Your browser doesn't support javascript.
Show: 20 | 50 | 100
Results 1 - 20 de 61
Filter
1.
Front Public Health ; 9: 665584, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1771099

ABSTRACT

Background: ODK provides software and standards that are popular solutions for off-grid electronic data collection and has substantial code overlap and interoperability with a number of related software products including CommCare, Enketo, Ona, SurveyCTO, and KoBoToolbox. These tools provide open-source options for off-grid use in public health data collection, management, analysis, and reporting. During the 2018-2020 Ebola epidemic in the North Kivu and Ituri regions of Democratic Republic of Congo, we used these tools to support the DRC Ministère de la Santé RDC and World Health Organization in their efforts to administer an experimental vaccine (VSV-Zebov-GP) as part of their strategy to control the transmission of infection. Method: New functions were developed to facilitate the use of ODK, Enketo and R in large scale data collection, aggregation, monitoring, and near-real-time analysis during clinical research in health emergencies. We present enhancements to ODK that include a built-in audit-trail, a framework and companion app for biometric registration of ISO/IEC 19794-2 fingerprint templates, enhanced performance features, better scalability for studies featuring millions of data form submissions, increased options for parallelization of research projects, and pipelines for automated management and analysis of data. We also developed novel encryption protocols for enhanced web-form security in Enketo. Results: Against the backdrop of a complex and challenging epidemic response, our enhanced platform of open tools was used to collect and manage data from more than 280,000 eligible study participants who received VSV-Zebov-GP under informed consent. These data were used to determine whether the VSV-Zebov-GP was safe and effective and to guide daily field operations. Conclusions: We present open-source developments that make electronic data management during clinical research and health emergencies more viable and robust. These developments will also enhance and expand the functionality of a diverse range of data collection platforms that are based on the ODK software and standards.


Subject(s)
Epidemics , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola , Data Management , Electronics , Epidemics/prevention & control , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/epidemiology , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/prevention & control , Humans
2.
PLoS Negl Trop Dis ; 16(3): e0010080, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1736486

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Breast-feeding holds considerable potential to reduce infant mortality. Feeding choices, already complex, take on additional complexity against a backdrop of the risk of transmissible Ebola Virus. This review describes the factors that influence infant feeding and attitudes of pregnant women, mothers, family members and health practitioners, policy makers and providers (midwives) concerning infant feeding when there is a risk of Mother-to-Child (MTC) transmission of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). METHODOLOGY: A systematic review of qualitative studies identified through rigorous searches of thirteen online databases and additional citation searches of included studies was undertaken. Search terms included breast-feeding, breast-feeding, infant feeding; Ebola; and qualitative, interview(s) and findings. Independent extraction of data by two reviewers using predefined extraction forms. Studies were assessed using the CASP Qualitative checklist. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: 5219 references were screened. 38 references related specifically to Ebola, and five papers met the inclusion criteria with data gathered from two settings: Guinea and Sierra Leone. The EVD outbreak had a significant impact on beliefs, attitudes, and resources to support infant feeding practices negatively affecting the nutritional status of children. The evidence from these studies highlight the need for guidance and appropriate psychosocial support need to be available to mothers who display symptoms and become infected and to front-line staff who are giving advice. Communities need to be engaged because stigma and fear may hinder uptake of appropriate interventions. The EVD outbreak caused multi-level system disruption akin to that seen following a natural disaster, meaning that logistics and coordination are critical and need adequate resourcing. Food production and distribution, and malnutrition screening are also disrupted and thereby compounding compromised nutritional status. The limited number of relevant studies highlights the need for further primary research, particularly in translation of messages to local settings. CONCLUSIONS: An EVD outbreak causes multi-level disruption that negatively impacts infant feeding and child care practices. Negative impacts have multiple causes and successful planning for Ebola outbreaks requires that nutrition of infants and young children is a priority. Lessons from the Ebola pandemic have wider applicability to other pandemic contexts including Covid-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Ebolavirus , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola , Attitude , Child, Preschool , Disease Outbreaks , Female , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/epidemiology , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/prevention & control , Humans , Infant , Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical/prevention & control , Pregnancy , Sierra Leone/epidemiology
3.
BMJ Open ; 12(3): e055596, 2022 03 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1736069

