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7.
Epidemiol Infect ; 149: e264, 2021 11 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1594301

ABSTRACT

As of 03 January 2021, the WHO African region is the least affected by the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, accounting for only 2.4% of cases and deaths reported globally. However, concerns abound about whether the number of cases and deaths reported from the region reflect the true burden of the disease and how the monitoring of the pandemic trajectory can inform response measures.We retrospectively estimated four key epidemiological parameters (the total number of cases, the number of missed cases, the detection rate and the cumulative incidence) using the COVID-19 prevalence calculator tool developed by Resolve to Save Lives. We used cumulative cases and deaths reported during the period 25 February to 31 December 2020 for each WHO Member State in the region as well as population data to estimate the four parameters of interest. The estimated number of confirmed cases in 42 countries out of 47 of the WHO African region included in this study was 13 947 631 [95% confidence interval (CI): 13 334 620-14 635 502] against 1 889 512 cases reported, representing 13.5% of overall detection rate (range: 4.2% in Chad, 43.9% in Guinea). The cumulative incidence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) was estimated at 1.38% (95% CI: 1.31%-1.44%), with South Africa the highest [14.5% (95% CI: 13.9%-15.2%)] and Mauritius [0.1% (95% CI: 0.099%-0.11%)] the lowest. The low detection rate found in most countries of the WHO African region suggests the need to strengthen SARS-CoV-2 testing capacities and adjusting testing strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , World Health Organization/organization & administration , Africa/epidemiology , Aged , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Incidence , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Time Factors
8.
Epidemiol Infect ; 149: e263, 2021 11 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1594300

ABSTRACT

The World Health Organization African region recorded its first laboratory-confirmed coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) cases on 25 February 2020. Two months later, all the 47 countries of the region were affected. The first anniversary of the pandemic occurred in a changed context with the emergence of new variants of concern (VOC) and growing COVID-19 fatigue. This study describes the epidemiological trajectory of COVID-19 in the region, summarises public health and social measures (PHSM) implemented and discusses their impact on the pandemic trajectory. As of 24 February 2021, the African region accounted for 2.5% of cases and 2.9% of deaths reported globally. Of the 13 countries that submitted detailed line listing of cases, the proportion of cases with at least one co-morbid condition was estimated at 3.3% of all cases. Hypertension, diabetes and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection were the most common comorbid conditions, accounting for 11.1%, 7.1% and 5.0% of cases with comorbidities, respectively. Overall, the case fatality ratio (CFR) in patients with comorbid conditions was higher than in patients without comorbid conditions: 5.5% vs. 1.0% (P < 0.0001). Countries started to implement lockdown measures in early March 2020. This contributed to slow the spread of the pandemic at the early stage while the gradual ease of lockdowns from 20 April 2020 resulted in an upsurge. The second wave of the pandemic, which started in November 2020, coincided with the emergence of the new variants of concern. Only 0.08% of the population from six countries received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. It is critical to not only learn from the past 12 months to improve the effectiveness of the current response but also to start preparing the health systems for subsequent waves of the current pandemic and future pandemics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/mortality , SARS-CoV-2 , World Health Organization/organization & administration , Africa/epidemiology , Comorbidity , Humans , Risk Factors , Time Factors
9.
Epidemiol Infect ; 149: e260, 2021 05 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1586099

ABSTRACT

The rapid transmissibility of the severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 causing coronavirus disease-2019, requires timely dissemination of information and public health responses, with all 47 countries of the WHO African Region simultaneously facing significant risk, in contrast to the usual highly localised infectious disease outbreaks. This demanded a different approach to information management and an adaptive information strategy was implemented, focusing on data collection and management, reporting and analysis at the national and regional levels. This approach used frugal innovation, building on tools and technologies that are commonly used, and well understood; as well as developing simple, practical, highly functional and agile solutions that could be rapidly and remotely implemented, and flexible enough to be recalibrated and adapted as required. While the approach was successful in its aim of allowing the WHO Regional Office for Africa (WHO AFRO) to gather surveillance and epidemiological data, several challenges were encountered that affected timeliness and quality of data captured and reported by the member states, showing that strengthening data systems and digital capacity, and encouraging openness and data sharing are an important component of health system strengthening.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Information Management , World Health Organization/organization & administration , Africa/epidemiology , Delivery of Health Care , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci ; 25(22): 7185-7191, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1552084

