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1.
PLoS One ; 16(9): e0256407, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1398933

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted the economy and human lives worldwide, particularly the vulnerable low-income population. We employ a large panel data of 5.6 million daily transactions from 2.6 million debit cards owned by the low-income population in the U.S. to quantify the joint impacts of the state lockdowns and stimulus payments on this population's spending along the inter-temporal, geo-spatial, and cross-categorical dimensions. Leveraging the difference-in-differences analyses at the per card and zip code levels, we uncover three key findings. (1) Inter-temporally, the state lockdowns diminished the daily average spending relative to the same period in 2019 by $3.9 per card and $2,214 per zip code, whereas the stimulus payments elevated the daily average spending by $15.7 per card and $3,307 per zip code. (2) Spatial heterogeneity prevailed: Democratic zip codes displayed much more volatile dynamics, with an initial decline three times that of Republican zip codes, followed by a higher rebound and a net gain after the stimulus payments; also, Southwest exhibited the highest initial decline whereas Southeast had the largest net gain after the stimulus payments. (3) Across 26 categories, the stimulus payments promoted spending in those categories that enhanced public health and charitable donations, reduced food insecurity and digital divide, while having also stimulated non-essential and even undesirable categories, such as liquor and cigar. In addition, spatial association analysis was employed to identify spatial dependency and local hot spots of spending changes at the county level. Overall, these analyses reveal the imperative need for more geo- and category-targeted stimulus programs, as well as more effective and strategic policy communications, to protect and promote the well-being of the low-income population during public health and economic crises.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/economics , Pandemics/economics , Poverty/economics , Health Expenditures , Humans , Physical Distancing , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , United States
2.
BMC Med ; 19(1): 127, 2021 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1249556

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Reducing poverty and improving access to health care are two of the most effective actions to decrease maternal mortality, and conditional cash transfer (CCT) programmes act on both. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of one of the world's largest CCT (the Brazilian Bolsa Familia Programme (BFP)) on maternal mortality during a period of 11 years. METHODS: The study had an ecological longitudinal design and used all 2548 Brazilian municipalities with vital statistics of adequate quality during 2004-2014. BFP municipal coverage was classified into four levels, from low to consolidated, and its duration effects were measured using the average municipal coverage of previous years. We used negative binomial multivariable regression models with fixed-effects specifications, adjusted for all relevant demographic, socioeconomic, and healthcare variables. RESULTS: BFP was significantly associated with reductions of maternal mortality proportionally to its levels of coverage and years of implementation, with a rate ratio (RR) reaching 0.88 (95%CI 0.81-0.95), 0.84 (0.75-0.96) and 0.83 (0.71-0.99) for intermediate, high and consolidated BFP coverage over the previous 11 years. The BFP duration effect was stronger among young mothers (RR 0.77; 95%CI 0.67-0.96). BFP was also associated with reductions in the proportion of pregnant women with no prenatal visits (RR 0.73; 95%CI 0.69-0.77), reductions in hospital case-fatality rate for delivery (RR 0.78; 95%CI 0.66-0.94) and increases in the proportion of deliveries in hospital (RR 1.05; 95%CI 1.04-1.07). CONCLUSION: Our findings show that a consolidated and durable CCT coverage could decrease maternal mortality, and these long-term effects are stronger among poor mothers exposed to CCT during their childhood and adolescence, suggesting a CCT inter-generational effect. Sustained CCT coverage could reduce health inequalities and contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal 3.1, and should be preserved during the current global economic crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Maternal Mortality/trends , Prenatal Care/economics , Primary Health Care/economics , Public Assistance/economics , Adolescent , Adult , Brazil , COVID-19/economics , Female , Financing, Government , Humans , Poverty/economics , Pregnancy , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 21(7): 903-905, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1246257
4.
Ann Med ; 53(1): 581-586, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1171161

ABSTRACT

Although coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a pandemic, it has several specificities influencing its outcomes due to the entwinement of several factors, which anthropologists have called "syndemics". Drawing upon Singer and Clair's syndemics model, I focus on synergistic interaction among chronic kidney disease (CKD), diabetes, and COVID-19 in Pakistan. I argue that over 36 million people in Pakistan are standing at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19, developing severe complications, and losing their lives. These two diseases, but several other socio-cultural, economic, and political factors contributing to structured vulnerabilities, would function as confounders. To deal with the critical effects of these syndemics the government needs appropriate policies and their implementation during the pandemic and post-pandemic. To eliminate or at least minimize various vulnerabilities, Pakistan needs drastic changes, especially to overcome (formal) illiteracy, unemployment, poverty, gender difference, and rural and urban difference.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Diabetes Mellitus/epidemiology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Renal Insufficiency, Chronic/epidemiology , Syndemic , COVID-19/prevention & control , Climate Change/economics , Climate Change/statistics & numerical data , Confounding Factors, Epidemiologic , Developing Countries/economics , Developing Countries/statistics & numerical data , Diabetes Mellitus/economics , Diabetes Mellitus/prevention & control , Food Supply/economics , Food Supply/statistics & numerical data , Health Literacy/economics , Health Literacy/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Pakistan/epidemiology , Pandemics/economics , Politics , Poverty/economics , Poverty/statistics & numerical data , Renal Insufficiency, Chronic/economics , Renal Insufficiency, Chronic/prevention & control , Unemployment/statistics & numerical data
6.
Contraception ; 103(6): 380-385, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1082588