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Ebola virus disease (EVD) continues to be a significant public health problem in sub-Saharan Africa, especially in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Large-scale vaccination during outbreaks may reduce virus transmission. We established a large population-based clinical trial of a heterologous, two-dose prophylactic vaccine during an outbreak in eastern DRC to determine vaccine effectiveness. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This open-label, non-randomised, population-based trial enrolled eligible adults and children aged 1 year and above. Participants were offered the two-dose candidate EVD vaccine regimen VAC52150 (Ad26.ZEBOV, Modified Vaccinia Ankara (MVA)-BN-Filo), with the doses being given 56 days apart. After vaccination, serious adverse events (SAEs) were passively recorded until 1 month post dose 2. 1000 safety subset participants were telephoned at 1 month post dose 2 to collect SAEs. 500 pregnancy subset participants were contacted to collect SAEs at D7 and D21 post dose 1 and at D7, 1 month, 3 months and 6 months post dose 2, unless delivery was before these time points. The first 100 infants born to these women were given a clinical examination 3 months post delivery. Due to COVID-19 and temporary suspension of dose 2 vaccinations, at least 50 paediatric and 50 adult participants were enrolled into an immunogenicity subset to examine immune responses following a delayed second dose. Samples collected predose 2 and at 21 days post dose 2 will be tested using the Ebola viruses glycoprotein Filovirus Animal Non-Clinical Group ELISA. For qualitative research, in-depth interviews and focus group discussions were being conducted with participants or parents/care providers of paediatric participants. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Approved by Comité National d'Ethique et de la Santé du Ministère de la santé de RDC, Comité d'Ethique de l'Ecole de Santé Publique de l'Université de Kinshasa, the LSHTM Ethics Committee and the MSF Ethics Review Board. Findings will be presented to stakeholders and conferences. Study data will be made available for open access. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: NCT04152486.


Subject(s)
Ebola Vaccines , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola , Adult , COVID-19 , Child , Clinical Trials, Phase III as Topic , Democratic Republic of the Congo/epidemiology , Ebola Vaccines/adverse effects , Female , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/epidemiology , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/prevention & control , Humans , Immunization Schedule
5.
Biochemistry ; 60(46): 3449-3451, 2021 11 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1590174

ABSTRACT

Single-particle cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM), whose full power was not realized until the advent of powerful detectors in 2012, has a unique position as a method of structure determination as it is capable of providing information about not only the structure but also the dynamical features of biomolecules. This information is of special importance in understanding virus-host interaction and explains the crucial role of cryo-EM in the efforts to find vaccinations and cures for pandemics the world has experienced in the past decade.


Subject(s)
Cryoelectron Microscopy , Host Microbial Interactions , Single Molecule Imaging , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Dengue/epidemiology , Dengue/prevention & control , Dengue/virology , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/epidemiology , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/prevention & control , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/virology , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Viral Vaccines/administration & dosage , Zika Virus Infection/epidemiology , Zika Virus Infection/prevention & control , Zika Virus Infection/virology
6.
PLoS One ; 16(10): e0257995, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1496503

