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Cien Saude Colet ; 26(7): 2843-2857, 2021 Jul.
Article in Portuguese, English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20240553


We conducted an integrated literature review aimed at reflecting on the challenges related to primary care-based health surveillance actions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in selected countries. The study included countries with different PHC models that adopted surveillance as an approach to control the transmission of COVID-19. We performed a search in October 2020 for relevant literature and norms and guidelines related to the organization of primary health care (PHC) in response to the pandemic on official government websites and the databases Web of Science and Science Direct. The integrated health surveillance actions demonstrated that efforts were more focused on risks, with some countries adopting innovative and effective measures to respond to COVID-19, considering emerging needs within PHC. However, in addition to ethical controversies and operational difficulties, access to technology was a challenge in actions developed by some countries due to social inequalities.

Trata-se de uma revisão de síntese integrativa com objetivo de refletir sobre os desafios atinentes às ações de vigilância em saúde no enfrentamento da COVID-19, no âmbito da Atenção Primária à Saúde (APS), em sistemas de saúde de países selecionados. Foram incluídos, no estudo, países com modelos de APS distintos, mas que adotaram a vigilância nos territórios como premissa para o controle da transmissão da COVID-19. Houve a revisão bibliográfica da literatura científica e a análise documental de normas e diretrizes relacionadas à organização da APS para enfrentamento da pandemia. A produção dos dados ocorreu no período entre abril e julho de 2020 e envolveu a busca de documentos sobre o enfrentamento da COVID-19, no que se refere à APS, nos sites oficiais governamentais de cada país e nas bases de dados científicas Web of Science e Science Direct. Ações integradas de vigilância em saúde demonstraram atuação mais direcionada sobre riscos, sendo possível respostas inovadoras e mais efetivas para enfrentamento da COVID-19, considerando necessidades emergentes no âmbito da APS. Contudo, experiências desenvolvidas por alguns países apresentaram controvérsias éticas e operacionais além dos desafios de acesso às tecnologias decorrente das desigualdades sociais.

COVID-19 , Pandemics , Government , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Primary Health Care , SARS-CoV-2
J Med Econ ; 26(1): 793-801, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20240022


AIMS: To investigate the preferences of the Japanese population for government policies expected to address infectious disease outbreaks and epidemics. METHODS: We performed a conjoint analysis based on survey data in December 2022 (registration number: UMIN000049665). The attributes for the conjoint analysis were policies: tests, vaccines, therapeutic drugs, behavior restrictions (e.g. self-restraint or restrictions on the gathering or travel of individuals and the hours of operation or serving of alcoholic beverages in food/beverage establishments), and entry restrictions (from abroad), and monetary attribute: an increase in the consumption tax from the current 10%, to estimate the monetary value of the policies. A logistic regression model was used for the analysis. RESULTS: Data were collected from 2,185 respondents. The accessibility of tests, vaccines, and therapeutic drugs was preferred regardless of the accessibility level. The value for accessibility of drugs to anyone at any medical facility was estimated at 4.80% of a consumption tax rate, equivalent to JPY 10.5 trillion, which was the highest among the policies evaluated in this study. The values for implementing behavior or entry restrictions were negative or lower than those for tests, vaccines, and drugs. LIMITATIONS: Respondents chosen from an online panel were not necessarily representative of the Japanese population. Because the study was conducted in December 2022, a period during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the results may reflect the situation at that time and potentially be subject to rapid change. CONCLUSIONS: Among the policy options evaluated in this study, the most preferred option was easily accessible therapeutic drugs and their monetary value was substantial. Wider accessibility of tests, vaccines, and drugs was preferred over behavior and entry restrictions. We believe that the results provide information for policymaking to prepare for future infectious disease epidemics and for assessing the response to COVID-19 in Japan.

