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1.
Risk Anal ; 42(1): 105-125, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1961876

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has become a public health crisis in the Philippines and the attention of national and local health authorities is focused on managing the fluctuating COVID-19 cases. This study presents a method that integrates risk management tools into health care decision-making processes to enhance the understanding and utilization of risk-based thinking in public health decision making. The risk assessment consists of the identification of the key risk factors of the COVID-19 contagion via bow-tie diagrams. Second, the safety controls for each risk factor relevant to the Davao City context are taken into account and are identified as barriers in the bow-tie. After which, the prioritization of the identified COVID-19 risks, as well as the effectiveness of the proposed interventions, is performed using the analytic hierarchy process. Consequently, the dynamics of COVID-19 management initiatives were explored using these priorities and a system of ordinary differential equations. Our results show that reducing the number of COVID-19 fatalities should be the top priority of the health authorities. In turn, we predict that the COVID-19 contagion can be controlled and eliminated in Davao city in three-month time after prioritizing the fatalities. In order to reduce the COVID-19 fatalities, health authorities should ensure an adequate number of COVID-ready ICU facilities. The general public, on the other hand, should follow medical and science-based advice and suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients should strictly follow isolation protocols. Overall, an informed decision-making is necessary to avoid the unwanted consequences of an uncontrolled contagion.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Risk Assessment/methods , SARS-CoV-2 , Urban Population , Humans , Philippines/epidemiology
2.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(14)2022 Jul 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1938822

ABSTRACT

Over 60 countries have integrated wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) in their COVID-19 surveillance programs, focusing on wastewater treatment plants (WWTP). In this paper, we piloted the assessment of SARS-CoV-2 WBE as a complementary public health surveillance method in susceptible communities in a highly urbanized city without WWTP in the Philippines by exploring the extraction and detection methods, evaluating the contribution of physico-chemical-anthropogenic factors, and attempting whole-genome sequencing (WGS). Weekly wastewater samples were collected from sewer pipes or creeks in six communities with moderate-to-high risk of COVID-19 transmission, as categorized by the City Government of Davao from November to December 2020. Physico-chemical properties of the wastewater and anthropogenic conditions of the sites were noted. Samples were concentrated using a PEG-NaCl precipitation method and analyzed by RT-PCR to detect the SARS-CoV-2 N, RdRP, and E genes. A subset of nine samples were subjected to WGS using the Minion sequencing platform. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected in twenty-two samples (91.7%) regardless of the presence of new cases. Cycle threshold values correlated with RNA concentration and attack rate. The lack of a sewershed map in the sampled areas highlights the need to integrate this in the WBE planning. A combined analysis of wastewater physico-chemical parameters such as flow rate, surface water temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, and total dissolved solids provided insights on the ideal sampling location, time, and method for WBE, and their impact on RNA recovery. The contribution of fecal matter in the wastewater may also be assessed through the coliform count and in the context of anthropogenic conditions in the area. Finally, our attempt on WGS detected single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in wastewater which included clinically reported and newly identified mutations in the Philippines. This exploratory report provides a contextualized framework for applying WBE surveillance in low-sanitation areas.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Philippines/epidemiology , Pilot Projects , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Waste Water , Wastewater-Based Epidemiological Monitoring
3.
J Prev Med Public Health ; 55(3): 310-311, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1934317
4.
Mar Pollut Bull ; 181: 113920, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1926765

ABSTRACT

This empirical study examines the factors enhancing environmental governance for marine plastic litter abatement in Manila, the Philippines. We use a combined covariance-based hybrid structural equation modeling (SEM) and DPSIR framework, with data collected via an online survey from 456 barangays in Manila, the Philippines. The survey was processed and analyzed using a combined model, validated through interviews and focused group discussions. With Higher-Order Model good internal consistency (0.917) and achieved measures of CFI (0.992), RMSEA (0.036), and SRMR (0.019), the findings revealed that environmental governance (COVID-19 waste), community participation, socio-economic factors, and solution measures have positively affected marine plastic litter (MPL) abatement. Notwithstanding, environmental governance (SWM policies and guidelines) has a negative impact on MPL abatement. There is, however, no link between waste infrastructure and MPL abatement. The findings provide significant perspectives in Manila to enhance environmental governance for MPL abatement. This paper presents policy-actions implications drawn from DPSIR-SEM.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Plastics , Conservation of Natural Resources , Environmental Monitoring , Environmental Policy , Humans , Latent Class Analysis , Philippines , Waste Products/analysis
5.
Inquiry ; 59: 469580221107051, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1916711