ABSTRACT

When pharmaceutical interventions are unavailable to deal with an epidemic outbreak, adequate management of communication strategies can be key to reduce the contagion risks. On the one hand, accessibility to trustworthy and timely information, whilst on the other, the adoption of preventive behaviors may be both crucial. However, despite the abundance of communication strategies, their effectiveness has been scarcely evaluated or merely circumscribed to the scrutiny of public affairs. To study the influence of communication strategies on the spreading dynamics of an infectious disease, we implemented a susceptible-exposed-infected-removed-dead (SEIRD) epidemiological model, using an agent-based approach. Agents in our systems can obtain information modulating their behavior from two sources: (i) through the local interaction with other neighboring agents and, (ii) from a central entity delivering information with a certain periodicity. In doing so, we highlight how global information delivered from a central entity can reduce the impact of an infectious disease and how informing even a small fraction of the population has a remarkable impact, when compared to not informing the population at all. Moreover, having a scheme of delivering daily messages makes a stark difference on the reduction of cases, compared to the other evaluated strategies, denoting that daily delivery of information produces the largest decrease in the number of cases. Furthermore, when the information spreading relies only on local interactions between agents, and no central entity takes actions along the dynamics, then the epidemic spreading is virtually independent of the initial amount of informed agents. On top of that, we found that local communication plays an important role in an intermediate regime where information coming from a central entity is scarce. As a whole, our results highlight the importance of proper communication strategies, both accurate and daily, to tackle epidemic outbreaks.


Subject(s)
Communication , Ebolavirus , Epidemics/prevention & control , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/epidemiology , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/prevention & control , Models, Statistical , Quarantine/methods , Africa, Western/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/transmission , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/virology , Humans , Social Behavior
7.
Antimicrob Agents Chemother ; 65(7): e0139020, 2021 06 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1486475

ABSTRACT

We investigated the ability of Luminore CopperTouch copper and copper-nickel surfaces to inactivate filoviruses and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The copper and copper-nickel surfaces inactivated 99.9% of Ebola and Marburg viruses after 30 min, and the copper surfaces inactivated 99% of SARS-CoV-2 in 2 h. These data reveal that Ebola virus, Marburg virus, and SARS-CoV-2 are inactivated by exposure to copper ions, validating Luminore CopperTouch as an efficacious tool for infection control.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Ebolavirus , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola , Marburgvirus , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/drug therapy , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/prevention & control , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Global Health ; 17(1): 121, 2021 10 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1477435

ABSTRACT

The declaration of any public health emergency in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is usually followed by the provision of technical and organizational support from international organizations, which build a parallel and short-time healthcare emergency response centered on preventing the extension of health emergencies across the countries and over the world. Previous Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreaks have highlighted the need to reinforce the healthcare sector in different countries.Based on the difficulty to implement the International Health Regulations (2005) to the local level of affected countries including the DRC, this paper proposes a multidisciplinary model based on the health zones through the strengthening of preparedness and response structures to public health emergencies vis-à-vis the existing weak health systems existing in DRC. A commitment to integrating the emergency response in the existing health system should work to reduce the tension that exists between local recruitment and its impact on the quality of daily healthcare in the region affected by EVD outbreak on one hand, and the involvement of international recruitment and its impact on the trust of the population on the emergency response on the other. This paper highlights the provision of a local healthcare workforce skilled to treat infectious diseases, the compulsory implementation of training programs focused on the emergency response in countries commonly affected by EVD outbreaks including the DRC. These innovations should reduce the burden of health problems prior to and in the aftermath of any public health emergency in DRC hence increasing the wellbeing of the community, especially the vulnerable people as well as the availability of trained healthcare providers able to early recognize and treat EVD.


Subject(s)
Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola , Delivery of Health Care , Democratic Republic of the Congo/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/epidemiology , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/prevention & control , Humans , Public Health
9.
BMJ Open ; 11(10): e051645, 2021 10 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1476606

