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3.
Bull World Health Organ ; 100(2): 127-134, 2022 Feb 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1760158

ABSTRACT

Objective: To describe the implementation, use and cost of a phone-based tuberculosis case finding and case management intervention during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in two regions in the Philippines. Methods: We implemented this phone-based intervention to maintain tuberculosis treatment support, active case finding and contact investigation efforts in 42 facilities, starting in June 2020. We established a dedicated mobile phone number for each centre and promoted the intervention on different media platforms. We recruited and trained staff members and provided them with tools for screening and patient follow-up. We collected data on tuberculosis screening, diagnosis and treatment initiation for this intervention and three comparator interventions over the same period. We collected data on number and type of calls placed and received. We estimated the additional cost of this intervention compared to the standard of care. Findings: From October 2020 to September 2021, 14 tuberculosis contact centres, for which complete data were available, identified 43.5% (827/1901) of patients with bacteriologically confirmed tuberculosis enrolled in treatment among all comparator interventions. These centres managed 6187 calls over the same period. The additional cost of implementing and running the centre for 12 months was 398 United States dollars per facility. Conclusion: The tuberculosis contact centre is a low-technology telehealth intervention which contributed to overall treatment initiation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additional work should assess the extent to which the contact centre identifies tuberculosis patients previously missed by the health system, regardless of the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Tuberculosis , Humans , Pandemics , Philippines/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Tuberculosis/diagnosis , Tuberculosis/drug therapy , Tuberculosis/epidemiology
4.
BMC Public Health ; 22(1): 366, 2022 02 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1706885

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The Philippines, which has the fastest rising HIV epidemic globally, has limited options for HIV testing and its uptake remains low among cisgender men who have sex with men (cis-MSM) and transgender women (TGW), especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic. As HIV self-testing (HIVST) and technology-based approaches could synergize to expand uptake of HIV testing, we aimed to evaluate the outcomes of a community-led online-based HIVST demonstration and to explore factors associated with HIVST-related behaviours and outcomes. METHODS: We did a secondary data analysis among cis-MSM and TGW who participated in the HIVST demonstration, who were recruited online and tested out-of-facility, in Western Visayas, Philippines, from March to November 2020. We reviewed data on demographics, sexuality-, and context-related variables. Using multivariable logistic regression, we tested for associations between the aforementioned covariates and two primary outcomes, opting for directly-assisted HIVST (DAH) and willingness to secondarily distribute kits. RESULTS: HIVST kits were distributed to 647 individuals (590 cis-MSM, 57 TGW), 54.6% were first-time testers, 10.4% opted DAH, and 46.1% were willing to distribute to peers. Reporting rate was high (99.3%) with 7.6% reactivity rate. While linkage to prevention (100%) and care (85.7%) were high, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) (0.3%) and antiretroviral therapy (ART) (51.0%) initiation were limited. There were no reports of adverse events. Those who were employed, had recent anal intercourse, opted for DAH, not willing to secondarily distribute, and accessed HIVST during minimal to no quarantine restriction had significantly higher reactivity rates. Likelihood of opting for DAH was higher among those who had three or more partners in the past year (aOR = 2.01 [CI = 1.01-4.35]) and those who accessed during maximal quarantine restrictions (aOR = 4.25 [CI = 2.46-7.43]). Odds of willingness to share were higher among those in urban areas (aOR = 1.64 [CI = 1.15-2.36]) but lower among first-time testers (aOR = 0.45 [CI = 0.32-0.62]). CONCLUSIONS: HIVST could effectively reach hard-to-reach populations. While there was demand in accessing online-based unassisted approaches, DAH should still be offered. Uptake of PrEP and same-day ART should be upscaled by decentralizing these services to community-based organizations. Differentiated service delivery is key to respond to preferences and values of key populations amid the dynamic geographical and sociocultural contexts they are in.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Sexual and Gender Minorities , Transgender Persons , Female , HIV Infections/diagnosis , HIV Infections/epidemiology , HIV Infections/prevention & control , HIV Testing , Homosexuality, Male , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Philippines/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Self-Testing
6.
Western Pac Surveill Response J ; 12(4): 1-11, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1631338