COVID-19 , Vaccines , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , East Asian People , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Policy , Government , Pandemics/prevention & control
BMC Public Health ; 23(1): 1099, 2023 06 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20239982


BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic prompted rapid federal, state, and local government policymaking to buffer families from the health and economic harms of the pandemic. However, there has been little attention to families' perceptions of whether the pandemic safety net policy response was adequate, and what is needed to alleviate lasting effects on family well-being. This study examines the experiences and challenges of families with low incomes caring for young children during the pandemic. METHODS: Semi-structured qualitative interviews conducted from August 2020 to January 2021 with 34 parents of young children in California were analyzed using thematic analysis. RESULTS: We identified three key themes related to parents' experiences during the pandemic: (1) positive experiences with government support programs, (2) challenging experiences with government support programs, and (3) distress resulting from insufficient support for childcare disruptions. Participants reported that program expansions helped alleviate food insecurity, and those attending community colleges reported accessing a range of supports through supportive counselors. However, many reported gaps in support for childcare and distance learning, pre-existing housing instability, and parenting stressors. With insufficient supports, additional childcare and education workloads resulted in stress and exhaustion, guilt about competing demands, and stagnation of longer-term goals for economic and educational advancement. CONCLUSIONS: Families of young children, already facing housing and economic insecurity prior to the pandemic, experienced parental burnout. To support family well-being, participants endorsed policies to remove housing barriers, and expand childcare options to mitigate job loss and competing demands on parents. Policy responses that either alleviate stressors or bolster supports have the potential to prevent distress catalyzed by future disasters or the more common destabilizing experiences of economic insecurity.

COVID-19 , Pandemics , Humans , Child , Child, Preschool , COVID-19/epidemiology , Parents , Parenting , Government
PLoS One ; 18(5): e0285330, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20239049


Job placement trends in higher education at US institutions are bleak. Within anthropology and other social science disciplines this problem appears to be particularly pronounced. Recent studies focusing on placement in Anthropology using market share analysis have suggested that specific doctoral programs offer a greater chance of placing their graduates in faculty positions. Here we expand on that work, looking beyond market share to the number of graduates placed in positions relative to the total number of program graduates. Our results suggest that while large programs do indeed command the majority of tenure track placements by market share, much of this may be a product of the high numbers of graduates from these programs. Smaller programs can be proportionally as successful at placing their students in tenure track positions. The majority of PhDs in anthropology should anticipate gaining employment outside of a tenure track position. Training students for positions in private industry, government, and other non-faculty opportunities is essential.

Anthropology , Social Sciences , Humans , Employment , Faculty , Government
JAMA Netw Open ; 6(6): e2317358, 2023 Jun 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20236443


Importance: To help prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2, government-instituted nonpharmaceutical interventions (eg, social distancing, mask use, isolating), a provincewide government-instituted mask mandate occurred on December 8, 2020, in Alberta, Canada, although some local jurisdictions implemented an earlier mask mandate. There remains a limited understanding of the association between government-implemented public health measures and individual health behaviors of children. Objective: To examine the association between government mask mandates and mask use among children in Alberta, Canada. Design, Setting, and Participants: A cohort of children from Alberta, Canada, was recruited to examine longitudinal SARS-CoV-2 serologic factors. Parents were prospectively asked about their child's mask use in public places every 3 months (5-point Likert scale: never to always) from August 14, 2020, to June 24, 2022. A multivariable logistic generalized estimating equation was used to examine government mandatory masking mandates and child mask use. Child mask use was operationalized into a single composite dichotomous outcome by grouping parents who reported their child often or always wore a mask vs those who reported their child never, rarely, or occasionally wore a mask. Exposures: The primary exposure variable was the government masking mandate (began on different dates in 2020). The secondary exposure variable was government private indoor and outdoor gathering restrictions. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcome was parent report of child mask use. Results: A total of 939 children participated (467 female [49.7%]; mean [SD] age, 10.61 [1.6] years). The odds of parents' report of child mask use (often or always) was 18.3 times higher (95% CI, 5.7-58.6; P < .001; risk ratio, 1.7; 95% CI, 1.5-1.8; P < .001) with the mask mandate on compared with the mask mandate off. There was no significant change in mask use over the course of the mask mandate due to time. In contrast, each day with the mask mandate off was associated with a 1.6% decrease in mask use (odds ratio, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.98-0.99; P < .001). Conclusions and Relevance: The results of this study suggest that government-mandated mask use and providing the public with up-to-date health information (eg, case counts) is associated with increased parent-reported child mask use, while increasing time without a mask mandate is associated with decreased mask use.