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To understand how the COVID-19 pandemic affected women of reproductive age, specifically their economic conditions, desire for pregnancy, and access to contraceptive services during the pandemic. STUDY DESIGNS: A total of 554 women respondents age 18 to 49 and reside in the United States were recruited using social media between May 16, 2020 and June 16, 2020. Logistic regression models assessed predictors of reporting pandemic-related changes in economic conditions, desire for pregnancy, and contraceptive access. RESULTS: Compared to White/Caucasian respondents, Hispanics/Latinx and Black/African Americans have 4 times the odds of experiencing inability to afford food, transportation, and/or housing (p < 0.01) during the pandemic; Hispanics/Latinx have twice the odds of experiencing food insecurity (p < 0.05). Inability to afford food, transportation, and/or housing was associated with drop in desire to be pregnant (p < 0.01). Despite the 25% of participants who reported a drop in desire for pregnancy, 1 in 6 reported difficulty accessing contraceptives, particularly those who experienced reduced income (p < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: In our sample, the pandemic unevenly affected people from different socioeconomic groups. Many simultaneously experienced reduced income, difficulties in accessing contraception, and a greater desire to avoid a pregnancy. This combination of factors increases the chance that people will experience unintended pregnancies. IMPLICATIONS: The pandemic caused economic hardship and an increased desire to postpone or prevent pregnancy at the same time that it created new barriers to contraceptive services. This pattern may lead to a potential net effect of an increase in unintended pregnancy, particularly among people who had difficulty affording food, transportation, and/or housing during the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/economics , Family Planning Services/supply & distribution , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Intention , Poverty , Pregnancy, Unplanned , Pregnancy/psychology , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Contraceptive Agents/supply & distribution , Economics , Family Planning Services/economics , Female , Health Services Accessibility/economics , Humans , Logistic Models , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Poverty/economics , Poverty/ethnology , Poverty/psychology , Pregnancy/ethnology , United States/epidemiology , Young Adult
10.
Am J Public Health ; 110(11): 1635-1643, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-982653

ABSTRACT

In 2019, the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program served approximately 15 million breakfasts and 30 million lunches daily at low or no cost to students.Access to these meals has been disrupted as a result of long-term school closures related to the COVID-19 pandemic, potentially decreasing both student nutrient intake and household food security. By the week of March 23, 2020, all states had mandated statewide school closures as a result of the pandemic, and the number of weekly missed breakfasts and lunches served at school reached a peak of approximately 169.6 million; this weekly estimate remained steady through the final week of April.We highlight strategies that states and school districts are using to replace these missed meals, including a case study from Maryland and the US Department of Agriculture waivers that, in many cases, have introduced flexibility to allow for innovation. Also, we explore lessons learned from the pandemic with the goal of informing and strengthening future school nutrition policies for out-of-school time, such as over the summer.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Food Services/organization & administration , Organizational Innovation , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Schools/organization & administration , Betacoronavirus , Breakfast , COVID-19 , Food Services/statistics & numerical data , Food Supply/economics , Humans , Lunch , Maryland , Poverty/economics , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology
12.
BMC Med ; 18(1): 315, 2020 11 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-897545

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Epidemics of infectious disease occur frequently in low-income and humanitarian settings and pose a serious threat to populations. However, relatively little is known about responses to these epidemics. Robust evaluations can generate evidence on response efforts and inform future improvements. This systematic review aimed to (i) identify epidemics reported in low-income and crisis settings, (ii) determine the frequency with which evaluations of responses to these epidemics were conducted, (iii) describe the main typologies of evaluations undertaken and (iv) identify key gaps and strengths of recent evaluation practice. METHODS: Reported epidemics were extracted from the following sources: World Health Organization Disease Outbreak News (WHO DON), UNICEF Cholera platform, Reliefweb, PROMED and Global Incidence Map. A systematic review for evaluation reports was conducted using the MEDLINE, EMBASE, Global Health, Web of Science, WPRIM, Reliefweb, PDQ Evidence and CINAHL Plus databases, complemented by grey literature searches using Google and Google Scholar. Evaluation records were quality-scored and linked to epidemics based on time and place. The time period for the review was 2010-2019. RESULTS: A total of 429 epidemics were identified, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. A total of 15,424 potential evaluations records were screened, 699 assessed for eligibility and 132 included for narrative synthesis. Only one tenth of epidemics had a corresponding response evaluation. Overall, there was wide variability in the quality, content as well as in the disease coverage of evaluation reports. CONCLUSION: The current state of evaluations of responses to these epidemics reveals large gaps in coverage and quality and bears important implications for health equity and accountability to affected populations. The limited availability of epidemic response evaluations prevents improvements to future public health response. The diversity of emphasis and methods of available evaluations limits comparison across responses and time. In order to improve future response and save lives, there is a pressing need to develop a standardized and practical approach as well as governance arrangements to ensure the systematic conduct of epidemic response evaluations in low-income and crisis settings.