ABSTRACT

Objective: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), primarily targets the respiratory system. This study describes the characteristics associated with mortality among patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 at a single hospital in Baguio City, Philippines. Methods: We reviewed medical records (including history, laboratory results and treatment regimen) of 280 confirmed COVID-19 patients admitted to a single hospital during March-October 2020. Clinical characteristics and outcomes (frequency and type of complication, recovery rate and mortality) were evaluated. Multiple logistic regression was used to analyse factors associated with mortality. Results: The mean age of COVID-19 patients was 48.4 years and the female-to-male ratio was 1.8:1. Hypertension, cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes were the most frequent comorbidities reported. Common presenting symptoms were respiratory and constitutional, with 41% of patients not reporting symptoms on admission. Patients with moderate, severe and critical disease comprised 45%, 8% and 4%, respectively. A total of 15% had complications, health care-associated pneumonia being the most frequent complication. The recovery rate was 95%; 5% of patients died, with multiorgan failure being the most common cause. The presence of CVD, chronic kidney disease, prolonged prothrombin time and elevated lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) were associated with mortality. Discussion: Most COVID-19 patients in our population had asymptomatic to moderate disease on admission. Mortality from COVID-19 was associated with having CVD, chronic kidney disease, elevated LDH and prolonged prothrombin time. Based on these results, we emphasize that people should take all necessary precautions to avoid infection with SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Philippines/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Tertiary Care Centers
7.
J Relig Health ; 61(1): 618-643, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1631325

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic is continuously causing serious effects on the mental health of college students due to the series of lockdowns and sudden shifting of face-to-face classes to fully online. The study aims to determine and explore the various themes that play a significant role in the development of this issue by an in-depth study of selected reflection papers submitted in class. These texts were interpreted and analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Findings revealed three major themes: anxiety and depression as serious effects of the pandemic, God/Higher Being as the first and/or last source of support and, the essentiality of self-awareness and self-acceptance in improving mental health. These themes which are contextualized in nature hope to contribute to future research in formulating effective interventions and strategies in the war against the negative effects of the pandemic most especially for the welfare of college students.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Anxiety/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Depression/epidemiology , Humans , Mental Health , Philippines/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Students , Surveys and Questionnaires
8.
J Prev Med Public Health ; 54(6): 481-482, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1561852
9.
Neurol Sci ; 43(2): 811-819, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1499470

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The practice of teleneurology provided an accessible and safe method of consultation during the COVID-19 pandemic. We aimed to describe the practice of teleneurology among Filipino neurologists and determine the factors affecting its adoption using the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT) model and its constructs, namely performance expectancy, effort expectancy, social influence, and facilitating conditions. METHODS: This was a cross-sectional survey conducted online last October 2020 involving adult and pediatric neurologists in the Philippines. The internal consistency of the questionnaire adapted from UTAUT model was determined using Cronbach's alpha. We performed logistic regression analysis to determine which constructs of the UTAUT model were significant factors on the intent to practice teleneurology. RESULTS: The study yielded a 28.8% response rate. Among the respondents (n1 = 147), 95.2% (n2 = 140) practiced teleneurology during the pandemic, and 77.6% (n1 = 147) planned to continue it after the pandemic. Teleneurology was mostly done on an outpatient basis on social media platforms via videoconferencing due to easier access for both end-users. The UTAUT model explained 80.9% (95% CI 0.76, 0.86a) of the total variation. Performance expectancy and facilitating conditions affect the intent to use teleneurology. CONCLUSIONS: Due to the limited resources and knowledge of its practice, infrastructural support and benefit awareness campaigns would be beneficial to increase its adoption, especially in developing countries.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Telemedicine , Adult , Child , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Pandemics , Philippines/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Western Pac Surveill Response J ; 12(3): 56-64, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1497708

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to create a decision tree model with machine learning to predict the outcomes of COVID-19 cases from data publicly available in the Philippine Department of Health (DOH) COVID Data Drop. METHODS: The study design was a cross-sectional records review of the DOH COVID Data Drop for 25 August 2020. Resolved cases that had either recovered or died were used as the final data set. Machine learning processes were used to generate, train and validate a decision tree model. RESULTS: A list of 132 939 resolved COVID-19 cases was used. The notification rates and case fatality rates were higher among males (145.67 per 100 000 and 2.46%, respectively). Most COVID-19 cases were clustered among people of working age, and older cases had higher case fatality rates. The majority of cases were from the National Capital Region (590.20 per 100 000), and the highest case fatality rate (5.83%) was observed in Region VII. The decision tree model prioritized age and history of hospital admission as predictors of mortality. The model had high accuracy (81.42%), sensitivity (81.65%), specificity (81.41%) and area under the curve (0.876) but a poor F-score (16.74%). DISCUSSION: The model predicted higher case fatality rates among older people. For cases aged > 51 years, a history of hospital admission increased the probability of COVID-19-related death. We recommend that more comprehensive primary COVID-19 data sets be used to create more robust prognostic models.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Aged , Cross-Sectional Studies , Decision Trees , Humans , Machine Learning , Male , Philippines/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
12.
15.
BMC Public Health ; 21(1): 1711, 2021 09 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1430413