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Community health workers (CHWs) played important roles in supplementing scarce healthcare workforce in Sierra Leone during the Ebola outbreak, causing the government to launch the National Community Health Worker Policy 2016-2020. This study evaluated this ambitious policy and examined CHWs' sustainability through their job satisfaction and the underlying factors to inform new policy recommendations, especially the implication for COVID-19 containment. DESIGN: A mixed-methods approach applying structured questionnaires and semistructured interviews. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: 188 CHWs in Bombali District (key Ebola-stricken areas) of Sierra Leone, 184 of them participated in follow-up interviews. PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES: Quantitative and qualitative elements were triangulated to improve robustness of investigation: job satisfaction was measured by the Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire (MSQ), and factors associated with job satisfaction were identified through thematic analysis and multivariable logistic regression. RESULTS: The MSQ score of CHWs in Sierra Leone was 65.09, extremely low even among low-income and middle-income countries. Five themes (grouped from 16 subthemes) emerged through the semistructured interviews and were tested quantitatively. Payment was CHWs' top concern. Low stipend and payment tardiness were significantly associated with dissatisfaction. Those with Ebola experience were 5.20 times (95% CI 1.51 to 17.95, p=0.009) more likely to be dissatisfied. This study also found that working conditions, medical material supplies and career development were far from what the CHW policy promised. CHWs' commitment was the only 'positive' theme, and their intrinsic job satisfaction (mean=3.61) was much higher than the extrinsic job satisfaction (mean=2.72). CONCLUSIONS: Some critical components of the 2016 National Community Health Worker Policy, aiming to promote CHWs and strengthen primary healthcare, have severe shortfalls in practice. The Sierra Leone government should address the underlying factors that have impaired CHWs' job satisfaction to ensure sustainability of its CHW network, especially during the combat against COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola , Community Health Workers , Cross-Sectional Studies , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/epidemiology , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/prevention & control , Humans , Job Satisfaction , Qualitative Research , SARS-CoV-2 , Sierra Leone
10.
Ann Glob Health ; 87(1): 101, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1478342

ABSTRACT

The 5-year Resilient and Responsive Health Systems (RRHS)-Liberia Initiative, funded by PEPFAR via HRSA, launched in 2017 and was designed to support the implementation of Liberia's National Health Workforce Program as a means to improving HIV-related health outcomes. The COVID-19 pandemic, arrived in Liberia just five years after Ebola and during RRHS-Liberia's fourth year, impacted educational programs and threatened the project's continued work. This paper presents the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic posed to the RRHS partners, as well as adaptations they made to maintain progress towards project goals: 1) contributing to Liberia's 95-95-95 HIV targets via direct service delivery, and 2) building a resilient and responsive health workforce in Liberia via instruction and training. Direct health service impacts included decreased patient volumes and understaffing; adaptations included development of and trainings on safety protocols, provision of telehealth services, and community health worker involvement. Instruction and training impacts included suspension of in-person teaching and learning; adaptations included utilization of multiple online learning and virtual conferencing tools, and increasing clinical didactics in lieu of bedside mentorship. The RRHS team recommends that these adaptations be continued with significant investment in technology, IT support, and training, as well as close coordination among partner institutions. Ultimately, the RRHS Liberia consortium and its partners made significant strides in response to ensuring ongoing education during the pandemic, an experience that will inform continued service delivery, teaching, and learning in Liberia.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/epidemiology , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/prevention & control , Humans , Liberia/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
11.
Front Immunol ; 12: 721328, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1435991