Subject(s)
Delivery of Health Care/economics , Infections/economics , Infections/epidemiology , Poverty/economics , Altruism , Delivery of Health Care/standards , Epidemics , Humans , Poverty/statistics & numerical data , Public Health
13.
Prev Chronic Dis ; 17: E119, 2020 10 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-809751

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Little is known about the social needs of low-income households with children during the coronavirus-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Our objective was to conduct a cross-sectional quantitative and qualitative descriptive analysis of a rapid-response survey among low-income households with children on social needs, COVID-19-related concerns, and diet-related behaviors. METHODS: We distributed an electronic survey in April 2020 to 16,435 families in 4 geographic areas, and 1,048 responded. The survey asked families enrolled in a coordinated school-based nutrition program about their social needs, COVID-19-related concerns, food insecurity, and diet-related behaviors during the pandemic. An open-ended question asked about their greatest concern. We calculated descriptive statistics stratified by location and race/ethnicity. We used thematic analysis and an inductive approach to examine the open-ended comments. RESULTS: More than 80% of survey respondents were familiar with COVID-19 and were concerned about infection. Overall, 76.3% reported concerns about financial stability, 42.5% about employment, 69.4% about food availability, 31.0% about housing stability, and 35.9% about health care access. Overall, 93.5% of respondents reported being food insecure, a 22-percentage-point increase since fall 2019. Also, 41.4% reported a decrease in fruit and vegetable intake because of COVID-19. Frequency of grocery shopping decreased and food pantry usage increased. Qualitative assessment identified 4 main themes: 1) fear of contracting COVID-19, 2) disruption of employment status, 3) financial hardship, and 4) exacerbated food insecurity. CONCLUSION: Our study highlights the compounding effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on households with children across the spectrum of social needs.


Subject(s)
Economics/statistics & numerical data , Food Supply , Needs Assessment , Poverty , Social Determinants of Health , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Child , Coronavirus Infections/economics , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Diet Surveys , Employment/statistics & numerical data , Family Characteristics , Female , Food Supply/methods , Food Supply/standards , Humans , Male , Pandemics/economics , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/economics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Poverty/economics , Poverty/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , School Health Services/statistics & numerical data , United States/epidemiology
14.
Health Aff (Millwood) ; 39(9): 1592-1596, 2020 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-647543

ABSTRACT

Addressing patients' social needs is key to helping them heal from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), preventing the spread of the virus, and reducing its disproportionate burden on low-income communities and communities of color. New York City Health + Hospitals is the city's single largest health care provider to Medicaid and uninsured patients. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, NYC Health + Hospitals staff developed and executed a strategy to meet patients' intensified social needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. NYC Health + Hospitals identified food, housing, and income support as patients' most pressing needs and built programming to quickly connect patients to these resources. Although NYC Health + Hospitals was able to build on its existing foundation of strong social work support of patients, all health systems must prioritize the social needs of patients and their families to mitigate the damage of COVID-19. National and local leaders should accelerate change by developing robust policy approaches to redesign the social and economic system that reinforces structural inequity and exacerbates crises such as COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Health Services Accessibility/organization & administration , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Poverty/statistics & numerical data , Quarantine/organization & administration , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Female , Health Personnel/organization & administration , Housing/organization & administration , Humans , Male , Needs Assessment , New York City , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Poverty/economics , Public Health , Social Support
16.
Am J Trop Med Hyg ; 102(6): 1175-1177, 2020 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-105809

ABSTRACT

Two decades of growing resource availability from agencies and foundations in wealthy countries has transformed approaches to health in poorly resourced nations. This progress looks increasingly unstable as climate change, social unrest, and, now, disruptive pandemics present threats not only to health but also to the mechanisms that manage it, and to funding itself. The growth in "global health" schools, technology development laboratories, nongovernmental organizations and multilateral institutions in donor countries has delivered not only successes but also disappointment, and reflect a paradigm that is in many ways contrary to the principles of population-based ownership that they espouse. Although the COVID-19 crisis has underlined the importance of health access and health service capacity, we may have a limited window of opportunity in which to rethink the current model and improve both efficiency and effectiveness. With a dose of humility, we may all benefit from studying our own rhetoric on human-centered design and applying these principles across global health to ensure that our approach is effective, efficient, and defensible.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/economics , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Global Health/economics , Health Services Accessibility/economics , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Civil Disorders/economics , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/trends , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/economics , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Developed Countries/economics , Developing Countries/economics , Global Health/trends , Humans , International Cooperation , Ownership/economics , Pandemics/economics , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/economics , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Poverty/economics , SARS-CoV-2 , Time Factors
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