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Vaccinations are highly essential to control infectious diseases and epidemics. Presently, the entire world faces a challenging crisis of "Severe Acute Respiratory Diseases Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), also known as the COVID-19 pandemic". The impact of vaccines at national levels to reduce the SARS-CoV-2 cases and deaths are unclear, and people have concerns about the effectiveness of vaccines in real-world settings. This study's objective was to examine the effect of the "Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca" vaccines to prevent SARS-CoV-2 cases and deaths in Saudi Arabia. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this retrospective cohort study, we collected data on SARS-CoV-2 cases and deaths from the date of the first case of SARS-CoV-2 in Saudi Arabia March 2, 2020, to the date of launching the vaccination campaign on December 14, 2020; and from December 15, 2020, to September 8, 2021. We recorded the World Health Organization data and Ministry of Health of Saudi Arabia to evaluate the impact of the "Pfizer/BioNTech, (BNT162b2 mRNA) and Oxford/AstraZeneca (AZD1222)" vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 cases and deaths before and after the vaccination campaign in Saudi Arabia. RESULTS: Saudi Arabia launched the "Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca" vaccination campaign against SARS-CoV-2 on December 14, 2020. In Saudi Arabia, before the vaccination campaign from March 2, 2020, to December 14, 2020, the mean daily SARS-CoV-2 cases were 1235.60, daily deaths were 22.70, that significantly reduced (p=0.0001) compared to the period after the vaccination campaign from December 15, 2020, to September 8, 2021, in which the daily cases fell to 692.08, and daily deaths fell to 9.48 (p=0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: In Saudi Arabia, Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccinations significantly reduced the number of SARS-CoV-2 cases and deaths after the vaccination compared to the period before the vaccination campaign at country levels. The study findings demonstrate that vaccination and adherence to nonpharmaceutical intervention can better control the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunization Programs/methods , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Vaccination/methods , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Humans , Morbidity/trends , Mortality/trends , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Saudi Arabia/epidemiology , Treatment Outcome , Vaccination/statistics & numerical data , World Health Organization/organization & administration
11.
Am J Nurs ; 121(8): 16, 2021 08 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1546036
20.
Glob Public Health ; 16(8-9): 1267-1282, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1364685

ABSTRACT

The Taiwan issue continually haunts WHO. However, before addressing Taiwan's inclusion into WHO, we first describe how the era in which WHO was founded, and WHO's resulting constitutional mandate, have focused the Organisation's work on infectious disease eradication. Narrowing in on pandemic management - one aspect of infectious disease eradication - we describe what WHO can offer. These two sections allude to what Taiwan is excluded from. Using Taiwan's COVID-19 experience as a case study, Taiwan's successful management suggests that it is excluded from little, and thus marginally benefits in terms of public health. Yet, there are beneficial political gains in its call for inclusion. Taiwan's recent leveraging and amplification of its COVID-19 success story is thus an extension of its health diplomacy. Extending the call for inclusion online captures a novel digitised health diplomacy effort from Taiwan. The present study computationally analyses press-release and Twitter data to understand how Taiwanese government engages in these channels to frame and respond to the Taiwan/WHO issue. We find that Taiwan brands and propagates a 'Taiwan Model' through hashtags that revolve around coordination and solidarity as opposed to exclusion, indirectly criticising WHO. The piece concludes by discussing the foundational weaknesses in WHO's pandemic management effort in contrast to Taiwan's successful effort despite exclusion. Although Taiwan's inclusion to WHO is improbable due to larger geopolitical factors, inclusion is not a zero-sum game, with potential bi-directional benefits and lessons that can fortify domestic health capacities in preparation for the next pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , World Health Organization , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Taiwan/epidemiology , World Health Organization/organization & administration
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