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1.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(6)2022 03 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1742441

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has triggered the implementation of public health measures globally. The health department of local governments has played a critical role in confronting COVID-19. In Japan, public health centers (PHCs) are focal points for COVID-19 response. Understanding the response to COVID-19 in local areas is critical to ensure adequate preparation for future emergencies. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to clarify how the COVID-19 operations by PHCs in Japan were managed and facilitated at the beginning of the infection spread, and their future challenges. We designed a case study that included two PHCs with a population of approximately 400,000 in Japan. Semi-structured focus group interviews with public health nurses from these two PHCs were conducted in September and October 2020. The data were analyzed using chronological time-series analysis. The switch to crisis response was encouraged by the business continuity plan. Their operations for the prevention of COVID-19 in the community were facilitated by the existing network. Further, strengthening the knowledge and skill regarding infectious disease control and management skills during infectious disease-related health emergencies were recommended. It is important to ensure that the environment facilitates emergency response and that people-and-community-centered health promotion activities are conducted, during an emergency situation, with more innovative action and leadership.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Forecasting , Humans , Japan/epidemiology , Local Government , Public Health
2.
Health Policy ; 126(5): 408-417, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1734409

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 led to significant and dynamic shifts in power relations within and between governments, teaching us how governments make health policies and how health crises affect government. We focus on centralization and decentralization within and between governments: within government, meaning the extent to which the head of government controls policy; and between governments, meaning the extent to which the central government pre-empts or controls local and regional government. Political science literature suggests that shifting patterns of centralization and decentralization can be explained by leading politicians' efforts to gain credit for popular actions and outcomes and deflect blame for unpopular ones. We test this hypothesis in two ways: by coding the Health Systems Response Monitor's data on government responses, and through case studies of the governance of COVID-19 in Austria, Czechia and France. We find that credit and blame do substantially explain the timing and direction of changes in centralization and decentralization. In the first wave, spring 2020, heads of government centralized and raised their profile in order to gain credit for decisive action, but they subsequently tried to decentralize in order to avoid blame for repeated restrictions on life or surges of infection. These findings should shape advice on governance for pandemic response.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Policy , Humans , Local Government , Pandemics , Politics
3.
Glob Public Health ; 17(4): 483-495, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1648697

ABSTRACT

Strong public health governance and leadership driven by scientific evidence, community participation, and attention to social and structural determinants of health are key to effective covid-19 containment. Given the failure of the federal government in Brazil to adopt effective public health measures, state and municipal governments, as well as community activists, have stepped in to fill the void. This essay examines the synergistic role that local governments, public universities, public health institutions and mutual aid initiatives have played in Brazil to advance pandemic control and mitigate the damaging effects of central government policies and neglect. Drawing on literature, media reports, and insights from journalists and activists based in Rio's favelas, we show how grass roots groups take actions that bear complex and vital relationships with local governments, NGOs, universities, and public health institutions. Effective local public health governance goes beyond technical public health responses and involves strategies for countering chronic marginalisation and disempowerment of local communities which open new pathways for creative intermunicipal collaboration, social change, power redistribution. It remains to be seen if actions and emerging networks at the local level can exert pressure on national government while not further exacerbating the polarising politicisation of the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Leadership , Brazil/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Government , Humans , Local Government , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Sci Total Environ ; 815: 152906, 2022 Apr 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1612003

ABSTRACT

Systems for regular, preventive maintenance of infrastructure are needed to ensure safe water access globally. Emerging and growing across rural sub-Saharan Africa, professionalized maintenance arrangements feature legal, regulated service providers who maintain infrastructure in exchange for consumer payment through contracts. However, little is understood about the conditions that enable service providers to retain consumer contracts, an important component of their sustainability that indicates consistent demand and payment. This paper uses fuzzy-set Qualitative Comparative Analysis to identify combinations of operational, natural, physical, political, and social conditions enabling high contract retention across 22 implementation cases in Uganda, uncovering 2 pathways to success. In both pathways, consistent expansion by the service provider normalizes concepts such as tariff payment and local government participation increases trust and accountability between the service provider and consumers. The predominant pathway features one additional condition, coordinated sector aid, ensuring consistent implementation and mitigating harmful dependencies. The alternative pathway relies on large user communities and ease of access to those communities to counteract uncoordinated aid. Thus, operational, social, and political conditions may be sufficient to enable high contract retention irrespective of natural and physical conditions. This paper uncovers the combined efforts required of service providers, service authorities, international donors, and local aid actors to ensure the sustainable maintenance of rural water infrastructure for reliable safe water access.


