Dr. Juliet Nabyonga-Orem  |  Editor In-Chief

Dr. Juliet Nabyonga-Orem is a leading health systems expert with experience spanning over 2 decades. She has been instrumental in the transformation of health systems in many African countrie...

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Dr. Koku Awoonor-Williams  |  Editor

Dr. Koku Awoonor-Williams is a health systems and policy analyst. He has almost 3 decades of experience in senior health management in Ghana including 16 years as District Medical Officer/Med...

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Prof. Oladele Akogun  |  Editor

Prof. Oladele Akogun has spent over 25 years on health system research, focusing on access to and utilization of intervention services. He holds a PhD in Public Health and a Postgraduate Dipl...

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You searched for articles under 'COVID-19'

Covid has put Governance at the heart of debates on development, but how has it changed the questions we ask?

Author(s):

Date of Publication: August 6, 2020

The aim of this blog is to suggest ways in which the ‘governance discourse’ (what a grand term!) is changing – indeed has already changed - as a result of Covid-19.

I know that blogs are supposed to be discursive and informal. Recently our office was privileged to have a session with that master-blogger, Duncan Green, who shared all his tricks and techniques on the art of blogging. However, just this once I am going to ignore everything he said and make my case in two tables.

But first a quick explanation is in order. I perceive (I may be wrong here) that Covid has chang...

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The role of palliative care in response to fatal viral epidemics: A case for covid-19

Author(s):

Date of Publication: July 5, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic poses a global health security crisis to health systems worldwide. This crisis is even more concerning in resource limited settings whose health systems are already constrained. Using epidemiological indicators, statistical models predict that cases in Africa are likely to soar, close to what has been witnessed in Europe.  Covid-19 has had a gross multi-sectoral negative impact, challenging the progress towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals. COVID-19 patients face multi-dimensional symptoms spanning physica...

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Impact of Covid-19 on the informal workers

Author(s):

Date of Publication: June 25, 2020

The Covid-19 outbreak has demonstrated once again the severe economic, political and health crises that a pandemic can trigger. As of June 2020, 215 countries and territories have reported Covid-19 cases. Firstly, spared by the worldwide pandemic, the African continent now records 191,993 Covid-19 cases with a death toll nearing 4,281. South Africa, Nigeria and Algeria have been most affected...

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Mental health amongst health care workers in the era of COVID-19 in Kenya

Author(s):

Date of Publication: June 23, 2020

The month of May, 2020 was the mental awareness month, a time to reflect on the mental issues surrounding us but it slid past us in silence because of the COVID pandemic, yet it could the biggest contributor to the burden of mental illness in this period.

Mental disease is a silent pandemic as compared to the COVID-19 pandemic and with Kenya being one of the countries that do not have a separate budget for mental health, maybe this pandemic should take awaken us to this reality and re-think. The Likes:      Dislikes: 0      Number of Reads: 586      Comments: 0      Export to PDF 115 Read More

Fighting COVID-19: The importance of strengthening the primary health care system in limited-resource settings, the case of Ghana.

Author(s):

Date of Publication: June 5, 2020

The outbreak of COVID-19 is raising legitimate questions about the impact of the pandemic on rural poor and displaced populations within the community setting. These vulnerable populations have less capacity to cope with the impact of such an outbreak because they cannot afford the cost of medical care and have limited financial resources to cope with restrictions imposed by governments for purposes of public health adherence.

According to the analysis by the World Health Organization, about 90% of confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19)  with mild symptoms may require services within the community setting as t...

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COVID-19: The disease, the fears, and the possibility of an enlightened civilization

Author(s):

Date of Publication: June 2, 2020

      Coronavirus Disease of 2019 or Covid-19, is a disease about which much remains to be done. Unlike previous pandemics, it has raised far-fetched and wide-ranging fears and questions. This has led to fervent re-examination of the human history and character.  It has revealed deep-seated and fearful realities of our past, of our present life and of the future. It has exposed how human history has moved from one traumatic and uncorrected mistake to another amidst progressive advances.  It has also shown that many people are waking up to the fact that our current way of life (or civilization, if yo...

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After Covid-19 pandemic, African nations must rethink investments in health systems

Author(s):

Date of Publication: June 1, 2020

It is no secret that Covid-19 pandemic is a war that that will have far reaching consequences on health systems. The soldiers are not in combat gear, jet fighters or armored vehicles. They are in white gear, wearing full body protective gears and holding stethoscopes and syringes. Unfortunately, a number of African countries prepared for a typical war involving territorial invasion, rag tag militia and military confrontation. Thus, investments towards this end has been massive. Transformation of Public Health systems in many African nations was paid lip service. Commitment and declarations were signed in haste but actions pointed to the contra...

