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4.
S Afr Med J ; 111(1): 20-22, 2020 11 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1073718

ABSTRACT

Healthcare demands are rising globally, and regardless of the approach to financing and delivering healthcare services, no country can meet all the healthcare demands of its population. The demand-supply gap for healthcare services in South Africa (SA) is large, particularly for the public sector. The objectives of this article are to examine some of the underlying factors contributing to this gap, and how the COVID- 19 pandemic is likely to impact on them, and to describe why SA needs to adopt an explicit and equity-informed approach to healthcare priority-setting to assist in managing the gap.


Subject(s)
Health Policy , Health Priorities , Health Services Needs and Demand , Health Services/supply & distribution , COVID-19 , Health Care Rationing , Health Care Reform , Health Equity , Humans , National Health Programs , SARS-CoV-2 , South Africa
5.
Am J Trop Med Hyg ; 103(6): 2168-2170, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-869186

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 is a highly contagious disease that has affected all African countries including the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Formidable challenges limit precautionary measures which were instituted by the government to curb the pandemic. Insufficient COVID-19 testing laboratories, limited medical and personal protective equipment, and an inadequate number of health workers leave the country ill-equipped in the fight against the pandemic. Lack of assistance from the government to those who lost their jobs due to lockdown forced these individuals to go outside to find provisions, thus increasing the spread of the virus. Moreover, the fragile healthcare system is overburdened by civil conflicts and other epidemics and endemics amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The conflicts have led to thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of displacements and deprived many people of basic health services. The 11th outbreak of Ebola has been increasing at an alarming pace, and it is expected to soar because of a shortfall of funds and insufficient numbers of health workers. The DRC with the cooperation of regional powers needs to address these challenges in a manner similar to that used in the previous Ebola epidemics. Moreover, the government should have a balance in shifting the available resources between COVID-19 and other diseases. Until a vaccine is available, the DRC needs to be prudent when lifting restrictions to prevent explosion of new cases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Ebolavirus/pathogenicity , Health Services Accessibility/economics , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , COVID-19/economics , COVID-19/transmission , Democratic Republic of the Congo/epidemiology , Ethnic Violence , Health Services/supply & distribution , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/economics , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/transmission , Humans , Incidence , Quarantine , Social Isolation
6.
PLoS One ; 15(9): e0239699, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-788894

ABSTRACT

The current outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an unprecedented example of how fast an infectious disease can spread around the globe (especially in urban areas) and the enormous impact it causes on public health and socio-economic activities. Despite the recent surge of investigations about different aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic, we still know little about the effects of city size on the propagation of this disease in urban areas. Here we investigate how the number of cases and deaths by COVID-19 scale with the population of Brazilian cities. Our results indicate small towns are proportionally more affected by COVID-19 during the initial spread of the disease, such that the cumulative numbers of cases and deaths per capita initially decrease with population size. However, during the long-term course of the pandemic, this urban advantage vanishes and large cities start to exhibit higher incidence of cases and deaths, such that every 1% rise in population is associated with a 0.14% increase in the number of fatalities per capita after about four months since the first two daily deaths. We argue that these patterns may be related to the existence of proportionally more health infrastructure in the largest cities and a lower proportion of older adults in large urban areas. We also find the initial growth rate of cases and deaths to be higher in large cities; however, these growth rates tend to decrease in large cities and to increase in small ones over time.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Population Density , Age Distribution , Betacoronavirus , Brazil/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Cities/epidemiology , Health Services/supply & distribution , Health Services/trends , Humans , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , Time Factors
7.
J Nucl Med Technol ; 48(3): 218-226, 2020 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-680358

ABSTRACT

Traditionally, practice in nuclear medicine has involved strong emphasis on radiation safety principles. Nuclear medicine technologists (NMTs) focus on practices that keep patients, the public, and the technologist safe from potentially harmful effects of unnecessary radiation exposure using concepts of time, distance, and shielding as well as ALARA (As low as reasonably achievable) principles. The current COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light the need to apply focus on infection prevention in practice and update knowledge and procedures on such measures. In this article, the authors outline the need for NMTs to develop practices and values focused on infection prevention measures.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Nuclear Medicine/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Hand Hygiene , Health Services/supply & distribution , Hospital Departments/organization & administration , Hospital Departments/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Molecular Imaging , Nuclear Medicine/organization & administration , Pandemics , Patient Discharge , Resource Allocation , United States/epidemiology
8.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 26(10): 2361-2369, 2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-661057

ABSTRACT

Social distancing orders have been enacted worldwide to slow the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, reduce strain on healthcare systems, and prevent deaths. To estimate the impact of the timing and intensity of such measures, we built a mathematical model of COVID-19 transmission that incorporates age-stratified risks and contact patterns and projects numbers of hospitalizations, patients in intensive care units, ventilator needs, and deaths within US cities. Focusing on the Austin metropolitan area of Texas, we found that immediate and extensive social distancing measures were required to ensure that COVID-19 cases did not exceed local hospital capacity by early May 2020. School closures alone hardly changed the epidemic curve. A 2-week delay in implementation was projected to accelerate the timing of peak healthcare needs by 4 weeks and cause a bed shortage in intensive care units. This analysis informed the Stay Home-Work Safe order enacted by Austin on March 24, 2020.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Health Policy , Health Services/supply & distribution , Health Services/statistics & numerical data , Hospital Bed Capacity , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19 , Child , Child, Preschool , Cities/epidemiology , Computer Simulation , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Forecasting , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Infant , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Middle Aged , Models, Statistical , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Schools , Texas/epidemiology , Ventilators, Mechanical/statistics & numerical data , Young Adult
10.
Int J Equity Health ; 19(1): 68, 2020 05 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-272658

ABSTRACT

The most terrifying thing about pandemic could be the large number of patients running against the health service system, which causes a serious shortage of health resources, especially medical personnel. Plotting mortality and diagnosis rates against medical staff resources in 16 cities in Hubei Province, where the epidemic was initially concerned and the most severe, shows a significant negative correlation, indicating the critical role of medical staff resources in controlling epidemics. Nevertheless, it is difficult to ensure that there exist enough medical personnel in cities severely hit by the outbreak. China provides solutions by adopting nationwide "pairing assistance" measures with at least one province assisting one city to alleviate pressure in the most severe area. By plotting the number of patients receiving treatment against day, it is clear that implementing "pairing assistance" is a turning point in China's fight against epidemics.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Health Resources/supply & distribution , Health Services/supply & distribution , Personnel, Hospital/supply & distribution , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , China/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
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