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PLoS One ; 16(6): e0252890, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1270949


Coronavirus has spread worldwide with over 140 million cases and resulting in more than 3 million deaths between November 2019 to April 2021, threatening the socio-economic and psychosocial stability of many families and communities. There has been limited research to understand the consequences of COVID-19 on vulnerable populations in West Africa, and whether such consequences differ by countries' previous experience with Ebola. Using a media analysis of leading online news sources, this study identified the populations particularly vulnerable to the threats of the COVID-19 pandemic, described the consequences of COVID-19 experienced by these populations, and reported on the solutions to address them. All articles from the selected news sources published between January 1 and June 30, 2020 on 6 West African countries were imported into Dedoose. A total of 4,388 news articles were coded for excerpts on vulnerable populations, only 285 excerpts of which mentioned the existing effects of COVID-19 on vulnerable populations or implemented solutions. News articles from countries with past experience with Ebola were more likely to mention the pandemic's effects on vulnerable populations, especially on incarcerated people. Vulnerable groups were reported to have experienced a range of effects including economic disruptions, heightened domestic and sexual abuse, arbitrary arrests, health care inaccessibility, and educational challenges throughout the pandemic. With implications for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) for 2030 in West Africa, these countries should consider and focus more strategic efforts on vulnerable populations to overcome their fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and to achieve the SDG for 2030.

COVID-19/prevention & control , Public Health/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Vulnerable Populations/statistics & numerical data , Africa, Western/epidemiology , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Child , Communications Media/statistics & numerical data , Disabled Persons/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , Internet/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Prisoners/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Sustainable Development/trends , Vulnerable Populations/classification
Global Health ; 17(1): 59, 2021 05 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1238728


BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic is adversely impacting modern human civilization. A global view using a systems science approach is necessary to recognize the close interactions between health of animals, humans and the environment. DISCUSSION: A model is developed initially by describing five sequential or parallel steps on how a RNA virus emerged from animals and became a pandemic: 1. Origins in the animal kingdom; 2. Transmission to domesticated animals; 3. Inter-species transmission to humans; 4. Local epidemics; 5. Global spread towards a pandemic. The next stage identifies global level determinants from the physical environments, the biosphere and social environment that influence these steps to derive a generic conceptual model. It identifies that future pandemics are likely to emerge from ecological processes (climate change, loss of biodiversity), anthropogenic social processes (i.e. corporate interests, culture and globalization) and world population growth. Intervention would therefore require modifications or dampening these generators and prevent future periodic pandemics that would reverse human development. Addressing issues such as poorly planned urbanization, climate change and deforestation coincide with SDGs such as sustainable cities and communities (Goal 11), climate action (Goal 13) and preserving forests and other ecosystems (Goal 15). This will be an added justification to address them as global priorities. Some determinants in the model are poorly addressed by SDGs such as the case of population pressures, cultural factors, corporate interests and globalization. The overarching process of globalization will require modifications to the structures, processes and mechanisms of global governance. The defects in global governance are arguably due to historical reasons and the neo-liberal capitalist order. This became evident especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 when the vaccination roll-out led to violations of universal values of equity and right to life by some of the powerful and affluent nations. A systems approach leads us to a model that shows the need to tackle several factors, some of which are not adequately addressed by SDGs and require restructuring of global governance and political economy.

COVID-19/prevention & control , Global Health/trends , Systems Analysis , COVID-19/transmission , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Sustainable Development/trends