ABSTRACT

The unprecedented 2013-2016 West Africa Ebola outbreak accelerated several medical countermeasures (MCMs) against Ebola virus disease (EVD). Several investigational products (IPs) were used throughout the outbreak but were not conclusive for efficacy results. Only the Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) on ZMapp was promising but inconclusive. More recently, during the second-largest Ebola outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri provinces, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), four IPs, including one small molecule (Remdesivir), two monoclonal antibody (mAb) cocktails (ZMapp and REGN-EB3) and a single mAb (mAb114), were evaluated in an RCT, the Pamoja Tulinde Maisha (PALM) study. Two products (REGN-EB3 and mAb114) demonstrated efficacy as compared to the control arm, ZMapp. There were remarkably few side effects recorded in the trial. The FDA approved both medications in this scientifically sound study, marking a watershed moment in the field of EVD therapy. These products can be produced relatively inexpensively and can be stockpiled. The administration of mAbs in EVD patients appears to be safe and effective, while several critical knowledge gaps remain; the impact of early administration of Ebola-specific mAbs on developing a robust immune response for future Ebola virus exposure is unknown. The viral mutation escape, leading to resistance, presents a potential limitation for single mAb therapy; further improvements need to be explored. Understanding the contribution of Fc-mediated antibody functions such as antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) of those approved mAbs is still critical. The potential merit of combination therapy and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) need to be demonstrated. Furthermore, the PALM trial has accounted for 30% of mortality despite the administration of specific treatments. The putative role of EBOV soluble Glycoprotein (sGP) as a decoy to the immune system, the virus persistence, and relapses might be investigated for treatment failure. The development of pan-filovirus or pan-species mAbs remains essential for protection. The interaction between FDA-approved mAbs and vaccines remains unclear and needs to be investigated. In this review, we summarize the efficacy and safety results of the PALM study and review current research questions for the further development of mAbs in pre-exposure or emergency post-exposure use.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Ebolavirus/drug effects , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/drug therapy , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/virology , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/pharmacology , Antigens, Viral/immunology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Clinical Studies as Topic , Drug Approval , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , Ebola Vaccines , Ebolavirus/immunology , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/mortality , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/prevention & control , Humans , Prognosis , Treatment Failure , Treatment Outcome , United States , United States Food and Drug Administration , Vaccination
12.
BMJ Glob Health ; 6(9)2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1430189

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: COVID-19 vaccines are now being distributed to low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), with global urgency surrounding national vaccination plans. LMICs have significant experience implementing vaccination campaigns to respond to epidemic threats but are often hindered by chronic health system challenges. We sought to identify transferable lessons for COVID-19 vaccination from the rollout of three vaccines that targeted adult groups in Africa and South America: MenAfriVac (meningitis A); 17D (yellow fever) and rVSV-ZEBOV (Ebola virus disease). METHODS: We conducted a rapid literature review and 24 semi-structured interviews with technical experts who had direct implementation experience with the selected vaccines in Africa and South America. We identified barriers, enablers, and key lessons from the literature and from participants' experiences. Interview data were analysed thematically according to seven implementation domains. RESULTS: Participants highlighted multiple components of vaccination campaigns that are instrumental for achieving high coverage. Community engagement is an essential and effective tool, requiring dedicated time, funding and workforce. Involving local health workers is a key enabler, as is collaborating with community leaders to map social groups and tailor vaccination strategies to their needs. Vaccination team recruitment and training strategies need to be enhanced to support vaccination campaigns. Although recognised as challenging, integrating vaccination campaigns with other routine health services can be highly beneficial if well planned and coordinated across health programmes and with communities. CONCLUSION: As supplies of COVID-19 vaccines become available to LMICs, countries need to prepare to efficiently roll out the vaccine, encourage uptake among eligible groups and respond to potential community concerns. Lessons from the implementation of these three vaccines that targeted adults in LMICs can be used to inform best practice for COVID-19 and other epidemic vaccination campaigns.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Ebola Vaccines , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola , Meningitis , Yellow Fever , Adult , COVID-19 Vaccines , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/epidemiology , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/prevention & control , Humans , Immunization Programs , SARS-CoV-2 , Yellow Fever/epidemiology , Yellow Fever/prevention & control
13.
BMJ Glob Health ; 6(9)2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1416662