COVID-19 , Child , Humans , Female , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Alberta/epidemiology , Incidence , Government
BMJ Glob Health ; 8(5)2023 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20233471


Despite progress on the Millennium and Sustainable Development Goals, significant public health challenges remain to address communicable and non-communicable diseases and health inequities. The Healthier Societies for Healthy Populations initiative convened by WHO's Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research; the Government of Sweden; and the Wellcome Trust aims to address these complex challenges. One starting point is to build understanding of the characteristics of successful government-led interventions to support healthier populations. To this end, this project explored five purposefully sampled, successful public health initiatives: front-of-package warnings on food labels containing high sugar, sodium or saturated fat (Chile); healthy food initiatives (trans fats, calorie labelling, cap on beverage size; New York); the alcohol sales and transport ban during COVID-19 (South Africa); the Vision Zero road safety initiative (Sweden) and establishment of the Thai Health Promotion Foundation. For each initiative a qualitative, semistructured one-on-one interview with a key leader was conducted, supplemented by a rapid literature scan with input from an information specialist. Thematic analysis of the five interviews and 169 relevant studies across the five examples identified facilitators of success including political leadership, public education, multifaceted approaches, stable funding and planning for opposition. Barriers included industry opposition, the complex nature of public health challenges and poor interagency and multisector co-ordination. Further examples building on this global portfolio will deepen understanding of success factors or failures over time in this critical area.

COVID-19 , Humans , Government , Health Status , Chile , Dietary Supplements
PLoS One ; 18(6): e0285999, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20233143


BACKGROUND: Kerala, a south Indian state, has a long and strong history of mobilisation of people's participation with institutionalised mechanisms as part of decentralisation reforms introduced three decades ago. This history formed the backdrop of the state's COVID-19 response from 2020 onwards. As part of a larger health equity study, we carried out an analysis to understand the contributions of people's participation to the state's COVID-19 response, and what implications this may have for health reform as well as governance more broadly. METHODS: We employed in-depth interviews with participants from four districts of Kerala between July and October, 2021. Following written informed consent procedures, we carried out interviews of health staff from eight primary health care centres, elected Local Self Government (LSG, or Panchayat) representatives, and community leaders. Questions explored primary health care reforms, COVID responses, and populations left behind. Transliterated English transcripts were analysed by four research team members using a thematic analysis approach and ATLAS.ti 9 software. For this paper, we specifically analysed codes and themes related to experiences of community actors and processes for COVID mitigation activities. RESULTS: A key feature of the COVID-19 response was the formation of Rapid Response Teams (RRTs), groups of lay community volunteers, who were identified and convened by LSG leaders. In some cases, pre-pandemic 'Arogya sena' (health army) community volunteer groups were merged with RRTs. RRT members were trained and supported by the health departments at the local level to distribute medicine and essential items, provided support for transportation to health facilities, and assisted with funerary rites during lockdown and containment period. RRTs often comprised youth cadres of ruling and opposition political parties. Existing community networks like Kudumbashree (Self Help Groups) and field workers from other departments have supported and been supported by RRTs. As pandemic restrictions eased, however, there was concern about the sustainability of this arrangement as well. CONCLUSION: Participatory local governance in Kerala allowed for the creation of invited spaces for community participation in a variety of roles as part of the COVID 19 response, with manifest impact. However, the terms of engagement were not decided by communities, nor were they involved more deeply in planning and organising health policy or services. The sustainability and governance features of such involvement warrant further study.