Subject(s)
Poverty , Water , Humans , Local Government , Uganda , Water Supply
7.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(12): e34286, 2021 12 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1592886

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Technology-based innovations that are created collaboratively by local technology specialists and health experts can optimize the addressing of priority needs for disease prevention and control. An EpiHack is a distinct, collaborative approach to developing solutions that combines the science of epidemiology with the format of a hackathon. Since 2013, a total of 12 EpiHacks have collectively brought together over 500 technology and health professionals from 29 countries. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to define the EpiHack process and summarize the impacts of the technology-based innovations that have been created through this approach. METHODS: The key components and timeline of an EpiHack were described in detail. The focus areas, outputs, and impacts of the twelve EpiHacks that were conducted between 2013 and 2021 were summarized. RESULTS: EpiHack solutions have served to improve surveillance for influenza, dengue, and mass gatherings, as well as laboratory sample tracking and One Health surveillance, in rural and urban communities. Several EpiHack tools were scaled during the COVID-19 pandemic to support local governments in conducting active surveillance. All tools were designed to be open source to allow for easy replication and adaptation by other governments or parties. CONCLUSIONS: EpiHacks provide an efficient, flexible, and replicable new approach to generating relevant and timely innovations that are locally developed and owned, are scalable, and are sustainable.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Local Government , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , User-Centered Design
9.
Front Public Health ; 9: 713879, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1551550

ABSTRACT

Objective: Provide a reference point for the division of labor during the collaboration of multiple departments and the planning for the prevention and control of the Covid-19 epidemic of departments of the Beijing Municipal Government, from the perspective of policy documents. Methods: Policy documents and daily updates on COVID-19 cases published in 2020 are taken from the official website of Beijing Municipal Government and Beijing Municipal Health Commission. The characteristics of the pandemic situation and the content of relevant documents issued by different departments are described in five stages. Results: There were 988 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Beijing in 2020, and policy analysis covered 444 documents (257 policy documents and 187 explanations of policy). A total of 153 policy documents were directly issued by the Beijing Municipal Government and its 45 subordinate commissions and bureaus, while others were policy forwarding from the central government and its relevant departments, county-level governments of Beijing and other organizations. Most cases and documents emerged during the initial stage of the pandemic (Level-I of the Emergency Response, which is the most serious). It was found that as many as 109 documents published by Beijing Municipal Government during the Level I emergency response period were relevant to economic and social development, 83 documents were related to disease control and medical services, and the rest were in close relation to the production and daily life of the people. Overall, major policy measures taken were relevant to 7 fields: finance, transportation, economic activities, employment people's lives, epidemic prevention and control and medical insurance. Policy implementation objectives were centered on promoting epidemic prevention and control and maintaining the stability of social production and residents' life. However, there are different emphases in different stages of the epidemic. Conclusion: Beijing municipality realized an effective mode of collaboration among multiple departments and organizations in the prevention and control of the COVID-19 epidemic, which was an example of the practice of "Health in All Policies."


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Beijing/epidemiology , Humans , Local Government , Pandemics/prevention & control , Policy , SARS-CoV-2
10.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(12): e34286, 2021 12 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1528776

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Technology-based innovations that are created collaboratively by local technology specialists and health experts can optimize the addressing of priority needs for disease prevention and control. An EpiHack is a distinct, collaborative approach to developing solutions that combines the science of epidemiology with the format of a hackathon. Since 2013, a total of 12 EpiHacks have collectively brought together over 500 technology and health professionals from 29 countries. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to define the EpiHack process and summarize the impacts of the technology-based innovations that have been created through this approach. METHODS: The key components and timeline of an EpiHack were described in detail. The focus areas, outputs, and impacts of the twelve EpiHacks that were conducted between 2013 and 2021 were summarized. RESULTS: EpiHack solutions have served to improve surveillance for influenza, dengue, and mass gatherings, as well as laboratory sample tracking and One Health surveillance, in rural and urban communities. Several EpiHack tools were scaled during the COVID-19 pandemic to support local governments in conducting active surveillance. All tools were designed to be open source to allow for easy replication and adaptation by other governments or parties. CONCLUSIONS: EpiHacks provide an efficient, flexible, and replicable new approach to generating relevant and timely innovations that are locally developed and owned, are scalable, and are sustainable.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Local Government , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , User-Centered Design
11.
J Public Health Manag Pract ; 28(Suppl 1): S54-S57, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526223