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Power versus Public Health in the COVID-19 pandemic

Author(s):

Date of Publication: May 29, 2020

Public Health practitioners must understand the role of power in a pandemic because it significantly influences the formulation and implementation of public health policies. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated this phenomenon so well.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was first identified amid an outbreak of respiratory illness cases in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China.  It was initially reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) on December 31, 2019. On January 30, 2020, the WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global health emergency and on March 11, 2020, a global pandemic. Since then, the ...

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Emergency medicine in the era of COVID-19

Author(s):

Date of Publication: May 18, 2020

These have been interesting times; facing a global pandemic while learning on the go. All are affected, no country is spared. It has been the biggest trial to health care systems in Africa more so emergency care systems which are pretty young and fragile especially in Kenya.

Emergency medicine plays a crucial role, as in any other epidemic, pandemic or disaster. Patients suspected of having Covid-19 present to the emergency department first. They come as walk-ins or by ambulance. It i...

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Diagnostic Errors May Jeopardize Covid-19 Response in Africa

Author(s):

Date of Publication: May 13, 2020

It is close to two months since the first case of Covid-19 was confirmed on the African continent. While most countries have heightened their Covid-19 capacities with early establishment of public health measures, the success of management and control efforts is being affected by diagnostic error. In this article, I discuss how the three forms of diagnostic error namely: delayed diagnosis; undetected/missed diagnosis and misdiagnosis; pose a threat to response efforts.

Delayed diagnosis

Delayed diagnosis refers to taking an overly longer time than it would normal...

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Strategies to exit Covid-19 lock down in African countries

Author(s):

Date of Publication: May 4, 2020

The Corona virus (SARS – CoV2) which causes the Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is not going to go away. People are going to have to learn to live with it; doing business and having social relations as for example, like they did with HIV/AIDS. Presently COVID-19 has no cure or vaccine and as a result, countries have sought to slow down the spread of the infection by instituting “lockdowns” to protect people and prevent their healthcare systems from becoming overwhelmed.

Lockdowns impose stressful conditions on society and countries are now looking for measures to exit the unsustainable c...

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Non-pharmaceutical interventions in the containment of COVID-19: do they suffice or only provide a window to strengthen case management?

Author(s):

Date of Publication: April 27, 2020

Earlier in the pandemic, there were misconceptions among the African populace that Africans were immune to the SARS-Cov-2 virus. After Egypt’s confirmation of the first COVID-19 case on the African soil, 52 of Africa’s 54 countries have since confirmed at least one case, as at 24th April 2020. Africa’s cumulative caseload stands at 27,385 with 1,297 fatalities, representing death to case ratio of 4.7% at relatively low caseload as at 24th April 202...

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Coronavirus lockdowns: Is Africa doing too much or too little?

Author(s):

Date of Publication: April 16, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-COV-2 has infected nearly 2 million people worldwide and killed about 122,000 by 15 April 2020. It is not only threatening the lives of humankind by its direct affliction but also imposing poverty and hunger, and exacerbating existing health problems.

There are still many unknowns about the virus; no known treatment or vaccine has been found to be effective yet. However, it appears social distancing measures are mitigating the spread of the disease. Most countries have instituted various versions of social d...

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COVID-19 and the burn care community

Author(s):

Date of Publication: April 14, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic escalates across the globe, several measures are being employed to minimise exposure to the virus, prevent spread and rapidly detect persons with deteriorating status. Aside the pathogenesis of the disease, the phenomenon of lockdowns of cities across the globe where individuals are required to be confined to their homes only to exit under clearly defined circumstances is still ongoing. Though the latter is beneficial to prevent further community spread, the approach may have significant ramifications for the burn care community. In this blog, we highlight some pertinent issues warranting attention.

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Switching on communities to defeat Covid -19

Author(s):

Date of Publication: April 10, 2020

                       “Gentlemen, it is the microbes who will have the last word”.

This quotation is attributed to the French microbiologist Louis Pasteur. How soon this will happen depends on how soon we humans recognize and seriously respond to this threat from viruses and bacteria.

The COVID-19 pandemic presents yet another challenge and opportunity following upon Ebola, SARS, and MERS. It is also a loud call for the world to relearn and h...