COVID-19 , Health Care Reform , Humans , Adolescent , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Health Facilities , Government
Front Public Health ; 11: 1141433, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20244746


Background: With the outbreak of COVID-19, government measures including social distancing and restrictions of social contacts were imposed to slow the spread of the virus. Since older adults are at increased risk of severe disease, they were particularly affected by these restrictions. These may negatively affect mental health by loneliness and social isolation, which constitute risk factors for depressiveness. We aimed to analyse the impact of perceived restriction due to government measures on depressive symptoms and investigated stress as mediator in an at-risk-population in Germany. Methods: Data were collected in April 2020 from the population of the, including individuals with a Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Aging, and Incidence of Dementia (CAIDE) score ≥9, using the depression subscale of the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI-18) and the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-4). Feeling restricted due to COVID-19 government measures was surveyed with a standardized questionnaire. Stepwise multivariate regressions using zero-inflated negative binomial models were applied to analyse depressive symptoms, followed by a general structural equation model to assess stress as mediator. Analysis were controlled for sociodemographic factors as well as social support. Results: We analysed data from 810 older adults (mean age = 69.9, SD = 5). Feeling restricted due to COVID-19 government measures was linked to increased depressiveness (b = 0.19; p < 0.001). The association was no longer significant when adding stress and covariates (b = 0.04; p = 0.43), while stress was linked to increased depressive symptoms (b = 0.22; p < 0.001). A final model confirms the assumption that the feeling of restriction is mediated by stress (total effect: b = 0.26; p < 0.001). Conclusion: We found evidence that feeling restricted due to COVID-19 government measures is associated with higher levels of depressive symptoms in older adults at increased risk for dementia. The association is mediated by perceived stress. Furthermore, social support was significantly associated with less depressive symptoms. Thus, it is of high relevance to consider possible adverse effects of government measures related to COVID-19 on mental health of older people.

COVID-19 , Dementia , Humans , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Mental Health , SARS-CoV-2 , Government , Primary Health Care
BMJ Glob Health ; 8(5)2023 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20241903


BACKGROUND: Several countries in Latin America conducted mass distribution of COVID-19 kits intended to treat mild COVID-19, thereby preventing excess hospitalisations. Many of the kits contained ivermectin, an antiparasitic medicine that was not approved at the time for the treatment of COVID-19. The study objective was to compare the timing of the publication of scientific evidence about the efficacy of ivermectin for COVID-19 with the timeline of distribution of COVID-19 kits in eight Latin American countries and to analyse whether evidence was used to justify ivermectin distribution. METHODS: We conducted a systematic review of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) published on the efficacy of ivermectin or ivermectin as adjuvant therapy on mortality from, or as prevention for, COVID-19. Each RCT was assessed using the Cochrane Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluations (GRADE). Information on the timing and justification of government decisions was collected through a systematic search of leading newspapers and government press releases. RESULTS: After removing the duplicates and abstracts without full text, 33 RCTs met our inclusion criteria. According to GRADE, the majority had a substantial risk of bias. Many government officials made claims that ivermectin was effective and safe in the prevention or treatment of COVID-19, despite the lack of published evidence. CONCLUSION: All eight governments distributed COVID-19 kits to their populations despite the absence of high-quality evidence on the efficacy of ivermectin for prevention, hospitalisation and mortality in COVID-19 patients. Lessons learnt from this situation could be used to strengthen government institutions' capacities to implement evidence-informed public health policies.