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 pandemic affected the mental health of the global population. Among the most vulnerable are the healthcare workers (HCWs) who got infected but returned to the frontline after recovery. Currently, there is a dearth of information and understanding on the psychological status and actual lived experience of the recovered HCWs in the Philippines. The present study investigated the psychological status and experiences of 93 COVID-19-recovered HCWs from a tertiary hospital in the Philippines using a mixed-method approach, particularly the explanatory-sequential design. Participants completed the Impact of Event Scale-Revised, and the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale-21 in the quantitative phase. Selected participants took part in focus group discussions in the qualitative phase. Integrated results showed that our participants experienced significant COVID-19-related distress (mean IES-R score = 25.5; partial impact), anxiety (mean subscale score = 7.4; mild), and depression (mean subscale score = 8.1; mild). Certain sociodemographic and professional characteristics and the length of quarantine days appear to affect the psychometric scores. The quantitative results are supported by the participant's description of recovery experiences as living in uncertainty, distress, fatigue, dissociation, and valuation of life. In summary, adequate psychological support and intervention program should be prioritized and provided by hospital management for recovered HCWs to prevent the development of more serious mental health concerns that may significantly affect their tasks in caring for patients and in-hospital management.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Depression/psychology , Health Personnel/psychology , Humans , Pandemics , Philippines , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , Tertiary Care Centers
6.
PLoS One ; 17(6): e0270555, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1910687

ABSTRACT

Throughout 2020, national and subnational governments worldwide implemented nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to contain the spread of COVID-19. These included community quarantines, also known as lockdowns, of varying length, scope, and stringency that restricted mobility. To assess the effect of community quarantines on urban mobility in the Philippines, we analyze a new source of data: cellphone-based origin-destination flows made available by a major telecommunication company. First, we demonstrate that mobility dropped to 26% of the pre-lockdown level in the first month of lockdown and recovered and stabilized at 70% in August and September of 2020. Then we quantify the heterogeneous effects of lockdowns by city's employment composition. A city with 10 percentage points more employment share in work-from-home friendly sectors is found to have experienced an additional 2.8% decrease in mobility under the most stringent lockdown policy. Similarly, an increase of 10 percentage points in employment share in large and medium-sized firms was associated with a1.9% decrease in mobility on top of the benchmark reduction. We compare our findings with cross-country evidence on lockdowns and mobility, discuss the economic implications for containment policies in the Philippines, and suggest additional research that can be based on this novel dataset.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Philippines/epidemiology , Policy , Quarantine
7.
PLoS One ; 17(5): e0267555, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1910603

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 pandemic declared by the WHO has affected many countries rendering everyday lives halted. In the Philippines, the lockdown quarantine protocols have shifted the traditional college classes to online. The abrupt transition to online classes may bring psychological effects to college students due to continuous isolation and lack of interaction with fellow students and teachers. Our study aims to assess Filipino college students' mental health status and to estimate the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, the shift to online learning, and social media use on mental health. In addition, facilitators or stressors that modified the mental health status of the college students during the COVID-19 pandemic, quarantine, and subsequent shift to online learning will be investigated. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: Mixed-method study design will be used, which will involve: (1) an online survey to 2,100 college students across the Philippines; and (2) randomly selected 20-40 key informant interviews (KIIs). Online self-administered questionnaire (SAQ) including Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale (DASS-21) and Brief-COPE will be used. Moreover, socio-demographic factors, social media usage, shift to online learning factors, family history of mental health and COVID-19, and other factors that could affect mental health will also be included in the SAQ. KIIs will explore factors affecting the student's mental health, behaviors, coping mechanism, current stressors, and other emotional reactions to these stressors. Associations between mental health outcomes and possible risk factors will be estimated using generalized linear models, while a thematic approach will be made for the findings from the KIIs. Results of the study will then be triangulated and summarized. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Our study has been approved by the University of the Philippines Manila Research Ethics Board (UPMREB 2021-099-01). The results will be actively disseminated through conference presentations, peer-reviewed journals, social media, print and broadcast media, and various stakeholder activities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Education, Distance , Social Media , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Mental Health , Pandemics , Philippines/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Students/psychology
8.
J Ment Health ; 31(4): 568-575, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1908520