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The WHO's Research and Development Blueprint priority list designates emerging diseases with the potential to generate public health emergencies for which insufficient preventive solutions exist. The list aims to reduce the time to the availability of resources that can avert public health crises. The current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic illustrates that an effective method of mitigating such crises is the pre-emptive prediction of outbreaks. This scoping review thus aimed to map and identify the evidence available to predict future outbreaks of the Blueprint diseases. METHODS: We conducted a scoping review of PubMed, Embase and Web of Science related to the evidence predicting future outbreaks of Ebola and Marburg virus, Zika virus, Lassa fever, Nipah and Henipaviral disease, Rift Valley fever, Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever, Severe acute respiratory syndrome, Middle East respiratory syndrome and Disease X. Prediction methods, outbreak features predicted and implementation of predictions were evaluated. We conducted a narrative and quantitative evidence synthesis to highlight prediction methods that could be further investigated for the prevention of Blueprint diseases and COVID-19 outbreaks. RESULTS: Out of 3959 articles identified, we included 58 articles based on inclusion criteria. 5 major prediction methods emerged; the most frequent being spatio-temporal risk maps predicting outbreak risk periods and locations through vector and climate data. Stochastic models were predominant. Rift Valley fever was the most predicted disease. Diseases with complex sociocultural factors such as Ebola were often predicted through multifactorial risk-based estimations. 10% of models were implemented by health authorities. No article predicted Disease X outbreaks. CONCLUSIONS: Spatiotemporal models for diseases with strong climatic and vectorial components, as in River Valley fever prediction, may currently best reduce the time to the availability of resources. A wide literature gap exists in the prediction of zoonoses with complex sociocultural and ecological dynamics such as Ebola, COVID-19 and especially Disease X.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola , Zika Virus Infection , Zika Virus , Animals , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/epidemiology , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/prevention & control , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , World Health Organization
14.
J Infect Public Health ; 14(11): 1614-1619, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1401633

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Within a few years, the global community has failed twice in responding to large viral infection outbreaks: the Ebola epidemic in 2014 and the SARS-Cov-2 pandemic in 2020. There is, however, no systematic approach or research available that analyses the repeated failures with regard to an adequate response to an epidemic. METHODS: For a better understanding of failing societal responses, we have analysed the available research literature on societal responses to epidemics and we propose a framework called the 'Epidemic Failure Cycle' (EFC). RESULTS: The EFC consists of four phases: Negligence, Arrogance/Denial, Panic and Analysis/Self-criticism. These phases fit largely with the current World Health Organization pandemic influenza phases: Interpandemic, Alert, Pandemic, Transition. By utilizing the Ebola epidemic and the SARS-Cov-2 pandemic as case studies, we show striking similarities in the response to these outbreaks during both crises. Finally, we suggest three major areas to be of utmost importance for triggering and maintaining the EFC. In terms of ecology, zoonoses, supposed to be the main biological origin for virus epidemics, have been largely neglected by politicians, the media and the scientific community. Socioeconomic and cultural conditions such as harsh living and working conditions as well as conspiracy theories hinder effective preventive and counter measures against epidemics. Lastly, in terms of epistemology, the reliance on knowledge about previous outbreaks has led to slow and inadequate decisions. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that any current society has to be aware of the risks of repeating responses to epidemics that will fail. Being aware of the societal mechanisms that trigger inadequate responses may help to get to more appropriate decisions in the face of an epidemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Epidemics , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola , Disease Outbreaks , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/epidemiology , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/prevention & control , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
16.
BMC Health Serv Res ; 21(1): 831, 2021 Aug 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1362055