COVID-19 , Ivermectin , Humans , Ivermectin/therapeutic use , Latin America , Government , Hospitalization
Cien Saude Colet ; 27(12): 4435-4450, 2022 Dec.
Article in Portuguese, English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20235216


This is a scoping review of the literature on actions taken by countries during 2020 regarding the care for people living in the prison environment during the COVID-19 pandemic. We selected 54 publications for data mining and found data from 45 countries, which were organized into categories. Most of the literature addressed strategies adopted by countries with advanced economies. All of them mentioned some strategies to reduce viral transmission - the major ones were restricted/suspended family visits and desincarceration - and interventions to improve infrastructures in prisons, the provision of a telephone or other devices for calls or video calls being the most mentioned. Policies to mitigate the effects of the epidemic and interventions were found in publications referencing 33 countries, with the main focus on keeping family contact and reviewing the public safety policy. Concerning governance policies, measures from 11 countries were reported, and the most cited was national authority reinforcement. This study highlights the need for research on the success of each strategy and the differences among those countries.

Trata-se de uma revisão de escopo da literatura sobre as ações adotadas pelos países, durante o ano de 2020, para o cuidado das pessoas que vivenciam o ambiente prisional durante a pandemia de COVID-19. Selecionamos 54 publicações para extração de dados, encontrando dados de 45 países, que foram organizados em categorias. A maior parte das publicações abordava as estratégias adotadas pelos países de economia avançada. Todas as publicações citavam alguma estratégia destinada a reduzir a transmissão viral - as principais foram a restrição/suspensão da visitação de familiares e o desencarceramento - e intervenções relativas à melhoria da infraestrutura nas prisões, sendo mais citada a disponibilização de telefone e/ou outro dispositivo para chamadas ou videochamadas. As políticas destinadas à mitigação das consequências da epidemia e das intervenções foram encontradas em publicações referentes a 33 países, sendo mais abordada a manutenção do contato familiar e a revisão da política de segurança pública. Em relação às políticas de governança, foram relatadas ações de 11 países, sendo a mais citada o fortalecimento da autoridade nacional. Este estudo aponta para a necessidade de pesquisas a respeito do sucesso de cada estratégia e das diferenças entre os países.

COVID-19 , Prisons , Humans , COVID-19/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Government , Public Policy
Cien Saude Colet ; 28(5): 1277-1286, 2023 May.
Article in Portuguese, English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2326627


The study aim is to analyze the performance of the Brazilian federal government (FG) in the COVID-19 pandemic, seeking to identify tensions and conflicts between actors and institutions of the three branches of the government and the FG with state governors. Data production included a review of articles, publications and documents that analyze the pandemic evolution and record announcements, decisions, actions, debates and controversies between these actors in the period of 2020 to 2021. The results include the characterization of the action style of the central Actor and the analysis of conflicts between the Presidency, the Ministry of Health, ANVISA, state governments, the House of Representatives and the Senate and the Federal Supreme Court, seeking to correlate them with the debate around the political projects for health in dispute under the current circumstances. It is concluded that the central actor largely used a communicative action aimed at his supporters and strategic action characterized by imposition, coercion and confrontation in the relationships he maintained with other institutional actors, especially when they diverged from his viewpoints about how to face the health crisis, consistently with his connection to the ultra-neoliberal and authoritarian political project of the FG, which includes the deconstruction of the Brazilian Unified Health System.

O objetivo é analisar a atuação do governo federal (GF) na pandemia de COVID-19 e identificar as tensões e conflitos entre atores e instituições dos três poderes e do GF com governadores estaduais. A produção de dados incluiu revisão de artigos, publicações e documentos que analisam a pandemia e registram pronunciamentos, decisões, ações, debates e controvérsias entre esses atores no período 2020-2021. Os resultados contemplam a análise do estilo de ação do ator central e dos conflitos entre a Presidência, Ministério da Saúde, Anvisa, governos estaduais, Câmara, Senado e Supremo Tribunal Federal, buscando correlacioná-los com os projetos políticos para a saúde em disputa na atual conjuntura. Conclui-se que o ator central utilizou largamente uma ação comunicativa dirigida a seus apoiadores e uma ação estratégica caracterizada pela imposição, coação e confronto nas relações que manteve com outros atores institucionais, sobretudo quando estes divergiram da sua visão acerca do enfrentamento da crise sanitária, coerentemente com sua vinculação ao projeto político ultra neoliberal e autoritário do GF, que inclui o desmonte do SUS.