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Public interest in mental health in the Philippines can change after the Mental Health (MH) act approval and during the COVID-19 pandemic. To determine these changes, online searches in Google can be analyzed as an alternative measure. AIMS: To determine the trends of public interest in mental health before and after the MH act approval and during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHOD: Aggregated search volumes for mental health using the keyword, "Mental Health (Topic)" were gathered from Google Trends. Search volume indices (SVIs), and related queries were analyzed. SVIs from the different periods were compared using means, t test, ANOVA, and ARIMA. RESULTS: Public interest in mental health increased after the MH Act approval and during the COVID-19 pandemic. The top and rising related queries revolved around mental health definitions, translations, factors, services, policy, adverse mental state, and its context during the pandemic. CONCLUSIONS: These increased public interests may stem from aspirations for mental health after legislation and higher mental health needs during the pandemic. Related queries may indicate that the public may be using online information to search for mental health services and concepts. Thus, there is a need to improve reliable and trustworthy online mental health information and services.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Humans , Philippines , SARS-CoV-2 , Search Engine
9.
Child Abuse Negl ; 131: 105770, 2022 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1906882

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Sex-cybercrimes against children in the Philippines rose by over 400 % during the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic exponentially increasing challenges for carers of children, law enforcers, and prosecutors. OBJECTIVE: Burnout, primary, and secondary traumatic stress are some of the potential mental health risks for child protection carers. How longevity of career is sustained, is unknown. PARTICIPANTS AND SETTING: This idiographic study explored both positive and negative interpretations of frontline workers in the Philippines exposed to sex-cybercrimes against children. METHODS: The protocols of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis guided data collection through semi-structured interviews, transcription, and analysis. RESULTS: One superordinate theme: Irreconcilable destruction of innocence, mercy and justice, and the passionate self; highlights the integral struggle that emerged from these participants' roles in child protection. Their faith philosophy of compassion and forgiveness contrasted with the unfathomable corruption and exploitation they witnessed, and their role in removing child victims from perpetrator family members to serve justice. These internal conflicts necessitated a critical need to self-care against psychological vulnerability. Longevity of career emerged from a co-existence of traumatic distress and psychological growth allowing them to redefine their faith and confront the unfathomable with hope, self-valuing, and purpose. CONCLUSIONS: Justice and mercy were juxtaposed integral conflicts threatening the psychological wellbeing of these participants. Ineffective organisational support aggravated their traumatic distress as did the lethargy with which world governments' engage in effective controls against online crimes of child sexual exploitation which has meteorically risen as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic.


Subject(s)
Burnout, Professional , COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Family , Humans , Pandemics , Philippines
11.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(11)2022 05 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1892874

ABSTRACT

Mental health problems have emerged as one of the biggest problems in the world and one of the countries that has been seen to be highly impacted is the Philippines. Despite the increasing number of mentally ill Filipinos, it is one of the most neglected problems in the country. The purpose of this study was to determine the factors affecting the perceived usability of mobile mental health applications. A total of 251 respondents voluntarily participated in the online survey we conducted. A structural equation modeling and artificial neural network hybrid was applied to determine the perceived usability (PRU) such as the social influence (SI), service awareness (SA), technology self-efficacy (SE), perceived usefulness (PU), perceived ease of use (PEOU), convenience (CO), voluntariness (VO), user resistance (UR), intention to use (IU), and actual use (AU). Results indicate that VO had the highest score of importance, followed by CO, PEOU, SA, SE, SI, IU, PU, and ASU. Having the mobile application available and accessible made the users perceive it as highly beneficial and advantageous. This would lead to the continuous usage and patronage of the application. This result highlights the insignificance of UR. This study was the first study that considered the evaluation of mobile mental health applications. This study can be beneficial to people who have mental health disorders and symptoms, even to health government agencies. Finally, the results of this study could be applied and extended among other health-related mobile applications worldwide.