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to assess health facilities' readiness to provide safe surgical care during Ebola and COVID-19 era in Uganda and in the Eastern DR Congo. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted in selected national, regional referral and general hospital facilities in Uganda and in the eastern part of DR Congo from 1st August 2020 to 30th October 2020. Data was analysed using Stata version 15. RESULTS: The participation rate was of 37.5 % (72/192) for both countries. None of the hospitals fulfilled the readiness criteria for safe surgical care provision in both countries. The mean bed capacity of participating health facilities (HF) was 184 in Eastern DR Congo and 274 in Uganda with an average surgical ward bed capacity of 22.3 % (41/184) and 20.4 % (56/274) respectively. The mean number of operating rooms was 2 and 3 in Eastern DR Congo and Uganda respectively. Nine hospitals (12.5 %) reported being able to test for Ebola and 25 (34.7 %) being able to test for COVID-19. Postponing of elective surgeries was reported by 10 (13.9) participating hospitals. Only 7 (9.7 %) hospitals reported having a specific operating room for suspect or confirmed cases of Ebola or COVID-19. Appropriate Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) was reported to be available in 60 (83.3 %) hospitals. Most of the staff had appropriate training on donning and doffing of PPE 40 (55.6 %). Specific teams and protocols for safe surgical care provision were reported to be present in 61 (84.7 %) and 56 (77.8 %) respectively in Uganda and Eastern DR Congo participating hospitals. CONCLUSIONS: The lack of readiness to provide safe surgical care during Ebola and COVID-19 era across the participating hospitals in both countries indicate a need for strategies to enhance health facility supplies and readiness for safe surgical provision in resource-limited settings.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola , Cross-Sectional Studies , Democratic Republic of the Congo/epidemiology , Health Facilities , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/epidemiology , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/prevention & control , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Uganda/epidemiology
17.
Global Health ; 17(1): 79, 2021 07 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1301877

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Lagos state is the industrial nerve centre of Nigeria and was the epicentre of the 2014 Ebola outbreak in Nigeria as it is now for the current Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) outbreak. This paper describes how the lessons learned from the Ebola outbreak in 2014 informed the emergency preparedness of the State ahead of the COVID-19 outbreak and guided response. DISCUSSION: Following the Ebola outbreak in 2014, the Lagos State government provided governance by developing a policy on emergency preparedness and biosecurity and provided oversight and coordination of emergency preparedness strategies. Capacities for emergency response were strengthened by training key staff, developing a robust surveillance system, and setting up a Biosafety Level 3 laboratory and biobank. Resource provision, in terms of finances and trained personnel for emergencies was prioritized by the government. With the onset of COVID-19, Lagos state was able to respond promptly to the outbreak using the centralized Incident Command Structure and the key activities of the Emergency Operations Centre. Contributory to effective response were partnerships with the private sectors, community engagement and political commitment. CONCLUSION: Using the lessons learned from the 2014 Ebola outbreak, Lagos State had gradually prepared its healthcare system for a pandemic such as COVID-19. The State needs to continue to expand its preparedness to be more resilient and future proof to respond to disease outbreaks. Looking beyond intra-state gains, lessons and identified best practices from the past and present should be shared with other states and countries.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/prevention & control , COVID-19/epidemiology , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/epidemiology , Humans , Nigeria/epidemiology
18.
BMC Med ; 19(1): 160, 2021 07 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1301851