COVID-19 , Humans , Pandemics , Federal Government , Brazil/epidemiology , Government
Cien Saude Colet ; 28(3): 665-683, 2023 Mar.
Article in Portuguese | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2325239


The study analyzes the development of responses to address the COVID-19 pandemic in Latin America. It is a descriptive study based on an analysis of documents, data, and policy measures adopted or announced between March and December 2020 in 14 Latin American countries. The analysis included assessment of the content, tenor, and scope of policy measures for containment and mitigation, health care, and reorganization of health services identified on government websites. In addition, quantitative demographic indicators were included, as well as those related to the epidemiological situation and the result of the Stringency index. In general, the responses of Latin American countries were heterogeneous, albeit multisectoral, characterizing the complexity and diversity of decision making when confronting a pandemic. The conclusion drawn is that there is still a great deal to reflect upon with respect to the consequences of regulatory weaknesses for the achievement of multidimensional demands during health crises.

O estudo analisa a elaboração de respostas para o enfrentamento da pandemia da COVID-19 na América Latina. Trata-se de um estudo descritivo com base em análise de documentos, dados e medidas políticas adotadas ou anunciadas entre março e dezembro de 2020 em 14 países latino-americanos. A análise compreendeu a apreciação de teor, conteúdo e abrangência das medidas políticas para contenção e mitigação sanitárias e para a reorganização dos serviços de saúde identificadas nos sites governamentais. Complementarmente, incluiu-se indicadores quantitativos demográficos e relativos à situação epidemiológica e resultado do Sringency index. No geral, as respostas dos países latino-americanos foram heterogêneas, apesar de multisetoriais, caracterizando a complexidade e diversidade decisória frente à pandemia. Conclui-se que ainda há muito a refletir sobre as consequências das fragilidades normativas para a consecução das necessidades multidimensionais durante crises sanitárias.

COVID-19 , Humans , Latin America/epidemiology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Government , Delivery of Health Care
PLoS One ; 18(5): e0285950, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2324881


The mortality impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ukraine has remained incomplete. We estimated excess deaths associated with the pandemic in Ukraine during 2020 and 2021. Excess deaths may be attributed directly to SARS-CoV-2 infection or indirectly to deaths associated with social and economic upheavals resulting from the pandemic. Data on all deaths registered in government-controlled Ukraine from 2016-2021 (N = 3,657,475) were utilized. Using a model-based approach, we predicted monthly excess deaths in 2020 and 2021. We estimated 47,578 excess deaths in 2020 as a whole (7.71% of all recorded deaths). This figure reflects both positive (higher than expected) excess deaths from June-December and negative (lower than expected) deaths in January and March-May. From June-December 2020, we estimated 59,363 excess deaths (15.75% of all recorded deaths in those months). In 2021, we estimated 150,049 excess deaths (21.01% of all recorded deaths). Positive excess deaths were detected across age groups even groups younger than 40 years. The number of excess deaths exceeded that of deaths with COVID-19 coded on the death certificate by more than two-fold in 2020, but that difference narrowed in 2021. We furthermore provide provisional estimates of the effect of low vaccine coverage on excess deaths in 2021 drawing from European cross-national evidence and provisional estimates of the hypothetical evolution of the pandemic in 2022 to serve as a rough basis for future studies analyzing the joint impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion on Ukrainian demography.

COVID-19 , Humans , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Ethnicity , Government , Mortality
Glob Public Health ; 18(1): 2212750, 2023 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2322323


Resilience has accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic as a rallying motto, with calls by governments for a resilient society, resilient families and schools, and, of course, resilient healthcare systems in the face of this unprecedented pandemic shock. Resilience had already gained traction as an analytical concept in public health research for approximately a decade. It became a key concept despite the recognition of its lack of conceptual consistency. The COVID-19 pandemic presented itself as a perfect test-case and encouraged a multiplicity of studies on resilience and health care systems. In this commentary, we add to the existing critiques of resilience in the social sciences by reflecting on the effects of resilience when used to frame empirical inquiries and to draw lessons from the crisis. Resilience as a concept is unable to address crucial structural issues that health systems already faced throughout the world, and it remains a non-neutral political notion. We argue that we need to resist a generalised view of resilience and work with alternative imaginaries.

