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Comprehensive occupational health services for healthcare workers in Zimbabwe during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.
Kavenga, Fungai; Rickman, Hannah M; Chingono, Rudo; Taruvinga, Tinotenda; Marembo, Takudzwa; Manasa, Justen; Marambire, Edson; McHugh, Grace; Gregson, Celia L; Bandason, Tsitsi; Redzo, Nicol; Maunganidze, Aspect; Magure, Tsitsi; Ndhlovu, Chiratidzo; Mujuru, Hilda; Rusakaniko, Simbarashe; Manangazira, Portia; Ferrand, Rashida A; Kranzer, Katharina.
  • Kavenga F; Biomedical Research and Training Institute, Harare, Zimbabwe.
  • Rickman HM; Clinical Research Department, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom.
  • Chingono R; Biomedical Research and Training Institute, Harare, Zimbabwe.
  • Taruvinga T; Biomedical Research and Training Institute, Harare, Zimbabwe.
  • Marembo T; Department of Global Health and Development, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom.
  • Manasa J; African Institute of Biomedical Science and Technologies Laboratory, Harare, Zimbabwe.
  • Marambire E; African Institute of Biomedical Science and Technologies Laboratory, Harare, Zimbabwe.
  • McHugh G; Biomedical Research and Training Institute, Harare, Zimbabwe.
  • Gregson CL; Biomedical Research and Training Institute, Harare, Zimbabwe.
  • Bandason T; Musculoskeletal Research Unit, Translational Health Sciences, Bristol Medical School, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom.
  • Redzo N; Biomedical Research and Training Institute, Harare, Zimbabwe.
  • Maunganidze A; Biomedical Research and Training Institute, Harare, Zimbabwe.
  • Magure T; Department of Surgery, College of Health Sciences, University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe.
  • Ndhlovu C; Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, College of Health Science, University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe.
  • Mujuru H; Department of Medicine, University of Zimbabwe College of Health Sciences, Harare, Zimbabwe.
  • Rusakaniko S; Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Zimbabwe College of Health Sciences, Harare, Zimbabwe.
  • Manangazira P; Department of Community Medicine, College of Health Sciences, University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe.
  • Ferrand RA; Department of Epidemiology and Disease Control, Ministry of Health and Child Care, Harare, Zimbabwe.
  • Kranzer K; Biomedical Research and Training Institute, Harare, Zimbabwe.
PLoS One ; 16(11): e0260261, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1528726
ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND:

Healthcare workers are disproportionately affected by COVID-19. In low- and middle- income countries, they may be particularly impacted by underfunded health systems, lack of personal protective equipment, challenging working conditions and barriers in accessing personal healthcare.

METHODS:

In this cross-sectional study, occupational health screening was implemented at the largest public sector medical centre in Harare, Zimbabwe, during the "first wave" of the country's COVID-19 epidemic. Clients were voluntarily screened for symptoms of COVID-19, and if present, offered a SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid detection assay. In addition, measurement of height, weight, blood pressure and HbA1c, HIV and TB testing, and mental health screening using the Shona Symptom Questionnaire (SSQ-14) were offered. An interviewer-administered questionnaire ascertained client knowledge and experiences related to COVID-19.

RESULTS:

Between 27th July and 30th October 2020, 951 healthcare workers accessed the service; 210 (22%) were tested for SARS-CoV-2, of whom 12 (5.7%) tested positive. Clients reported high levels of concern about COVID-19 which declined with time, and faced barriers including lack of resources for infection prevention and control. There was a high prevalence of largely undiagnosed non-communicable disease 61% were overweight or obese, 34% had a blood pressure of 140/90mmHg or above, 10% had an HbA1c diagnostic of diabetes, and 7% had an SSQ-14 score consistent with a common mental disorder. Overall 8% were HIV-positive, with 97% previously diagnosed and on treatment.

CONCLUSIONS:

Cases of SARS-CoV-2 in healthcare workers mirrored the national epidemic curve. Implementation of comprehensive occupational health services during a pandemic was feasible, and uptake was high. Other comorbidities were highly prevalent, which may be risk factors for severe COVID-19 but are also important independent causes of morbidity and mortality. Healthcare workers are critical to combatting COVID-19; it is essential to support their physical and psychological wellbeing during the pandemic and beyond.
Subject(s)

Full text: Available Collection: International databases Database: MEDLINE Main subject: Occupational Health / Health Personnel / Delivery of Health Care / Personal Protective Equipment / COVID-19 / Occupational Health Services Type of study: Prevalence study / Randomized controlled trials / Risk factors Limits: Adult / Female / Humans / Male Country/Region as subject: Africa Language: English Journal: PLoS One Journal subject: Science / Medicine Year: 2021 Document Type: Article Affiliation country: Journal.pone.0260261

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Full text: Available Collection: International databases Database: MEDLINE Main subject: Occupational Health / Health Personnel / Delivery of Health Care / Personal Protective Equipment / COVID-19 / Occupational Health Services Type of study: Prevalence study / Randomized controlled trials / Risk factors Limits: Adult / Female / Humans / Male Country/Region as subject: Africa Language: English Journal: PLoS One Journal subject: Science / Medicine Year: 2021 Document Type: Article Affiliation country: Journal.pone.0260261