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Striking a Balance between Covid-19 Mitigation Measures and the Threat of Starvation in Nigeria

Author(s):

Date of Publication: April 10, 2020

The emergence of Covid-19 as the most threatening public health challenge over the past few weeks has brought to prominence the absence of systemic framework to address pandemic situations without subjecting a significant percentage of the population to undue hardships in Nigeria. This is particularly so when examined against the underlying principle of healthcare which implies that the management of a medical challenge should not pose a greater threat to life, than the issue being addressed. However, the present approach and manner in which policies directed at stopping the spread of Covid-19 are being implemented in the world's largest assem...

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How can African countries use their resources better in responding to COVID-19 pandemic?

Author(s):

Date of Publication: April 7, 2020

The global COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the fore the immense short comings of health systems globally. As a novel disease, whose ultimate course and eventual impact remains unknown, It has been referred to as most challenging human crisis since World War II attacking societies at their core. While the world is navigating an uncharted area, the lessons learnt from previous epidemics show that the effect will mostly affect health systems especial...

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Survival for the fittest - the game plan for time of Crisis

Author(s):

Date of Publication: April 6, 2020

I must say many issues surrounding the COVID-19 took us by surprise though its existence had been made known to the world when first index cases were confirmed in China followed by deaths. In Uganda we know this pandemic originated from China and spread to other countries. Before the COVID-19 era, Uganda seemed to be on a progressive road to success as far as tackling poverty issues was concerned given various government efforts in place. Additionally, new businesses were springing up with many people especially the youth preferring to move to urban areas and  exchanging  land for other opportunities most notably Boda boda bu...

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Inter-Sectoral Collaboration Mandatory for Effective COVID-19 Response

Author(s):

Date of Publication: April 5, 2020

“This is a time for prudence, not panic. Science, not stigma.  Facts, not fear.  Even though the situation has been classified as a pandemic, it is one we can control...” --UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

 

With the COVID-19 infections now confirmed in African countries, governments have put in place various measures to contain the spread of the outbreak. These measures include screening of suspected cases, contact tracing, public education on hand washing and avoiding touching the face, isolation of confirmed cases, and physica...

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A wake up call: Hypertension and diabetes as predictors of COVID-19 morbidity and mortality.

Author(s):

Date of Publication: April 5, 2020

Since the first case of COVID-19 was recorded in China in December 2019, the disease has escalated rapidly, culminating in its characterization as a pandemic on 12th of March 2020 by the World Health Organization. The number of new cases continue to rise as at 2nd April 2020, a total of  Likes:      Dislikes: 0      Number of Reads: 1366      Comments: 2      Export to PDF 185 Read More

African Health Systems – Our frontline in the COVID-19 pandemic battle?

Author(s):

Date of Publication: April 2, 2020

Health workers in low income countries (LICs) find it difficult and often financially unrewarding and are often taken for granted when the national cake is being shared. The same may be said for teachers and other critical social sector workers who help to determine the foundations of social development and long term economic well-being.

Our economics however seems to focus on wealth creation for a few with mostly accumulation by individuals without adequate attention to investments in broader equity and well-being. After all, the economic indicators will still show good GDP “growth”.

But when a ...

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Covid-19 Infection in children: What should we worry about?

Author(s):

Date of Publication: March 30, 2020

The total number of Covid-19 cases globally stands at 638, 146 with 30,039 deaths. The disease, which started Wuhan in the Hubei Province in China, has torn through the entire world with more than 180 countries having seen at least one case. In Africa, 46 countries have reported 4760 cases with 146 deaths. In Uganda  33 cases have ...

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Mitigating the impact of Covid-19 in cancer patients: Preparedness matters

Author(s):

Date of Publication: March 29, 2020

Introduction

The SARS-CoV-2 (also known as COVID-19), has spread rapidly around the world and is currently affecting 199 countries with a total of 591 971 confirmed cases and 26 990 deaths. In East Africa, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda have reported cases of COVID-19 and the numbers are bound to increase. Kenya has already reported the first death in a diabetic patient. The scramble is on for getting in place a mechanism for containment and limiting the spread of the disease. This is in the wake of the devastating impact...

