brief research report
The response to the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) epidemic included biomedical and vaccine research as well as identification of COVID-19 cases, contact tracing, community health promotion and disease prevention and community vaccination. The COVID-19 vaccinations remind public health professionals and non-professionals alike of this essential public health intervention for controlling infectious diseases. Actions that seek to improve existing vaccination efforts are equally important for effective public health programming.
Secondary data analysis uses an ecological study design to examine any possible associations between the number of COVID-19 cases identified at medical facilities (facility names not identified) within a healthcare system and the number of COVID-19 vaccinations administered within the system and reflect upon the findings for public health action. A loess curve was plotted to help to identify if a curvature pattern was present in a scatter plot.
The statistical algorithm for the loess curve identified a curvature pattern. All plots showed that values became more separated in moving from left to right.
This aggregate pattern in number of COVID-19 cases and number of vaccinations administered might be present in other public health settings or healthcare systems. Four refinements were proposed to help public health decision-makers to improve vaccination efforts: explore the reasons for differences in COVID vaccination given the number of confirmed COVID cases between
facilities; provide vaccination outside traditional settings; facilitate public health and primary care partnerships for community vaccination; and address vaccine knowledge-gaps in the community and other barriers to vaccination.
COVID-19 vaccination; Refining vaccination efforts; Public health decision-makers; Public health and primary care partnerships; Ecological study; Loess curve.
Existing research has addressed the importance of community integration (CI) and its benefits of dwelling in a community but has yet to address the methods and efficiency of improving these activities among older people. Thus, it is vital to understand how healthcare workers can integrate the benefits of CI among older people, especially with the use of occupational therapists (OTs). The latter are actively working to improve ageing individuals mobility within the community.
This study aims to identify Malaysian OTs’ perspectives on CI’s and its implication on older people.
Occupational therapist from different states of Malaysia participated in a semi-structured interview, through a virtual medium (Zoom Cloud Meetings). The interview guide encapsulated the theory of critical incident technique (CIT).
Thematic content analysis, over fourteen participants from 13 states of Malaysia, provided insights into CI’s barriers for older people in Malaysia. The findings revealed that multifaceted factors from an individual, organisational and socio-environmental perspective limit older people’s active CI engagement.
South-East Asia hierarchal and collectivist culture play a significant role in influencing all factors of CI. OTs must understand and incorporate appropriate cultural norms during CI practice development for the older population in Malaysia.
Occupational therapist; Critical incident technique; Older people; Community integration; Qualitative study; Societal norms; Cultural norms.
This commentary presents a point of view on how the arrival of electronic health records (EHR) in the United States (U.S.) has changed physicians’ practice. EHR implementation has pros and cons. EHR systems have been a great asset during the
pandemic and help with efficiency, safety, and cost reduction. Despite their benefits, healthcare providers and organizations still face challenges, including usability and interoperability across systems, contributing to physicians’ burnout. Can physicians adopt new technologies and adapt to current challenges? Is it the right time for physicians to stop being observers and become active
participants in the process of healthcare innovation and implementation?
Physician; EHR; Implementation; Physicians’ burnout.
Background: Community engagement has proved effective in increasing access to healthcare including health insurance, in developed and developing countries.
Aim: The study aims at designing and testing the effectiveness of engaging the community in awareness-raising and increment of health insurance coverage.
Methods: The study was a social interventional community-based study, conducted in A-Duiem Administrative Unit, A-Duiem Locality, Sudan. Baseline data on enrollment in health insurance was collected from 800 heads of households, whereas data on knowledge and attitudes about health insurance was collected from 420 heads of non-insured households using a standardized questionnaire. Strategies to scaleup health insurance through community engagement was collected from community leaders, local authorities, and health insurance policymakers through in-depth interviews and focus group discussions. The community promotion package of health insurance was implemented for one year and post-intervention data were collected from 420 heads of households. Quantitative data were analyzed using SPSS version 20. Statistical significance was set at p<0.05 when the confidence interval was 95%. Qualitative data was analyzed manually using the thematic approach.
Results: The study showed significant improvement in the knowledge of the heads of the non-insured households about health insurance after the intervention; knowledge about the enrollment process and service’s package has increased from 34.4% to 61.8% and from 55.8% to 84.7% respectively (p-value 0.0001 in both). The health insurance coverage increased by 17.3% with a significant difference and p-value at 0.0001.