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically impacted life across the world and amplified inequities experienced by communities of color within the United States. Washington County was the first jurisdiction in the state of Oregon to have a confirmed COVID-19 case. To center equity within the County Emergency Operations Center (EOC), new positions were created within the EOC including an Equity Officer and an Equity Technical Advisor position, an Equity Team, and a Language Access Coordinator. This team engaged stakeholders and community partners in addition to developing an equity framework to guide decision making within the EOC. Implementation of the framework resulted in better identification of urgent community needs, especially for groups most impacted by inequities. This integration also supports government leaders and communities in creating programs, policies, and procedures to equitably address community needs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Equity , Humans , Local Government , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
12.
J Infect Chemother ; 28(2): 242-247, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1510010

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) conducted an external quality assessment (EQA) survey of pathogen nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) as a TMG EQA program for SARS-CoV-2 for clinical laboratories in Tokyo. METHODS: We diluted and prepared a standard product manufactured by Company A to about 2,500 copies/mL to make a positive control and distribute it with a negative control. The participants reported the use of the NAATs methods for SARS-CoV-2, the name of the real-time RT-PCR kit, the name of the detection device, the target gene(s), nucleic acid extraction kit, Threshold Cycle value in the case of RT-PCR and the Threshold time value and Differential calculation value in the case of Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP) method. RESULTS: As a result, 17 laboratories using fully automated equipment and 34 laboratories using the RT-PCR method reported generally appropriate results in this EQA survey. On the other hand, among the laboratories that adopted the LAMP method, there were a plurality of laboratories that judged positive samples to be negative. CONCLUSION: The false negative result is considered to be due to the fact that the amount of virus genome contained in the quality control reagent used this time was below the detection limit of the LAMP method combined with the rapid extraction reagent for influenza virus. On the other hand, false positive results are considered to be due to the non-specific reaction of the NAATs. The EQA program must be continued for the proper implementation of the pathogen NAATs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Local Government , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques , RNA, Viral , Sensitivity and Specificity , Tokyo
13.
BMC Public Health ; 21(1): 2001, 2021 11 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1504352

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: As COVID-19 continues to spread globally, traditional emergency management measures are facing many practical limitations. The application of big data analysis technology provides an opportunity for local governments to conduct the COVID-19 epidemic emergency management more scientifically. The present study, based on emergency management lifecycle theory, includes a comprehensive analysis of the application framework of China's SARS epidemic emergency management lacked the support of big data technology in 2003. In contrast, this study first proposes a more agile and efficient application framework, supported by big data technology, for the COVID-19 epidemic emergency management and then analyses the differences between the two frameworks. METHODS: This study takes Hainan Province, China as its case study by using a file content analysis and semistructured interviews to systematically comprehend the strategy and mechanism of Hainan's application of big data technology in its COVID-19 epidemic emergency management. RESULTS: Hainan Province adopted big data technology during the four stages, i.e., migration, preparedness, response, and recovery, of its COVID-19 epidemic emergency management. Hainan Province developed advanced big data management mechanisms and technologies for practical epidemic emergency management, thereby verifying the feasibility and value of the big data technology application framework we propose. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides empirical evidence for certain aspects of the theory, mechanism, and technology for local governments in different countries and regions to apply, in a precise, agile, and evidence-based manner, big data technology in their formulations of comprehensive COVID-19 epidemic emergency management strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Epidemics , Big Data , China/epidemiology , Humans , Local Government , SARS-CoV-2 , Technology
14.
J Public Health Manag Pract ; 27(5): 492-500, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1501235

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To examine levels of expenditure and needed investment in public health at the local level in the state of Ohio pre-COVID-19. DESIGN: Using detailed financial reporting from fiscal year (FY) 2018 from Ohio's local health departments (LHDs), we characterize spending by Foundational Public Health Services (FPHS). We also constructed estimates of the gap in public health spending in the state using self-reported gaps in service provision and a microsimulation approach. Data were collected between January and June 2019 and analyzed between June and September 2019. PARTICIPANTS: Eighty-four of the 113 LHDs in the state of Ohio covering a population of almost 9 million Ohioans. RESULTS: In FY2018, Ohio LHDs spent an average of $37 per capita on protecting and promoting the public's health. Approximately one-third of this investment supported the Foundational Areas (communicable disease control; chronic disease and injury prevention; environmental public health; maternal, child, and family health; and access to and linkages with health care). Another third supported the Foundational Capabilities, that is, the crosscutting skills and capacities needed to support all LHD activities. The remaining third supported programs and activities that are responsive to local needs and vary from community to community. To fully meet identified LHD needs in the state pre-COVID-19, Ohio would require an additional annual investment of $20 per capita on top of the current $37 spent per capita, or approximately $240 million for the state. CONCLUSIONS: A better understanding of the cost and value of public health services can educate policy makers so that they can make informed trade-offs when balancing health care, public health, and social services investments. The current environment of COVID-19 may dramatically increase need, making understanding and growing public health investment critical.