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Responses of subnational government units are crucial in the containment of the spread of pathogens in a country. To mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Philippine national government through its Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases outlined different quarantine measures wherein each level has a corresponding degree of rigidity from keeping only the essential businesses open to allowing all establishments to operate at a certain capacity. Other measures also involve prohibiting individuals at a certain age bracket from going outside of their homes. The local government units (LGUs)-municipalities and provinces-can adopt any of these measures depending on the extent of the pandemic in their locality. The purpose is to keep the number of infections and mortality at bay while minimizing the economic impact of the pandemic. Some LGUs have demonstrated a remarkable response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of this study is to identify notable non-pharmaceutical interventions of these outlying LGUs in the country using quantitative methods. METHODS: Data were taken from public databases such as Philippine Department of Health, Philippine Statistics Authority Census, and Google Community Mobility Reports. These are normalized using Z-transform. For each locality, infection and mortality data (dataset Y) were compared to the economic, health, and demographic data (dataset X) using Euclidean metric d=(x-y)2, where x∈X and y∈Y. If a data pair (x,y) exceeds, by two standard deviations, the mean of the Euclidean metric values between the sets X and Y, the pair is assumed to be a 'good' outlier. RESULTS: Our results showed that cluster of cities and provinces in Central Luzon (Region III), CALABARZON (Region IV-A), the National Capital Region (NCR), and Central Visayas (Region VII) are the 'good' outliers with respect to factors such as working population, population density, ICU beds, doctors on quarantine, number of frontliners and gross regional domestic product. Among metropolitan cities, Davao was a 'good' outlier with respect to demographic factors. CONCLUSIONS: Strict border control, early implementation of lockdowns, establishment of quarantine facilities, effective communication to the public, and monitoring efforts were the defining factors that helped these LGUs curtail the harm that was brought by the pandemic. If these policies are to be standardized, it would help any country's preparedness for future health emergencies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Local Government , Philippines/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
16.
J Neural Transm (Vienna) ; 128(11): 1687-1703, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1375644

ABSTRACT

Our study aimed to determine the effects of new-onset neurological symptoms (NNS) on clinically relevant outcomes in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 infection. We conducted a nationwide, comparative, retrospective, cohort study among adult, hospitalized COVID-19 patients involving 37 hospital sites from various regions in the Philippines. We included a total of 10,881 patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection (2008 had NNS while 8873 did not have NNS). The adjusted hazard ratios (aHRs) for mortality among the mild and severe cases were significantly higher by 1.660 (95% CI 1.132-2.435) and by 1.352 (95% CI 1.042-1.752), respectively, in the NNS group compared to those in the non-NNS group. The aHRs for respiratory failure in the NNS group were significantly increased by 1.914 (95% CI 1.346-2.722), by 1.614 (95% CI 1.260-2.068), and by 1.234 (95% CI 1.089-1.398) among the mild, severe, and critical cases, respectively. The aHRs for ICU admission in the NNS group were still significantly higher by 1.973 (95% CI 1.457-2.673) and by 1.831 (95% CI 1.506-2.226) among the mild and severe cases, respectively. Patients who had NNS were not significantly associated with a longer duration of ventilator dependence (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 0.954, 95% CI 0.772-1.179), longer ICU stay (aOR 0.983, 95% CI 0.772-1.252) and longer hospital admission (aOR 1.045, 95% CI 0.947-1.153). The presence of NNS significantly increases the risk of mortality, respiratory failure and ICU admission among COVID-19 patients. Registration and associated protocol publication: ClinicalTrials.gov website (NCT04386083); Espiritu AI, Sy MCC, Anlacan VMM, Jamora RDG. The Philippine COVID-19 Outcomes: a Retrospective study Of Neurological manifestations and Associated symptoms (The Philippine CORONA study): a protocol study. BMJ Open. 2020;10:e040944.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , Cohort Studies , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Philippines/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
17.
Indian J Tuberc ; 68S: S93-S100, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1373077