Conclusion: The study concluded that community members have a considerable role in awareness-raising and scaling up of health insurance coverage if they are properly organized, trained, monitored, and supervised. The insufficient commitment of local officials in the unit was a challenge to address during further testing and expansion of the experience.
Health insurance; Population coverage; Knowledge; Attitudes; Community engagement; Intervention; Sudan.
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are the leading cause of mortality worldwide, with cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) being the most predominant. This is a similar trend in the United States (U.S.). Modifiable and non-modifiable factors are important determinants of dyslipidaemia, a known cause of CVDs.
This study aimed to explore the pattern of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) distribution and its associated risk factors.
The data was collected from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2015-2016 database which is part of the yearly cross-sectional survey. The NHANES uses complex multistage probability sampling method in data collection. The target population was the noninstitutionalized civilian living across the U.S. The primary sampling units were individuals. Socio-demographic characteristics, body measurement (waist circumference) and blood samples (to determine HDL-C and total cholesterol levels) were recorded. In the database, 5000 respondents were randomly selected for analysis. Statistical analyses were performed using Stata version 14.0. The results are described as means and standard deviation (SD) for group and continuous variables. Regression analyses were used to identify risk factors of low HDL-C.
Of the complete cases (3989), 49.03% were males. The mean age was 46.57±15.44-years. The mean HDL-C was 1.39±0.45 mmoL/L. The prevalence of low HDL-C was 32.8% in males and 12.5% in females. The results obtained from multiple linear regression indicated that male gender, age, ethnicity, country of birth, number of children aged 0-18-years per household, waist circumference, family income to poverty ratio and total cholesterol were significantly associated with HDL-C. Multivariable logistic regression revealed male gender, age 30 to 49-years, ethnicity, smoking, enlarged waist circumference (cm), low family income to poverty ratio and high total cholesterol were associated with low HDL-C.
The prevalence of low HDL-C of was 22.4 %. This was distributed into 32.8% in males and 12.5% in females. The associated risk factors show that lifestyle modification is important in the prevention of low HDL-C and consequently, CVDs.
HDL-C; Risk factors; Cardiovascular diseases; NHANES.
In Sudan, the delivery of care based on the primary health care (PHC) level, which is the first contact with the health system. PHC is the level at which the modifiable risk factors for hypertension are addressed together with the treatment of known hypertensive patients.
To assess the management of hypertension in PHC in Khartoum State, 2018.
Material and Methods
The study was a descriptive cross-section, health centre’s based that covered six PHC centres in Khartoum State. The study interviewed all diagnosed Sudanese hypertensive patients more than 18-years of age who attended the selected PHC centres. The research team collected data using a structured questionnaire and measuring the blood pressure (BP) with a mercury sphygmomanometer. The study variables were demographic characteristics and disease features as independent variables and hypertension control as the dependent variable. The statistician analyzed the data using the statistical package for the Social Science version 21.0 and the Chi-square (χ) test to obtain the p value to test the association between the addressed variables. The study group adopt ethical considerations throughout the study.
Of the 384 hypertensive patients interviewed in this study, 57% were females and 47.7% were more than 60-years of age. A large percent of the subjects were either primary educated or illiterate (32.6%, 19.8% respectively). More than half of the hypertensive patients (52.1%) were uncontrolled and 52.9% had no comorbidities. Diabetes was predominant (39.3%) among those who had comorbidities. The majority of the patients (92.7%) were adherent to the medication. Of the studied patients, 58.1% used monotherapy. The most controlled patients were the elderly and middle-aged patients and the highly educated patients (p=0.005). Patients with a duration less than five-years were more likely to be controlled (p=0.036). The majority of the patients who used combined treatment were found to be controlled.
This study concluded that the high prevalence of uncontrolled hypertensive patients attending PHC was mainly attributed to the use of monotherapy, presence of comorbidities and medication non-adherence. The latter is related to patients’ ignorance, financial constraints and dislike of using many drugs during the day. In addition, elder age and high education were factors for
Hypertension control; Antihypertensive medication; Hypertension management.
Population knowledge and attitudes toward health insurance are important factors that facilitate health insurance coverage. National studies on these parameters are limited.
This study aims at assessing determinants of non-insurance in A-Duiem Administrative Unit and calculating as a secondary objective the household’s health insurance coverage.
The study was a descriptive cross-sectional community-based conducted in A-Duiem Administrative Unit, Sudan. It collected quantitative data from non-insured households and qualitative data by interviewing community leaders and conducting focus group discussions with community organizations members. Quantitative data analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20, and the thematic analysis for the qualitative data.