Subject(s)
Health Care Costs/statistics & numerical data , Health Services Needs and Demand/economics , Public Health Practice/economics , Public Health/economics , COVID-19/economics , Financing, Government/economics , Humans , Local Government , Ohio
15.
South Med J ; 114(9): 597-602, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1478683

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) threatens vulnerable patient populations, resulting in immense pressures at the local, regional, national, and international levels to contain the virus. Laboratory-based studies demonstrate that masks may offer benefit in reducing the spread of droplet-based illnesses, but few data are available to assess mask effects via executive order on a population basis. We assess the effects of a county-wide mask order on per-population mortality, intensive care unit (ICU) utilization, and ventilator utilization in Bexar County, Texas. METHODS: We used publicly reported county-level data to perform a mixed-methods before-and-after analysis along with other sources of public data for analyses of covariance. We used a least-squares regression analysis to adjust for confounders. A Texas state-level mask order was issued on July 3, 2020, followed by a Bexar County-level order on July 15, 2020. We defined the control period as June 2 to July 2 and the postmask order period as July 8, 2020-August 12, 2020, with a 5-day gap to account for the median incubation period for cases; longer periods of 7 and 10 days were used for hospitalization and ICU admission/death, respectively. Data are reported on a per-100,000 population basis using respective US Census Bureau-reported populations. RESULTS: From June 2, 2020 through August 12, 2020, there were 40,771 reported cases of COVID-19 within Bexar County, with 470 total deaths. The average number of new cases per day within the county was 565.4 (95% confidence interval [CI] 394.6-736.2). The average number of positive hospitalized patients was 754.1 (95% CI 657.2-851.0), in the ICU was 273.1 (95% CI 238.2-308.0), and on a ventilator was 170.5 (95% CI 146.4-194.6). The average deaths per day was 6.5 (95% CI 4.4-8.6). All of the measured outcomes were higher on average in the postmask period as were covariables included in the adjusted model. When adjusting for traffic activity, total statewide caseload, public health complaints, and mean temperature, the daily caseload, hospital bed occupancy, ICU bed occupancy, ventilator occupancy, and daily mortality remained higher in the postmask period. CONCLUSIONS: There was no reduction in per-population daily mortality, hospital bed, ICU bed, or ventilator occupancy of COVID-19-positive patients attributable to the implementation of a mask-wearing mandate.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/legislation & jurisprudence , Health Resources/statistics & numerical data , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Health Plan Implementation , Health Policy , Humans , Local Government , Masks , SARS-CoV-2 , Texas/epidemiology
16.
Lancet ; 398(10317): 2193-2206, 2021 12 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1475153

ABSTRACT

40 years ago, Italy saw the birth of a national, universal health-care system (Servizio Sanitario Nazionale [SSN]), which provides a full range of health-care services with a free choice of providers. The SSN is consistently rated within the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development among the highest countries for life expectancy and among the lowest in health-care spending as a proportion of gross domestic product. Italy appears to be in an envious position. However, a rapidly ageing population, increasing prevalence of chronic diseases, rising demand, and the COVID-19 pandemic have exposed weaknesses in the system. These weaknesses are linked to the often tumultuous history of the nation and the health-care system, in which innovation and initiative often lead to spiralling costs and difficulties, followed by austere cost-containment measures. We describe how the tenuous balance of centralised versus regional control has shifted over time to create not one, but 20 different health systems, exacerbating differences in access to care across regions. We explore how Italy can rise to the challenges ahead, providing recommendations for systemic change, with emphasis on data-driven planning, prevention, and research; integrated care and technology; and investments in personnel. The evolution of the SSN is characterised by an ongoing struggle to balance centralisation and decentralisation in a health-care system, a dilemma faced by many nations. If in times of emergency, planning, coordination, and control by the central government can guarantee uniformity of provider behaviour and access to care, during non-emergency times, we believe that a balance can be found provided that autonomy is paired with accountability in achieving certain objectives, and that the central government develops the skills and, therefore, the legitimacy, to formulate health policies of a national nature. These processes would provide local governments with the strategic means to develop local plans and programmes, and the knowledge and tools to coordinate local initiatives for eventual transfer to the larger system.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/economics , Federal Government/history , Local Government , Social Responsibility , State Medicine/history , Universal Health Care , Cost Control/economics , Health Policy , History, 20th Century , History, 21st Century , Humans , Italy
17.
PLoS Comput Biol ; 17(10): e1009363, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1468148

