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5.
Am J Trop Med Hyg ; 105(6): 1476-1482, 2021 Oct 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1478300

ABSTRACT

Countries across West Africa began reporting COVID-19 cases in February 2020. By March, the pandemic began disrupting activities to control and eliminate neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) as health ministries ramped up COVID-19-related policies and prevention measures. This was followed by interim guidance from the WHO in April 2020 to temporarily pause mass drug administration (MDA) and community-based surveys for NTDs. While the pandemic was quickly evolving worldwide, in most of West Africa, governments and health ministries took quick action to implement mitigation measures to slow the spread. The U.S. Agency for International Development's (USAID) Act to End NTDs | West program (Act | West) began liaising with national NTD programs in April 2020 to pave a path toward the eventual resumption of activities. This process consisted of first collecting and analyzing COVID-19 epidemiological data, policies, and standard operating procedures across the program's 11 countries. The program then developed an NTD activity restart matrix that compiled essential considerations to restart activities. By December 2020, all 11 countries in Act | West safely restarted MDA and certain surveys to monitor NTD prevalence or intervention impact. Preliminary results show satisfactory MDA program coverage, meaning that enough people are taking the medicine to keep countries on track toward achieving their NTD disease control and elimination goals, and community perceptions have remained positive. The purpose of this article is to share the lessons and best practices that have emerged from the adoption of strategies to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus during MDA and other program activities.


Subject(s)
Anti-Infective Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/epidemiology , Mass Drug Administration , National Health Programs/organization & administration , Neglected Diseases/therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Africa, Western , Anti-Infective Agents/administration & dosage , Humans , National Health Programs/standards , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Risk Factors , Time Factors , Tropical Climate , United States , United States Agency for International Development
7.
G Ital Cardiol (Rome) ; 22(8): 610-619, 2021 Aug.
Article in Italian | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1325472

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic represents an unprecedented event that has brought deep changes in hospital facilities with reshaping of the health system organization, revealing inadequacies of current hospital and local health systems. When the COVID-19 emergency will end, further evaluation of the national health system, new organization of acute wards, and a further evolution of the entire health system will be needed to improve care during the chronic phase of disease. Therefore, new standards for healthcare personnel, more efficient organization of hospital facilities for patients with acute illnesses, improvement of technological approaches, and better integration between hospital and territorial services should be pursued. With experience derived from the COVID-19 pandemic, new models, paradigms, interventional approaches, values and priorities should be suggested and implemented.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cardiology/organization & administration , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Cardiovascular Diseases/therapy , Health Personnel/organization & administration , Humans , Italy , National Health Programs/organization & administration
14.
MEDICC Rev ; 23(1): 12-17, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1111039

ABSTRACT

Three fourths of the 175 staff at Cuba's National Medical Genetics Center (CNGM) are women. And women constitute 90% of the research team working on the Center's largest current project-unlocking the biological secrets of COVID-19 in the Cuban population. They are identifying particularly vulnerable groups and geographies, reviewing therapies applied and long-term sequelae of the disease, and contributing to ongoing vaccine research and trials. Their results are critical to determining effective preventive and treatment strategies as the country moves into the next phases of epidemic control. The national study is the first and only one of its kind in Latin America. Then the first COVID-19 cases were diagnosed in Cuba on March 11, 2020, the Center's role in epidemiological surveillance was activated, based on its experience with the Zika threat in 2015. This involved mobilizing the National Genetics Network anchored in primary healthcare facilities, comprised of 452 genetics counselors, nurses and clinical geneticists, supported by technicians, epidemiologists and family doctors. The Network's role would become key to the ensuing research. As the magnitude of the pandemic became clearer, CNGM investigators approached the Ministry of Public Health and government leaders with a broad-ranging proposal to study biological factors that would help explain differences in vulnerability, symptoms, immune response and severity of the disease, as well as its profile in different Cuban subpopulations. After approval, the studies got underway in June, encompassing Cubans who had been infected through June 11, 2020, and were by now convalescing. The nine main research lines were defined, and principal investigators went to work developing the instruments needed and training personnel across the island on their use. While final results are still being analyzed, CNGM Director Dr Beatriz Marcheco and four lead researchers talked with MEDICC Review about the scope of their work and some of the most intriguing preliminary findings.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , Genetics, Medical , National Health Programs/organization & administration , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Cuba/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Organizational Objectives , Pandemics , Population Surveillance
15.
Health Syst Transit ; 22(5): 1-237, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1058867

ABSTRACT

The Belgian health system covers almost the entire population for a large range of services. The main source of financing is social contributions, proportional to income. The provision of care is based on the principles of independent medical practice, free choice of physician and care facility, and predominantly fee-for-service payment. The Belgian population enjoys good health and long life expectancy. This is partly due to the population's good access to many high-quality health services. However, some challenges remain in terms of appropriateness of pharmaceutical care (overuse of antibiotics and psychotropic drugs), reduced accessibility for mental health and dental care due to higher user charges, socioeconomic inequalities in health status and the need for further strengthening of prevention policies. The system must also continue to evolve to cope with an ageing population, an increase of chronic diseases and the development of new technologies. This Belgian HiT profile (2020) presents the evolution of the health system since 2014, including detailed information on new policies. The most important reforms concern the transfer of additional health competences from the Federal State to the Federated entities and the plan to redesign the landscape of hospital care. Policy-makers have also pursued the goals of further improving access to high-quality services, while maintaining the financial sustainability and efficiency of the system, resulting in the implementation of several measures promoting multidisciplinary and integrated care, the concentration of medical expertise, patient care trajectories, patient empowerment, evidence-based medicine, outcome-based care and the so-called one health approach. Cooperation with neighbouring countries on pricing and reimbursement policies to improve access to (very high price) innovative medicines are also underway. Looking ahead, because additional challenges will be highlighted by the COVID-19 crisis, a focus on the resilience of the system is expected.