The study interviewed 419 non-insured households’ heads and thirteen community leaders and conducted eight focus group discussions with sixty community organizations members. Around 37.9% (95% CI: 33.4-42.7) of the heads of the non-insured households did not know the health insurance, while only 2.4% (95% CI: 1.5-4.7) had good knowledge. The knowledge of non-insured community leaders and members of the community organizations was moderate. The study participants showed positive attitudes towards health insurance, as 97% (95% CI: 95.1-98.4) of the heads of the non-insured households wanted to join the health insurance and 65% (95% CI: 59.2-70.1) of them stated that they could pay its premium. Most of the community leaders and members of the community organizations had health insurance cards. Those who were not enrolled, have limited knowledge about health insurance while almost all believe they should join it. The study identified 52.4% of non-insured households (95% CI: 48.9-55.8). The study showed low health insurance coverage among families, despite their positive attitude. This is mostly attributed to poor awareness of the heads of the non-insured households about health insurance. The National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) should address this gap through effective communication strategies using motivated community institutions.
Health insurance; Non-insured; Population coverage; Knowledge; Attitudes; Sudan.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, started in the Hubei province of China in December 2019. On January 31, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a worldwide pandemic. We wondered what countries in Africa and South-East Asia had done to prevent infectious disease, specifically, COVID-19, from impacting the population of specific countries in that region, and what disease control measures were successful. Expert reflections on findings could guide continued successful public health approaches in managing this complex infectious disease pandemic.
Using a scoping review, published papers, or program descriptions for specific geographic regions (i.e., Africa or Southeast Asia) were searched using specified key terms. Three targeted countries classified by World Bank as lower-middle-income in the two WHO selected regions [Africa (Sudan and Nigeria); Southeast Asia (India)] were reviewed with respect to COVID19 preparedness and response. Findings were organized, highlighting key points that seem particularly useful for regional learning. The evidence from each region was summarized in the aggregate to determine some common, noteworthy themes. COVID-19 epidemiologic data for these regions were also reviewed.
Our findings indicate experience from prior infectious disease outbreak seems to have prepared the selected countries in their preparedness for COVID-19 outbreak on various levels. Incidence of COVID-19 increased across the selected countries. WHO recommended basic public health strategies to reduce disease transmission was initiated by the selected countries at different levels. However, feasibility and lockdown practices raise public health concerns and questions across the target regions reviewed.
This scoping review and expert reflections uncovers important preparedness and responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in the selected WHO regions. Further exploration and possible public health strategic plans may be needed.
COVID-19 Pandemic; Health system; Preparedness and response; Sub-Saharan Africa; Southeast Asia; Developing countries.
The paper investigates the main ideas and solutions of healthcare systems in leading countries such as Switzerland, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Austria, France based on the international ranking indexes such as the United Nations Human Development Index, Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI), Blumberg’s Global Health Index, World Health Organization (WHO), The Healthcare Access & Quality Index (HAQ), the European Health Consumer Index (EHCI). In conclusion, the health of
society depends to a great extent on lifestyle and climate, where such countries as Spain and Italy have fewer sick people, and it results in a lower burden on healthcare. Unites States of America healthcare must compensate for lifestyle defects with intensive treatment and expensive medicines. This costs money and, what is worse, it doesn’t bring any noticeable progress. As evidenced by the dramas caused by the 2020 pandemic.
Healthy life; Healthy lifestyle; American healthcare; Healthcare indexes.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection mainly affected elderly patients in many countries. The care of elderly
patients, especially in countries where the percentage of people over 65-years of age is significant, is an important public health problem now during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this review particular attention to the problem of proper nutrition of such patients was paid, which must be preceded by an appropriate assessment of their nutritional status. The important role of physical activity and adequate rehabilitation is highlighted. The care of elderly patients should be in line with the recommendations of the relevant scientific societies and international organizations in this respect.
COVID-19; Elderly people; Malnutrition; Food insecurity; Nutritional risk; ESPEN recommendations; Physical activity.
letter to the editor
Director General Planning and International Health DirectorateFederal Ministry of Health Nile St, Khartoum, Sudan
Pediatrician- Infectious Diseases SpecialistHead, Department for Interventions in Health Care FacilitiesHellenic Center for Disease Control and Prevention Αγράφων 3-5, Athens 151 23, Greece