COVID-19 , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Public Health , Pandemics , Delivery of Health Care , Government
PLoS One ; 18(5): e0285847, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2322037


BACKGROUND: There is a dearth of studies assessing the effects of SARS-CoV-2 on the healthcare system and access to care, especially in lower- and middle-income countries such as Malawi. We aimed to assess the impacts of COVID-19 on reported maternal and neonatal complications as well as potential changes in maternal care access to care among five primary care health facilities in Blantyre, Malawi. METHODS: This retrospective cohort study assessed maternal and neonatal register data from five participating health centers in Blantyre, Malawi using the Malawi District Health Information Software 2 (DHIS2) to compare outcomes from 15 months before COVID-19 emerged, defined as the pre-Covid period (January 2019 -March 2020) with nine months after COVID-19 (April 2020 -December 2020). RESULTS: There was a significant decrease in reported use of vacuum extraction, which went from <0.01%in the pre-COVID period to 0% in the COVID period (p = 0.01). The proportion of births reporting fetal distress almost tripled from 0.46% to 1.36% (p = 0.001) during the COVID-19 period. Additionally, reported anticonvulsant use significantly increased from 0.01% to 1.2% (p<0.01), and antibiotic use significantly increased from 0.45% to 1.6% (p = 0.01). Asphyxia was the only significant neonatal complication variable reported, increasing from 2.80% to 3.45% (p = 0.01). CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that significant outcomes were mainly due to the indirect effects of COVID-19 rather than the virus itself. Based on our findings and the contextual qualitative interviews with two Malawian expert midwives, we concluded that mothers may have been affected more due to understaffing and shortage of skilled personnel in the study health facilities. Therefore, the development of highly skilled health workers may contribute to better outcomes, along with adequate staffing and a streamlined referral process.

COVID-19 , Infant, Newborn , Female , Pregnancy , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Malawi , Maternal Health , Retrospective Studies , Health Facilities , Government , Mothers
Cien Saude Colet ; 28(5): 1341-1353, 2023 May.
Article in Portuguese, English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2321512


This is an analysis of state management of Primary Health Care in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Bahia. It is a qualitative case study with interviews with managers and regulatory documents analyzed according to the categories of government project and government capacity. State PHC proposals were debated in the Bipartite Intermanagerial Commission and in the Public Health Operational Emergency Committee. The scope of the PHC project focused on the definition of specific actions to manage the health crisis with the municipalities. The institutional support of the state to the municipalities modulated inter-federative relations and was decisive in the elaboration of municipal contingency plans, training of teams and production and dissemination of technical standards. The capacity of the state government was dependent upon the degree of municipal autonomy and the availability of state technical references in the regions. The state strengthened institutional partnerships for dialogue with municipal managers, but mechanisms for articulation with the federal level and social control were not identified. This study contributes to the analysis of the role of states in the formulation and implementation of PHC actions mediated by inter-federative relationships in emergency public health contexts.