Subject(s)
Health Care Reform , Health Policy , Health Services/statistics & numerical data , National Health Programs/organization & administration , Quality of Health Care , Belgium/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Services Administration , Health Workforce , Humans , Public Health Practice , SARS-CoV-2
16.
J Laryngol Otol ; 134(8): 670-679, 2020 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1049931

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 has demanded enormous adjustments to National Health Service provisions. Non-urgent out-patient work was initially postponed or performed virtually, but is now being re-established. In ENT surgery, aerosol-generating procedures pose a particular challenge in out-patient settings. OBJECTIVE: A rapid restructuring of ENT out-patient services is required, to safely accommodate aerosol-generating procedures and increase in-person attendances, whilst coronavirus disease 2019 persists. METHODS: Data were collected prospectively over four consecutive cycles. Two surveys were conducted. Results were analysed and disseminated, with recommendations for service restructuring implemented at cycle end-points. RESULTS: Out-patient activity increased four-fold, associated with a significant rise in aerosol-generating procedures during the study period. Mean aerosol-generating procedure duration dropped weekly, implying a learning curve. Service restructuring occurred at cycle end-points. CONCLUSION: Iterative data gathering, results analysis and outcome dissemination enabled a swift, data-driven approach to the restructuring of ENT out-patient services. Patient and staff safety was ensured, whilst out-patient capacity was optimised.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Otolaryngology/standards , Otorhinolaryngologic Surgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Outpatients/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Aerosols , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Body Fluids/virology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Hospital Restructuring/organization & administration , Humans , Incidence , National Health Programs/organization & administration , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Prospective Studies , Quality Improvement , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , United Kingdom/epidemiology
17.
Am J Phys Med Rehabil ; 100(4): 327-330, 2021 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1048465

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT: Since March 2020, when COVID-19 pandemic broke out, the world's healthcare systems' main concern has been fighting the pandemic. However, patients with other diseases, also requiring rehabilitation evaluations and treatments, continued to need care. Our rehabilitation unit managed to maintain contact with patients through alternative communication methods even during the lockdown period and in a situation of staff shortage. If face-to-face evaluations and treatments were necessary, preventive measures were followed to avoid hospital-associated contagion. Rehabilitation beds were cleared to leave them to the acute wards, and consultations for the acute care patients were carried out using personal protective equipment. In the future, the lessons from our experience could contribute toward drawing a plan of measures applicable in similar situations and some of these actions could become part of the rehabilitative practice.


Subject(s)
Health Services Needs and Demand/organization & administration , Organizational Innovation , Referral and Consultation/organization & administration , Rehabilitation Centers/organization & administration , Telemedicine/organization & administration , COVID-19 , Humans , Italy , National Health Programs/organization & administration
18.
Tunis Med ; 98(10): 657-663, 2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1040299

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To compile the lessons learned in the Greater Maghreb, during the first six months of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, in the field of "capacity building" of community resilience. METHODS: An expert consultation was conducted during the first week of May 2020, using the "Delphi" technique. An email was sent requesting the formulation of a lesson, in the form of a "Public Health" good practice recommendation. The final text of the lessons was finalized by the group coordinator and validated by the signatories of the manuscript. RESULTS: A list of five lessons of resilience has been deduced and approved : 1. Elaboration of "white plans" for epidemic management; 2. Training in epidemic management; 3. Uniqueness of the health system command; 4. Mobilization of retirees and volunteers; 5. Revision of the map sanitary. CONCLUSION: Based on the evaluation of the performance of the Maghreb fight against COVID-19, characterized by low resilience, this list of lessons could constitute a roadmap for the reform of Maghreb health systems, towards more performance to manage possible waves of COVID-19 or new emerging diseases with epidemic tendency.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Delivery of Health Care/standards , Health Care Reform , Africa, Northern/epidemiology , Algeria/epidemiology , Attitude of Health Personnel , Civil Defense/methods , Civil Defense/organization & administration , Civil Defense/standards , Community Participation/methods , Conflict of Interest , Delivery of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Delphi Technique , Expert Testimony , Global Health/standards , Health Care Reform/organization & administration , Health Care Reform/standards , Hospital Bed Capacity/standards , Hospital Bed Capacity/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Mauritania/epidemiology , National Health Programs/organization & administration , National Health Programs/standards , Pandemics , Public Health/methods , Public Health/standards , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Tunisia/epidemiology
20.
J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg ; 73(12): 2121-2126, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1023480

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) has caused an unprecedented demand on healthcare resources globally. In the light of the arrival of a novel contagious and life-threatening virus, the NHS has responded by making difficult decisions to maintain care for patients and protect staff. The response has been frequently amended following updates in the UK Government policy as scientific understanding of the virus has improved. Our Plastic Surgery practice has adapted to mitigate risk to patients by reducing face-to-face contact, downgrading emergency procedures and deferring elective surgery where possible. This has inevitably resulted in a backlog in elective surgery and outpatient appointments. An assessment of the long-term health, social and economic impact of NHS wide service reconfiguration upon patient outcomes is yet to be seen. In this paper, we review the demonstrable early effects of service changes upon our unit and compare those to national and internationally published data. We also outline some of the considerations being made as we consider strategies to resume services in the light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Facilities and Services Utilization , National Health Programs/organization & administration , Pandemics , Reconstructive Surgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Elective Surgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Risk Reduction Behavior , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom/epidemiology
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