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: East Africa is home to 170 million people and prone to frequent outbreaks of viral haemorrhagic fevers and various bacterial diseases. A major challenge is that epidemics mostly happen in remote areas, where infrastructure for Biosecurity Level (BSL) 3/4 laboratory capacity is not available. As samples have to be transported from the outbreak area to the National Public Health Laboratories (NPHL) in the capitals or even flown to international reference centres, diagnosis is significantly delayed and epidemics emerge. MAIN TEXT: The East African Community (EAC), an intergovernmental body of Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, and South Sudan, received 10 million € funding from the German Development Bank (KfW) to establish BSL3/4 capacity in the region. Between 2017 and 2020, the EAC in collaboration with the Bernhard-Nocht-Institute for Tropical Medicine (Germany) and the Partner Countries' Ministries of Health and their respective NPHLs, established a regional network of nine mobile BSL3/4 laboratories. These rapidly deployable laboratories allowed the region to reduce sample turn-around-time (from days to an average of 8h) at the centre of the outbreak and rapidly respond to epidemics. In the present article, the approach for implementing such a regional project is outlined and five major aspects (including recommendations) are described: (i) the overall project coordination activities through the EAC Secretariat and the Partner States, (ii) procurement of equipment, (iii) the established laboratory setup and diagnostic panels, (iv) regional training activities and capacity building of various stakeholders and (v) completed and ongoing field missions. The latter includes an EAC/WHO field simulation exercise that was conducted on the border between Tanzania and Kenya in June 2019, the support in molecular diagnosis during the Tanzanian Dengue outbreak in 2019, the participation in the Ugandan National Ebola response activities in Kisoro district along the Uganda/DRC border in Oct/Nov 2019 and the deployments of the laboratories to assist in SARS-CoV-2 diagnostics throughout the region since early 2020. CONCLUSIONS: The established EAC mobile laboratory network allows accurate and timely diagnosis of BSL3/4 pathogens in all East African countries, important for individual patient management and to effectively contain the spread of epidemic-prone diseases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Community Networks , Dengue/epidemiology , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/epidemiology , Laboratories , Mobile Health Units , Burundi/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Dengue/prevention & control , Epidemics , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/prevention & control , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/therapy , Humans , Kenya/epidemiology , Mobile Health Units/economics , Public Health , Rwanda/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , South Sudan/epidemiology , Tanzania/epidemiology , Uganda/epidemiology
19.
Nat Hum Behav ; 5(7): 834-846, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1286458

ABSTRACT

Social and behavioural factors are critical to the emergence, spread and containment of human disease, and are key determinants of the course, duration and outcomes of disease outbreaks. Recent epidemics of Ebola in West Africa and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) globally have reinforced the importance of developing infectious disease models that better integrate social and behavioural dynamics and theories. Meanwhile, the growth in capacity, coordination and prioritization of social science research and of risk communication and community engagement (RCCE) practice within the current pandemic response provides an opportunity for collaboration among epidemiological modellers, social scientists and RCCE practitioners towards a mutually beneficial research and practice agenda. Here, we provide a review of the current modelling methodologies and describe the challenges and opportunities for integrating them with social science research and RCCE practice. Finally, we set out an agenda for advancing transdisciplinary collaboration for integrated disease modelling and for more robust policy and practice for reducing disease transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Health Behavior , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/epidemiology , Primary Prevention/organization & administration , COVID-19/prevention & control , Developing Countries , Health Policy , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/prevention & control , Humans
20.
BMC Infect Dis ; 21(1): 577, 2021 Jun 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1274542

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During outbreaks of emerging and re-emerging infections, the lack of effective drugs and vaccines increases reliance on non-pharmacologic public health interventions and behavior change to limit human-to-human transmission. Interventions that increase the speed with which infected individuals remove themselves from the susceptible population are paramount, particularly isolation and hospitalization. Ebola virus disease (EVD), Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) are zoonotic viruses that have caused significant recent outbreaks with sustained human-to-human transmission. METHODS: This investigation quantified changing mean removal rates (MRR) and days from symptom onset to hospitalization (DSOH) of infected individuals from the population in seven different outbreaks of EVD, SARS, and MERS, to test for statistically significant differences in these metrics between outbreaks. RESULTS: We found that epidemic week and viral serial interval were correlated with the speed with which populations developed and maintained health behaviors in each outbreak. CONCLUSIONS: These findings highlight intrinsic population-level changes in isolation rates in multiple epidemics of three zoonotic infections with established human-to-human transmission and significant morbidity and mortality. These data are particularly useful for disease modelers seeking to forecast the spread of emerging pathogens.


Subject(s)
Communicable Disease Control/methods , Communicable Diseases, Emerging/epidemiology , Communicable Diseases, Emerging/prevention & control , Disease Outbreaks , Health Behavior , Animals , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Epidemics/prevention & control , Forecasting , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/epidemiology , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/prevention & control , Humans , Public Health , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/epidemiology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/prevention & control , Zoonoses/epidemiology , Zoonoses/prevention & control
SELECTION OF CITATIONS
SEARCH DETAIL