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The potential role of Ethiopian community health extension workers in COVID-19 prevention and control

Author(s):

Date of Publication: March 28, 2020

As of March 27, 2020, the WHO Africa region has reported 2,234 confirmed cases and 39 deaths due to COVID-19, with a steep increase in numbers seen in the last week. Though the numbers are still small compared to other countries, the WHO General Director, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Gebreyesus has cautioned his continent to prepare for the worst. Considering most countries in sub-Saharan Africa have fragile and resource constrained health systems, measures should be context specific and focus on the Likes:      Dislikes: 0      Number of Reads: 6259      Comments: 0      Export to PDF 195 Read More

Interventions to slow down the spread of Covid-19: Context matters.

Author(s):

Date of Publication: March 22, 2020

I woke up to the news of Italy putting cities on lockdown and two days later the World Health Organisation officially declared the Covid-19 outbreak a pandemic.  Other countries started implementing travel restrictions to control the spread of the virus. Everything was happening so fast and it was only a matter of time before an African country reported a case.

At the time of writing this article, there were 1187 confirmed cases from the 42 aff...

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Public education on COVID-19: How about the deaf community?

Author(s):

Date of Publication: March 17, 2020

Everyone is in a state of confusion and panic because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The mere mention of its name, attack and fatality rates sends shivers down the spine and the number of infected persons keep rising by the day. This situation is putting governments and health workers on their toes all over the world, to ensure that citizens are safe from infection. Fortunately, the media houses are serving their purpose of acting as mediums for Public Health education, and the spread of information is so impressive that every Tom, Dick and Harry is seemingly in the know of this dangerous pandemic.

 

<...

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Blog: Kenya on the right path to achieving universal health coverage

Blog: Public education on COVID-19: How about the deaf community?

Blog: Universal health coverage and ethical issues in the management of burns in developing countries: Who bells the cat?

Blog: Interventions to slow down the spread of Covid-19: Context matters.

Blog: The potential role of Ethiopian community health extension workers in COVID-19 prevention and control

Blog: Mitigating the impact of Covid-19 in cancer patients: Preparedness matters

Blog: Covid-19 Infection in children: What should we worry about?

Blog: African Health Systems – Our frontline in the COVID-19 pandemic battle?

Blog: A wake up call: Hypertension and diabetes as predictors of COVID-19 morbidity and mortality.

Blog: Inter-Sectoral Collaboration Mandatory for Effective COVID-19 Response

Blog: How can African countries use their resources better in responding to COVID-19 pandemic?

Blog: Striking a Balance between Covid-19 Mitigation Measures and the Threat of Starvation in Nigeria

Blog: Switching on communities to defeat Covid -19

Blog: COVID-19 and the burn care community

Blog: Coronavirus lockdowns: Is Africa doing too much or too little?

Blog: Non-pharmaceutical interventions in the containment of COVID-19: do they suffice or only provide a window to strengthen case management?

Blog: Diagnostic Errors May Jeopardize Covid-19 Response in Africa

Blog: Emergency medicine in the era of COVID-19

Blog: Leveraging E-health for Health System Strengthening to improve Health Outcomes in Ghana

Blog: After Covid-19 pandemic, African nations must rethink investments in health systems

Blog: Fighting COVID-19: The importance of strengthening the primary health care system in limited-resource settings, the case of Ghana.

Blog: Mental health amongst health care workers in the era of COVID-19 in Kenya

Blog: Impact of Covid-19 on the informal workers

Blog: The role of palliative care in response to fatal viral epidemics: A case for covid-19

Blog: Beyond the biological basis of disease, the intersection of medicine, social sciences, and indigenous knowledge.

Blog: Raising cancer awareness through an automated telephone system: early lessons from the Uganda Cancer Institute

Blog: Current state of the Zimbabwean healthcare sector: small improvements that could help improve patient centred care and service delivery

Blog: You can’t do what you don’t know how

Blog: Covid has put Governance at the heart of debates on development, but how has it changed the questions we ask?

Opinion: Survival for the fittest - the game plan for time of Crisis

Opinion: Strategies to exit Covid-19 lock down in African countries

Opinion: Power versus Public Health in the COVID-19 pandemic

Opinion: COVID-19: The disease, the fears, and the possibility of an enlightened civilization

Blog: Calculating the real cost of purchasing a second-hand vehicle

Blog: Food and drug labels: pay attention to these.

Disclaimer: Some of the editors of this blog are staff of the World Health Organization (WHO). However, their work on this blog and the opinion(s) expressed herein do not represent that of WHO. Similarly, except otherwise explicitly stated, opinions expressed in any article are solely that of the authors and do not represent their organizations or that of the editors.

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