(2 Suppl): 38-47, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1502651

ABSTRACT

The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak in Ghana is part of an ongoing pandemic caused by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). The first two cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Ghana on 12th March 2020. COVID-19 was consequently declared a Public Health Emergency of National Concern, triggering several response actions, including enhanced surveillance, case detection, case management and contact tracing, closure of borders, suspension of international flights, ban on social gatherings and closure of schools. Preparedness and response plans were activated for implementation at the national, regional, district and community levels. Ghana's Strategic approaches were to limit and stop the importation of cases; detect and contain cases early; expand infrastructure, logistics and capacity to provide quality healthcare for the sick; minimise disruption to social and economic life and increase the domestic capacity of all sectors to deal with existing and future shocks. The health sector strategic frame focused on testing, treatment, and tracking. As of 31st December 2020, a total of 535,168 cases, including 335 deaths (CFR: 0.61%), have been confirmed with 53,928 recoveries and 905 active cases. All the regions have reported cases, with Greater Accra reporting the highest number. The response actions in Ghana have seen high-level political commitment, appropriate and timely decisions, and a careful balance of public health interventions with economic and socio-cultural dynamics. Efforts are ongoing to intensify non-pharmaceutical interventions, sustain the gains made so far and introduce COVID-19 vaccines to reduce the public health burden of the disease in Ghana. Funding: None declared.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Ghana/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2
15.
Ghana Med J ; 55(2 Suppl): 29-37, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1502650

ABSTRACT

Objective: To describe how early case detection, testing and contact tracing measures were deployed by stakeholders in response to the COVID-19 outbreak in Ghana - using three outbreak scenarios. Design: A descriptive assessment of three case studies of COVID-19 outbreaks within three settings that occurred in Ghana from March 13 till the end of June 2020. Setting: A construction camp, a factory and a training institution in Ghana. Participants: Staff of a construction camp, a factory, workers and students of a training institution. Interventions: We described and compared the three COVID-19 outbreak scenarios in Ghana, highlighting identification and diagnosis of cases, testing, contact tracing and stakeholder engagement for each scenario. We also outlined the challenges and lessons learnt in the management of these scenarios. Main outcome measures: Approach used for diagnosis, testing, contact tracing and stakeholder engagement. Results: Index cases of the training institution and construction camp were screened the same day of reporting symptoms, whiles the factory index case required a second visit before the screening. All index cases were tested with RT-PCR. The training institution followed and tested all contacts, and an enhanced contact tracing approach was conducted for staff of the other two sites. Multi-sectorial engagement and collaboration with stakeholders enabled effective handling of the outbreak response in all sites. Conclusion: Comparing all three settings, early diagnosis and prompt actions taken through multi-sectorial collaborations played a major role in controlling the outbreak. Engaging stakeholders in the COVID-19 response is an effective way to mitigate the challenges in responding to the pandemic. Funding: The COVID-19 outbreak response and writing workshop by the Ghana Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme (GFELTP) was supported with funding from President Malaria Initiative - CDC, and Korea International Cooperation Agency (on CDC CoAg 6NU2GGH001876) through AFENET.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Contact Tracing , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Early Diagnosis , Ghana/epidemiology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Stakeholder Participation
16.
Ghana Med J ; 55(2 Suppl): 21-28, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1502649

ABSTRACT

Objective: The study was conducted to determine the prevalence of radiologically diagnosed pneumonia among COVID-19 patients and associated factors. Design setting and participants: A retrospective manual data extraction of 275 medical records of COVID-19 patients was conducted at two COVID-19 national treatment centres in Accra from March to May 2020. All patients had a chest x-ray done. Main outcome and analysis: The main outcome was the presence of pneumonia. Descriptive statistics and Chi-square test of independence were employed to determine the associations between independent variables and the presence of pneumonia. All analysis was performed using Stata 16, and a p-value ≤ 0.05 was deemed significant. Results: The prevalence of pneumonia was 44%(95%CI) =38.2-50.0). Chi-square independent test indicated that pneumonia in the COVID-19 patients was associated with educational level, history of domestic and international travel, mass gathering in the past 14 days before diagnosis, and discharge plan (p-value< 0.05). Patients classified as secondary cases (61.5%) and those discharged as fully recovered from the health facility (61.2%) had a higher prevalence of pneumonia. In addition, COVID-19 patients with hypertension (32.1%) and asthma (5.2%) had a significantly higher prevalence of pneumonia. Conclusion: Overall, the prevalence of pneumonia was 44% and was associated with the demographic and personal characteristics of the patients. Early detection through contact tracing and community surveillance should be intensified to pick up more asymptomatic cases. The role of the chest x-ray for triaging patients and for clinical management of symptomatic patients remains key. Funding: None declared.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pneumonia , COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , COVID-19/epidemiology , Ghana/epidemiology , Humans , Pneumonia/diagnostic imaging , Pneumonia/epidemiology , Prevalence , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , X-Rays
17.
Ghana Med J ; 55(2 Suppl): 10-20, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1502648

ABSTRACT

Objective: We describe the use of integrated geospatial applications for the provision of access to timely and accurate data on samples, visualisation of Spatio-temporal patterns of cases and effective communication between field sample collectors, testing laboratories, Regional Health directors and Government Decision Makers. Design: This study describes how an integrated geospatial platform based on case location and intelligence was developed and used for effective COVID-19 response during the initial stages of COVID-19 in Ghana. Data Source: Collector for ArcGIS, ArcGIS Survey123. Main outcome measure: successful development and deployment of integrated geospatial applications and analytics. Results: The Collector for ArcGIS app was customised to collect COVID-19 positive cases location information. Survey 123 was introduced as a COVID-19 contact tracing application to digitise the case-based forms and provide real-time results from the laboratories to GHS and other stakeholders. The laboratory backend allowed the testing laboratories access to specific information about each patient (sample) collected by the fieldworkers. The regional supervisors' backend web application provided accessing test results for confidentiality and timely communication of results. Conclusion: Geospatial platforms were successfully established in Ghana to provide timely results to Regional Health Directors and Government decision-makers. This helped to improve the timeliness of response and contact tracing at the district level. Funding: The development and deployment of the application, COVID-19 pandemic response and writing workshop by the Ghana Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme (GFELTP) was supported with funding from President Malaria Initiative - CDC, and Korea International Cooperation Agency (on CDC CoAg 6NU2GGH001876) through AFENET and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through Results for Development (R4D).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Ghana/epidemiology , Humans , Intelligence , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
18.
Ghana Med J ; 55(2 Suppl): 3-9, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1502647

ABSTRACT

Objective: We assessed the level of community acceptance of COVID-19, identified and implemented strategies to demystifying stigma in a severely affected population in Tema. Design and Setting: We conducted a cross-sectional study to assess stigma among the Tema community, then identified and implemented interventions to demystify COVID-19 stigma. We interviewed positive cases, their contacts, contact tracers, case management team members, and community members who shared their first hand experiences and knowledge on the current pandemic. Intervention: Based on the information received, we came up with ways of reducing stigma and implemented them in their community. Main Outcome: Stigma demystified. Results: Cases and contacts reported being avoided, discriminated against, insulted or had derogatory words used on them by family, friends, work colleagues or the community. Cases and their contacts stated that stigmatisation was fueled by the presence of COVID -19 branded vehicles and security officials at their homes or workplaces. Stakeholder engagement, education and extensive sensitisation of community members were implemented to reduce stigma. Conclusion: We observed deeply entrenched stigma to COVID - 19 positive patients and their contacts in the community. Health care response mechanisms such as the presence of security personnel with contact tracers and case managers and the use of COVID -19 branded vehicles fueled stigma. A multifaceted approach through the engagement of key stakeholders, training of health workers and extensive education and community sensitisation was essential in reducing stigma. Funding: The COVID-19 outbreak response and writing workshop by the Ghana Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme (G.F.E.L.T.P.) was supported with funding from President Malaria Initiative - C.D.C., and Korea International Cooperation Agency (on C.D.C. CoAg 6NU2GGH001876) through AFENET.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Disease Outbreaks , Ghana/epidemiology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Stigma
19.
Ghana Med J ; 55(2 Suppl): 1-2, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1502646
20.
PLoS One ; 16(10): e0258164, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1496504

ABSTRACT

This paper uses publicly available data and various statistical models to estimate the basic reproduction number (R0) and other disease parameters for Ghana's early COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. We also test the effectiveness of government imposition of public health measures to reduce the risk of transmission and impact of the pandemic, especially in the early phase. R0 is estimated from the statistical model as 3.21 using a 0.147 estimated growth rate [95% C.I.: 0.137-0.157] and a 15-day time to recovery after COVID-19 infection. This estimate of the initial R0 is consistent with others reported in the literature from other parts of Africa, China and Europe. Our results also indicate that COVID-19 transmission reduced consistently in Ghana after the imposition of public health interventions-such as border restrictions, intra-city movement, quarantine and isolation-during the first phase of the pandemic from March to May 2020. However, the time-dependent reproduction number (Rt) beyond mid-May 2020 does not represent the true situation, given that there was not a consistent testing regime in place. This is also confirmed by our Jack-knife bootstrap estimates which show that the positivity rate over-estimates the true incidence rate from mid-May 2020. Given concerns about virus mutations, delays in vaccination and a possible new wave of the pandemic, there is a need for systematic testing of a representative sample of the population to monitor the reproduction number. There is also an urgent need to increase the availability of testing for the general population to enable early detection, isolation and treatment of infected individuals to reduce progression to severe disease and mortality.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics/prevention & control , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Ghana/epidemiology , Humans , Models, Statistical , Public Health , Quarantine
SELECTION OF CITATIONS
SEARCH DETAIL