Subject(s)
Mobile Applications , Humans , Latent Class Analysis , Mental Health , Neural Networks, Computer , Philippines
13.
PLoS One ; 17(6): e0268023, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1883705

ABSTRACT

Understanding the underlying and unpredictable dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic is important. We supplemented the findings of Jones and Strigul (2020) and described the chaotic behavior of COVID-19 using state space plots which depicted the changes in asymptotic behavior and trajectory brought about by the increase or decrease in the number of cases which resulted from the easing or tightening of restrictions and other non-pharmaceutical interventions instituted by governments as represented by the country's stringency index (SI). We used COVID-19 country-wide case count data and analyzed it using convergent cross-mapping (CCM) and found that the SI influence on COVID-19 case counts is high in almost all the countries considered. When we utilized finer granular geographical data ('barangay' or village level COVID-19 case counts in the Philippines), the effects of SI were reduced as the population density increased. The authors believe that the knowledge of the chaotic behavior of COVID-19 and the effects of population density as applied to finer granular geographical data has the potential to generate more accurate COVID-19 non-linear prediction models. This could be used at the local government level to guide strategic and highly targeted COVID-19 policies which are favorable to public health systems but with limited impact to the economy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Government , Humans , Pandemics , Philippines , Population Density
15.
J Infect Dev Ctries ; 16(5): 787-794, 2022 05 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1879511

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The World Health Organization has categorized coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) into mild, moderate, severe, and critical illness severities to guide clinical decision-making. This study aimed to describe the clinical characteristics, complications, and outcomes of COVID-19 patients by illness severity, at a tertiary healthcare center in Cebu City, Philippines. METHODOLOGY: This was a retrospective, observational cohort study that examined clinical information of patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection admitted between March and September 2020. RESULTS: Data from 901 admitted patients were analyzed, with 185 (20.5%) classified as mild, 429 (47.6%) as moderate, 223 (24.7%) as severe, and 64 (7.1%) as critical. The frequency of male gender, advancing age, co-morbidities (hypertension and diabetes mellitus), inflammatory marker elevation (LDH, CRP, Ferritin, Procalcitonin), and elevated mean white blood cell counts with relative neutrophilia and lymphopenia increased with COVID severity. Severe and critical cases of COVID presented with more diffuse lung involvement in chest radiographs and abnormal electrocardiographic patterns such as ischemic changes, PVCs, PACs, and sinus tachycardia. The most common complications on admission were ARDS (10.9%), AKI (10.1%), shock (6.6%), and cardiac arrest (6.3%). Mortality rates were highest in critical cases (82.8%). Severe and critical COVID-19 cases were predominant on final disposition, rising to 62.5% of the study population from 32.1% on admission. CONCLUSIONS: This study highlights key differences in clinical characteristics, complications, and outcomes between illness severities. Risk prediction models are needed for disease progression and poor outcomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Animals , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cebus , Cohort Studies , Humans , Male , Philippines/epidemiology , Tertiary Care Centers
18.
J Glob Health ; 12: 05015, 2022 May 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1863241

ABSTRACT

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted populations globally, and knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAPs) surrounding the virus have necessarily evolved. This study was conducted in partnership with International Care Ministries (ICM), a Philippine-based non-governmental organization that runs the "Transform" poverty alleviation program. The main objective of this study was to describe the changes in COVID-19 KAPs among households experiencing extreme poverty in the Philippines over an 8-month period. Methods: A KAP questionnaire was integrated into the household survey collected as part of ICM's regular monitoring and evaluation of "Transform". Data collection for the first survey was conducted between February 20 and March 13, 2020, and the second survey was conducted between November 12 and December 12, 2020. Frequencies and proportions were calculated to describe the respondents' responses and the Kruskal-Wallis test was used to assess if there were significant differences in KAP identification between the two time points. Results: We observed a distinct increase across all KAP domains. Over 90% of study participants were able to correctly identify COVID-19 transmission modes and preventive measures, and an even higher percentage reported adopting these measures. However, the intention to seek care from public hospitals for COVID-19 symptoms dropped from 43.6% to 28.4%, while reports of self-treatment using stored medicines or antibiotics increased. Trust in community members and local health authorities was correlated with higher knowledge and practice scores. Conclusions: Our study results reflect the extraordinary speed of information dissemination and behaviour change globally over the course of the pandemic, but they also highlight the changes in KAP that show the additional challenges faced by populations experiencing poverty in the Philippines. Prioritization of reducing inequities in the implementation and adoption of the evolving public health measures will be integral as the pandemic continues.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Philippines/epidemiology , Poverty , Surveys and Questionnaires
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