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Tobacco smoking is a significant risk factor for developing tuberculosis (TB), contributing to diagnostic delays, poor treatment outcomes and an increased risk of death and relapse. The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that TB rates could decline by as much as 20% if smoking were eliminated. Tobacco smoking was a risk factor in at least 860,000 TB cases in 2018, and has been documented as one of the leading contributors to TB in India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal and Philippines. METHODS: Joint External Monitoring Missions (JEMM) are arranged by WHO to review the progress, challenges and plans for national TB control programs and provide guidance for improvement of policies, planning and implementation. During May and June 2021, JEMM reports from five South-East Asian countries that had a JEMM in 2019 and early 2020 were reviewed. Reports reviewed from India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal and the Philippines. Any mention of the association of TB and smoking, TB and tobacco use, impact of tobacco use/smoking on TB outcomes, current practices and challenges of TB and tobacco in the TB control program and proposed actions were documented. RESULTS: Of the five country JEMM, Myanmar's did not recognise the impact of smoking tobacco on TB at all, and only one of the five countries, India, identified a very limited number of current TB-Tobacco practises including that a collaborative framework for TB/tobacco was in place. Nepal's 2019 JEMM acknowledged that there was no smoking cessation within the TB Control program and health providers were not aware about the brief advice and smoking cessation program. The Philippines and Myanmar reported neither current practices nor challenges in implementing tobacco intervention in TB control programs. CONCLUSION: Given the importance of tobacco smoking as a key risk factor for TB, assessing its burden on the national TB epidemic should be included as one of the key indicators in the JEMM framework. Key interventions include brief cessation support through regular TB services and the use of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) and other medications as part of a comprehensive package of care for people with TB to improve the quality of the services they receive. Multisectoral efforts to stop smoking also contribute the non-communicable disease agenda as well as protecting against poor outcomes for COVID-19. The support of TB programs to integrate tobacco control is critical and will contribute to national TB control program targets that support WHO's End TB Strategy.


Subject(s)
Smoking Cessation , Smoking/adverse effects , Tuberculosis/epidemiology , Tuberculosis/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , India/epidemiology , Indonesia/epidemiology , Myanmar/epidemiology , Nepal/epidemiology , Philippines/epidemiology , Risk Factors , World Health Organization
18.
Infect Dis Poverty ; 10(1): 107, 2021 Aug 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1350155

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Around the world, controlling the COVID-19 pandemic requires national coordination of multiple intervention strategies. As vaccinations are globally introduced into the repertoire of available interventions, it is important to consider how changes in the local supply of vaccines, including delays in administration, may be addressed through existing policy levers. This study aims to identify the optimal level of interventions for COVID-19 from 2021 to 2022 in the Philippines, which as a developing country is particularly vulnerable to shifting assumptions around vaccine availability. Furthermore, we explore optimal strategies in scenarios featuring delays in vaccine administration, expansions of vaccine supply, and limited combinations of interventions. METHODS: Embedding our work within the local policy landscape, we apply optimal control theory to the compartmental model of COVID-19 used by the Philippine government's pandemic surveillance platform and introduce four controls: (a) precautionary measures like community quarantines, (b) detection of asymptomatic cases, (c) detection of symptomatic cases, and (d) vaccinations. The model is fitted to local data using an L-BFGS minimization procedure. Optimality conditions are identified using Pontryagin's minimum principle and numerically solved using the forward-backward sweep method. RESULTS: Simulation results indicate that early and effective implementation of both precautionary measures and symptomatic case detection is vital for averting the most infections at an efficient cost, resulting in [Formula: see text] reduction of infections compared to the no-control scenario. Expanding vaccine administration capacity to 440,000 full immunizations daily will reduce the overall cost of optimal strategy by [Formula: see text], while allowing for a faster relaxation of more resource-intensive interventions. Furthermore, delays in vaccine administration require compensatory increases in the remaining policy levers to maintain a minimal number of infections. For example, delaying the vaccines by 180 days (6 months) will result in an [Formula: see text] increase in the cost of the optimal strategy. CONCLUSION: We conclude with practical insights regarding policy priorities particularly attuned to the Philippine context, but also applicable more broadly in similar resource-constrained settings. We emphasize three key takeaways of (a) sustaining efficient case detection, isolation, and treatment strategies; (b) expanding not only vaccine supply but also the capacity to administer them, and; (c) timeliness and consistency in adopting policy measures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/supply & distribution , COVID-19/prevention & control , Algorithms , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , Developing Countries , Humans , Models, Statistical , Philippines/epidemiology , Population Surveillance
19.
Risk Anal ; 42(1): 105-125, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1314094

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
20.
Western Pac Surveill Response J ; 12(2): 38-39, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1296127
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