Análise da gestão estadual da atenção primária à saúde (APS) em resposta à pandemia de COVID-19 na Bahia. Estudo de caso de natureza qualitativa mediante entrevistas com gestores e documentos normativos analisados segundo as categorias de projeto e capacidade de governo. Proposições estaduais de APS foram debatidas na Comissão Intergestores Bipartite e no Comitê Operacional de Emergência em Saúde Pública. O conteúdo propositivo do projeto da APS concentrou-se na definição de ações específicas de gestão da crise sanitária junto aos municípios. O apoio institucional do estado aos municípios modulou as relações interfederativas e foi determinante na elaboração dos planos municipais de contingência, da capacitação das equipes, produção e difusão de normas técnicas. A capacidade do governo estadual foi condicionada pelo grau de autonomia municipal e disponibilidade de referências técnicas estaduais nas regiões. O estado fortaleceu parcerias institucionais para interlocução com gestores municipais, mas não foram identificados mecanismos de articulação com o nível federal e o controle social. Este estudo contribui para a análise do papel dos estados na formulação e implementação de ações de APS mediadas por relações interfederativas em contextos de emergência em saúde pública.

COVID-19 , Pandemics , Humans , Brazil , Pandemics/prevention & control , Government , Primary Health Care
Health Policy Plan ; 38(6): 726-736, 2023 Jun 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2318664


The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of strengthening collaborations between academia and government. The development and maintenance of these collaborative relationships is a complex and dynamic process, particularly during public health emergencies. This study was aimed at identifying and analysing factors that acted as barriers and facilitators in the collaboration process between academia and government during the COVID-19 pandemic in the five largest cities in Colombia. The study used a qualitative approach based on the systematization of experiences. A total of 25 semi-structured interviews were conducted with local actors from government and academia during 2021. Participants identified a variety of situations that involved individual, institutional and relational factors that acted as barriers and facilitators, and which have been previously reported in other countries and contexts not related to pandemics. Based on participant reports, two additional factors emerged, one corresponding to situations related to the pandemic management process itself and another related to structural or systemic conditions that involved government processes and the Colombian health system. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, the health emergency brought about shared feelings of local commitment and a willingness to work through interdisciplinary teams to address the pandemic with the least adverse effects on the community. Other facilitators of the collaborative process that were recognized were the importance of timely access to data and transparent analyses, as well as government decisions being informed by the perspectives of academics. The main barriers identified by both actors were excessive centralization of the pandemic's management and the need for rapid decision-making processes under high levels of uncertainty. In addition, the fragmentation of services in the health system posed a barrier to the interventions that were suggested by the collaborative work. Our results suggest that government-academia collaborations should be implemented as ongoing participatory processes integrating various sectors, actors and disciplines.

COVID-19 , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Colombia , Government , Qualitative Research
Am Heart J ; 260: 58-71, 2023 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2315769


BACKGROUND: Annual influenza vaccination is widely recommended in older adults and other high-risk groups including patients with cardiovascular disease. The real-world effectiveness of influenza vaccination is limited by suboptimal uptake and effective strategies for increasing vaccination rates are therefore needed. The purpose of this trial is to investigate whether behavioral nudges digitally delivered via the Danish nationwide mandatory governmental electronic letter system can increase influenza vaccination uptake among older adults. METHODS: The NUDGE-FLU trial is a randomized implementation trial randomizing all Danish citizens aged 65 years and above without an exemption from the Danish mandatory governmental electronic letter system to receive no digitally delivered behavioral nudge (usual care arm) or to receive one of 9 electronic letters (intervention arms) each leveraging different behavioral science strategies. The trial has randomized 964,870 participants with randomization clustered at the household level (n = 691,820 households). Intervention letters were delivered on September 16, 2022, and follow-up is currently ongoing. All trial data are captured using the nationwide Danish administrative health registries. The primary end point is the receipt of an influenza vaccine on or before January 1, 2023. The secondary end point is time to vaccination. Exploratory end points include clinical events such as hospitalization for influenza or pneumonia, cardiovascular events, all-cause hospitalization, and all-cause mortality. DISCUSSION: The nationwide randomized NUDGE-FLU trial is one of the largest implementation trials ever conducted and will provide important insights into effective communication strategies to maximize vaccination uptake among high-risk groups. TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT05542004, registered September 15, 2022,

Influenza Vaccines , Influenza, Human , Aged , Humans , Denmark/epidemiology , Government , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Vaccination , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic