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2.
PLoS Med ; 18(10): e1003797, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1448570

ABSTRACT

Elvin Geng and co-authors discuss monitoring and achieving equity in provision of vaccines for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Global Health/trends , Health Equity/trends , HIV Infections/epidemiology , HIV Infections/therapy , Humans
3.
Pharmacol Res ; 173: 105848, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1373221

ABSTRACT

Making gender bias visible allows to fill the gaps in knowledge and understand health records and risks of women and men. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has shown a clear gender difference in health outcomes. The more severe symptoms and higher mortality in men as compared to women are likely due to sex and age differences in immune responses. Age-associated decline in sex steroid hormone levels may mediate proinflammatory reactions in older adults, thereby increasing their risk of adverse outcomes, whereas sex hormones and/or sex hormone receptor modulators may attenuate the inflammatory response and provide benefit to COVID-19 patients. While multiple pharmacological options including anticoagulants, glucocorticoids, antivirals, anti-inflammatory agents and traditional Chinese medicine preparations have been tested to treat COVID-19 patients with varied levels of evidence in terms of efficacy and safety, information on sex-targeted treatment strategies is currently limited. Women may have more benefit from COVID-19 vaccines than men, despite the occurrence of more frequent adverse effects, and long-term safety data with newly developed vectors are eagerly awaited. The prevalent inclusion of men in randomized clinical trials (RCTs) with subsequent extrapolation of results to women needs to be addressed, as reinforcing sex-neutral claims into COVID-19 research may insidiously lead to increased inequities in health care. The huge worldwide effort with over 3000 ongoing RCTs of pharmacological agents should focus on improving knowledge on sex, gender and age as pillars of individual variation in drug responses and enforce appropriateness.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , COVID-19/prevention & control , Health Equity/trends , Pharmacology, Clinical/trends , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic/methods , Sex Characteristics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors/pharmacology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors/therapeutic use , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/immunology , Gonadal Steroid Hormones/antagonists & inhibitors , Gonadal Steroid Hormones/blood , Humans , Pharmacology, Clinical/methods , Precision Medicine/methods , Precision Medicine/trends
5.
Med J Aust ; 214 Suppl 8: S5-S40, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1256945

ABSTRACT

CHAPTER 1: HOW AUSTRALIA IMPROVED HEALTH EQUITY THROUGH ACTION ON THE SOCIAL DETERMINANTS OF HEALTH: Do not think that the social determinants of health equity are old hat. In reality, Australia is very far away from addressing the societal level drivers of health inequity. There is little progressive policy that touches on the conditions of daily life that matter for health, and action to redress inequities in power, money and resources is almost non-existent. In this chapter we ask you to pause this reality and come on a fantastic journey where we envisage how COVID-19 was a great disruptor and accelerator of positive progressive action. We offer glimmers of what life could be like if there was committed and real policy action on the social determinants of health equity. It is vital that the health sector assists in convening the multisectoral stakeholders necessary to turn this fantasy into reality. CHAPTER 2: ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER CONNECTION TO CULTURE: BUILDING STRONGER INDIVIDUAL AND COLLECTIVE WELLBEING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have long maintained that culture (ie, practising, maintaining and reclaiming it) is vital to good health and wellbeing. However, this knowledge and understanding has been dismissed or described as anecdotal or intangible by Western research methods and science. As a result, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture is a poorly acknowledged determinant of health and wellbeing, despite its significant role in shaping individuals, communities and societies. By extension, the cultural determinants of health have been poorly defined until recently. However, an increasing amount of scientific evidence supports what Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have always said - that strong culture plays a significant and positive role in improved health and wellbeing. Owing to known gaps in knowledge, we aim to define the cultural determinants of health and describe their relationship with the social determinants of health, to provide a full understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander wellbeing. We provide examples of evidence on cultural determinants of health and links to improved Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing. We also discuss future research directions that will enable a deeper understanding of the cultural determinants of health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. CHAPTER 3: PHYSICAL DETERMINANTS OF HEALTH: HEALTHY, LIVEABLE AND SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES: Good city planning is essential for protecting and improving human and planetary health. Until recently, however, collaboration between city planners and the public health sector has languished. We review the evidence on the health benefits of good city planning and propose an agenda for public health advocacy relating to health-promoting city planning for all by 2030. Over the next 10 years, there is an urgent need for public health leaders to collaborate with city planners - to advocate for evidence-informed policy, and to evaluate the health effects of city planning efforts. Importantly, we need integrated planning across and between all levels of government and sectors, to create healthy, liveable and sustainable cities for all. CHAPTER 4: HEALTH PROMOTION IN THE ANTHROPOCENE: THE ECOLOGICAL DETERMINANTS OF HEALTH: Human health is inextricably linked to the health of the natural environment. In this chapter, we focus on ecological determinants of health, including the urgent and critical threats to the natural environment, and opportunities for health promotion arising from the human health co-benefits of actions to protect the health of the planet. We characterise ecological determinants in the Anthropocene and provide a sobering snapshot of planetary health science, particularly the momentous climate change health impacts in Australia. We highlight Australia's position as a major fossil fuel producer and exporter, and a country lacking cohesive and timely emissions reduction policy. We offer a roadmap for action, with four priority directions, and point to a scaffold of guiding approaches - planetary health, Indigenous people's knowledge systems, ecological economics, health co-benefits and climate-resilient development. Our situation requires a paradigm shift, and this demands a recalibration of health promotion education, research and practice in Australia over the coming decade. CHAPTER 5: DISRUPTING THE COMMERCIAL DETERMINANTS OF HEALTH: Our vision for 2030 is an Australian economy that promotes optimal human and planetary health for current and future generations. To achieve this, current patterns of corporate practice and consumption of harmful commodities and services need to change. In this chapter, we suggest ways forward for Australia, focusing on pragmatic actions that can be taken now to redress the power imbalances between corporations and Australian governments and citizens. We begin by exploring how the terms of health policy making must change to protect it from conflicted commercial interests. We also examine how marketing unhealthy products and services can be more effectively regulated, and how healthier business practices can be incentivised. Finally, we make recommendations on how various public health stakeholders can hold corporations to account, to ensure that people come before profits in a healthy and prosperous future Australia. CHAPTER 6: DIGITAL DETERMINANTS OF HEALTH: THE DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION: We live in an age of rapid and exponential technological change. Extraordinary digital advancements and the fusion of technologies, such as artificial intelligence, robotics, the Internet of Things and quantum computing constitute what is often referred to as the digital revolution or the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0). Reflections on the future of public health and health promotion require thorough consideration of the role of digital technologies and the systems they influence. Just how the digital revolution will unfold is unknown, but it is clear that advancements and integrations of technologies will fundamentally influence our health and wellbeing in the future. The public health response must be proactive, involving many stakeholders, and thoughtfully considered to ensure equitable and ethical applications and use. CHAPTER 7: GOVERNANCE FOR HEALTH AND EQUITY: A VISION FOR OUR FUTURE: Coronavirus disease 2019 has caused many people and communities to take stock on Australia's direction in relation to health, community, jobs, environmental sustainability, income and wealth. A desire for change is in the air. This chapter imagines how changes in the way we govern our lives and what we value as a society could solve many of the issues Australia is facing - most pressingly, the climate crisis and growing economic and health inequities. We present an imagined future for 2030 where governance structures are designed to ensure transparent and fair behaviour from those in power and to increase the involvement of citizens in these decisions, including a constitutional voice for Indigenous peoples. We imagine that these changes were made by measuring social progress in new ways, ensuring taxation for public good, enshrining human rights (including to health) in legislation, and protecting and encouraging an independent media. Measures to overcome the climate crisis were adopted and democratic processes introduced in the provision of housing, education and community development.


Subject(s)
Health Equity/trends , Health Promotion/trends , Australia , Commerce , Community Health Planning/trends , Digital Technology/trends , Environmental Health/trends , Forecasting , Health Services, Indigenous/trends , Humans , Social Determinants of Health/trends
6.
Br J Nurs ; 30(9): 552-553, 2021 May 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1232702
8.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab ; 106(12): e4887-e4902, 2021 11 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1175358

ABSTRACT

Unacceptable healthcare disparities in endocrine disease have persisted for decades, and 2021 presents a difficult evolving environment. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the gross structural inequities that drive health disparities, and antiracism demonstrations remind us that the struggle for human rights continues. Increased public awareness and discussion of disparities present an urgent opportunity to advance health equity. However, it is more complicated to change the behavior of individuals and reform systems because societies are polarized into different factions that increasingly believe, accept, and live different realities. To reduce health disparities, clinicians must (1) truly commit to advancing health equity and intentionally act to reduce health disparities; (2) create a culture of equity by looking inwards for personal bias and outwards for the systemic biases built into their everyday work processes; (3) implement practical individual, organizational, and community interventions that address the root causes of the disparities; and (4) consider their roles in addressing social determinants of health and influencing healthcare payment policy to advance health equity. To care for diverse populations in 2021, clinicians must have self-insight and true understanding of heterogeneous patients, knowledge of evidence-based interventions, ability to adapt messaging and approaches, and facility with systems change and advocacy. Advancing health equity requires both science and art; evidence-based roadmaps and stories that guide the journey to better outcomes, judgment that informs how to change the behavior of patients, providers, communities, organizations, and policymakers, and passion and a moral mission to serve humanity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Endocrine System Diseases/therapy , Healthcare Disparities , Patient Care , Racism , Biomedical Research/ethics , Biomedical Research/legislation & jurisprudence , Biomedical Research/organization & administration , Biomedical Research/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/psychology , Endocrine System Diseases/epidemiology , Endocrine System Diseases/mortality , Health Equity/organization & administration , Health Equity/trends , Health Policy/legislation & jurisprudence , Health Policy/trends , Healthcare Disparities/organization & administration , Healthcare Disparities/trends , Humans , Pandemics , Patient Care/ethics , Patient Care/standards , Patient Care/trends , Racism/prevention & control , Racism/trends , SARS-CoV-2
9.
J Am Board Fam Med ; 34(Suppl): S225-S228, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1099991

ABSTRACT

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many physicians and health care systems have shifted to providing care via telehealth as much as possible. Although necessary to control spread of the virus and preserve personal protective equipment, this shift highlights existing disparities in access and care. Patients without the skills and tools to access telehealth services may increase their risk of exposure by seeking care in person or may delay care entirely. We know that patients need internet access, devices capable of visual communication, and the skills to use these devices to experience the full benefits of telehealth, yet we also know that disparities are present in each of these areas. Currently, federal programs have given physicians greater flexibility in providing care remotely and have expanded internet access for vulnerable patients to promote telehealth services. However, these changes are temporary and it is uncertain which will remain when the pandemic is over. Family medicine physicians have an important role to play in identifying and addressing these disparities and facilitating more equitable care moving forward.


Subject(s)
Family Practice/organization & administration , Health Equity/economics , Telemedicine/organization & administration , COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Equity/trends , Health Policy/economics , Health Policy/trends , Healthcare Disparities , Humans , Internet/economics , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Telemedicine/economics , United States/epidemiology
12.
Acad Med ; 96(6): 795-797, 2021 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1006108

ABSTRACT

Global health and its predecessors, tropical medicine and international health, have historically been driven by the agendas of institutions in high-income countries (HICs), with power dynamics that have disadvantaged partner institutions in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Since the 2000s, however, the academic global health community has been moving toward a focus on health equity and reexamining the dynamics of global health education (GHE) partnerships. Whereas GHE partnerships have largely focused on providing opportunities for learners from HIC institutions, LMIC institutions are now seeking more equitable experiences for their trainees. Additionally, lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic underscore already important lessons about the value of bidirectional educational exchange, as regions gain new insights from one another regarding strategies to impact health outcomes. Interruptions in experiential GHE programs due to COVID-19-related travel restrictions provide an opportunity to reflect on existing GHE systems, to consider the opportunities and dynamics of these partnerships, and to redesign these systems for the equitable benefit of the various partners. In this commentary, the authors offer recommendations for beginning this process of change, with an emphasis on restructuring GHE relationships and addressing supremacist attitudes at both the systemic and individual levels.


Subject(s)
Developing Countries/economics , Global Health/education , Health Equity/statistics & numerical data , Training Support/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Developing Countries/statistics & numerical data , Health Education/statistics & numerical data , Health Equity/trends , Humans , Interdisciplinary Communication , International Cooperation , Leadership , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
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