ABSTRACT

The spread of a communicable disease is a complex spatio-temporal process shaped by the specific transmission mechanism, and diverse factors including the behavior, socio-economic and demographic properties of the host population. While the key factors shaping transmission of influenza and COVID-19 are beginning to be broadly understood, making precise forecasts on case count and mortality is still difficult. In this study we introduce the concept of a universal geospatial risk phenotype of individual US counties facilitating flu-like transmission mechanisms. We call this the Universal Influenza-like Transmission (UnIT) score, which is computed as an information-theoretic divergence of the local incidence time series from an high-risk process of epidemic initiation, inferred from almost a decade of flu season incidence data gleaned from the diagnostic history of nearly a third of the US population. Despite being computed from the past seasonal flu incidence records, the UnIT score emerges as the dominant factor explaining incidence trends for the COVID-19 pandemic over putative demographic and socio-economic factors. The predictive ability of the UnIT score is further demonstrated via county-specific weekly case count forecasts which consistently outperform the state of the art models throughout the time-line of the COVID-19 pandemic. This study demonstrates that knowledge of past epidemics may be used to chart the course of future ones, if transmission mechanisms are broadly similar, despite distinct disease processes and causative pathogens.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Forecasting , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology , Geographic Information Systems , Humans , Incidence , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Local Government , Models, Biological , Respiratory Tract Infections/transmission , United States/epidemiology
19.
Health Promot Pract ; 22(6): 750-757, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1443760

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic tested the capacity of local health systems to understand and respond to changing conditions. Although data on new cases of COVID-19 were widely shared in communities, there was less information on the multisector response activities and factors associated with implementation. To address this gap, this empirical case study examined (a) the pattern of implementation of COVID-19 response activities and (b) the factors and critical events associated with both the pattern of new cases and the implementation of the local COVID-19 response. We used a participatory monitoring and evaluation system to capture, code, characterize, and communicate 580 COVID-19 response activities implemented in the city of Lawrence and Douglas County, Kansas. Collaboration across sectors including public health, medical services, city/county government, businesses, social services, public schools, and universities enabled the local public health system's response effort. Documentation results showed the varying pattern of new COVID-19 cases and response activities over time and the factors identified as enabling or impeding the response and related new cases. Similar participatory monitoring and evaluation methods can be used by local health systems to help understand and respond to the changing conditions of COVID-19 response and recovery.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Public Health , Humans , Local Government , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
20.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(19)2021 09 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1438605

ABSTRACT

Widespread misinformation about COVID-19 poses a significant threat to citizens long-term health and the combating of the disease. To fight the spread of misinformation, Chinese governments have used official social media accounts to participate in fact-checking activities. This study aims to investigate why citizens share fact-checks about COVID-19 and how to promote this activity. Based on the elaboration likelihood model, we explore the effects of peripheral cues (social media capital, social media strategy, media richness, and source credibility) and central cues (content theme and content importance) on the number of shares of fact-checks posted by official Chinese Government social media accounts. In total, 820 COVID-19 fact-checks from 413 Chinese Government Sina Weibo accounts were obtained and evaluated. Results show that both peripheral and central cues play important roles in the sharing of fact-checks. For peripheral cues, social media capital and media richness significantly promote the number of shares. Compared with the push strategy, both the pull strategy and networking strategy facilitate greater fact-check sharing. Fact-checks posted by Central Government social media accounts receive more shares than local government accounts. For central cues, content importance positively predicts the number of shares. In comparison to fact-checks about the latest COVID-19 news, government actions received fewer shares, while social conditions received more shares.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Social Media , China , Communication , Humans , Likelihood Functions , Local Government , SARS-CoV-2
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