Publications by authors named "Don Eliseo Lucero-Prisno"

66 Publications

Food security and COVID-19 in Afghanistan: a two-sided battlefront.

Trop Med Health 2021 Sep 26;49(1):77. Epub 2021 Sep 26.

Harvard Medical School, Harvard University, Boston, MA, USA.

Food security is a major element for the sustainability, stability and development of a country. However, despite fundamental efforts in fighting poverty, Afghanistan continues to struggle with food insecurity with a large proportion of its population living below the poverty line. With extreme climates, protracted conflict, and now COVID-19, food insecurity has become rampant and is on the rise in the country. Efforts have been reinforced to mitigate this issue, but a spate of obstacles which seems not to come to an end, has contributed to the deterioration of the situation. With the collaboration and efforts of international organizations, there remains a glimmer of hope to potentially reduce the gravity of the food insecurity in the country. This paper aims to highlight the efforts of Afghanistan in alleviating food insecurity with a focus on the impact of COVID-19 on this issue. It also presents recommendations that may help ameliorate the country's food security status during and after the pandemic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s41182-021-00370-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8467239PMC
September 2021

UAE efforts in promoting COVID-19 vaccination and building vaccine confidence.

Vaccine 2021 10 7;39(43):6341-6345. Epub 2021 Sep 7.

Department of Academic Affairs (Health Policy), Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Electronic address:

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is leading globally in many indicators for tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. This ranges from taking adequate preventive measures to the free vaccination drive and viable public health strategy. As of 18 August 2021, the UAE has significantly reduced the number of cases and successfully administered 17,454,250 doses. Furthermore, efforts and plans are underway to provide the third dose to high-risk people three months after completing the second dose and six months later to others. The UAE is considered one of the leaders globally for vaccinating "medically eligible" residents against COVID-19, with over 70% of the population currently fully vaccinated in the drive towards achieving herd immunity. The UAE's vaccination program is on track, covering a significant part of the population. The massive efforts of the National Vaccination Program's roll-out made by the UAE government and the various health authorities and stakeholders were vital for the general public's active participation in its success.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2021.09.015DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8421098PMC
October 2021

Accelerating Indonesian COVID-19 vaccination rollout: a critical task amid the second wave.

Trop Med Health 2021 Sep 22;49(1):76. Epub 2021 Sep 22.

Department of Global Health and Development, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK.

Coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) has been spreading in every part of the world, putting nations at risk with its pandemic status, including Indonesia. COVID-19 vaccine has been deemed as one of the most effective interventions to date for mitigating the spread and mortality from COVID-19. Responding to the situation, the Government of Indonesia (GOI) has allocated the means necessary to procure and distribute COVID-19 vaccines; placing into consideration the unique context of the country, recently categorized as a middle-income country and archipelagic with a population over 270 million. This article aims to present the challenges associated with the distribution of COVID-19 vaccination as well as recommendations to mitigate them, to ensure a timely and effective COVID-19 vaccination program in Indonesia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s41182-021-00367-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8455302PMC
September 2021

Dual burden of COVID-19 and TB in Africa.

Clin Epidemiol Glob Health 2021 Oct-Dec;12:100847. Epub 2021 Aug 9.

Department of Global Health and Development, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cegh.2021.100847DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8443389PMC
August 2021

The daunting task of fighting against COVID-19 in Guinea-Bissau.

Public Health Pract (Oxf) 2021 Nov 3;2:100097. Epub 2021 Mar 3.

Department of Global Health and Development, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.puhip.2021.100097DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8417461PMC
November 2021

Strengthening Virology Research in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations: Preparing for Future Pandemics.

Am J Trop Med Hyg 2021 Sep 10. Epub 2021 Sep 10.

Department of Global Health and Development, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region is known to be a global hotspot to viral outbreaks because of many factors. To limit the impact of future outbreaks, it is crucial for the ASEAN governments to strengthen regional virology research capacity. The ASEAN governments have collaborated in several virology initiatives, with the most recent being the establishment of the ASEAN Regional Center for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases. However, several challenges, including technology disparities, nationalistic tendencies, and the lack of public acceptance toward virus sharing, need to be addressed to maximize the region's collaboration potential in virology research. We recommend the governments to 1) prioritize the strengthening of research capacities; 2) develop stronger cooperation and possible centralization of efforts on top of national capacities; 3) develop an equitable and secure research framework; and 4) improve the public awareness regarding the importance of regional public health responses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4269/ajtmh.21-0589DOI Listing
September 2021

Early marriage and teenage pregnancy: The unspoken consequences of COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.

Public Health Pract (Oxf) 2021 Nov 18;2:100152. Epub 2021 Jun 18.

Department of Global Health and Development, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom.

Early marriage and its sad consequences to the girl child and socio-economic development of the nation has been an age-long issue being advocated against in many parts of Nigeria. At the onset of COVID-19, the teeming efforts to curb this issue almost got jeopardized with harsh economic situations in many households due to the lockdown and the willingness to marry off their girls to reduce this burden. Closure of schools and cases of sexual gender based violence also impacted the prevalence of early marriage during the pandemic in Nigeria. We also argue in this commentary that the pandemic has so much impacted on programs aimed at ending early marriage in the nation. Therefore, if serious and concerted efforts are not taken by relevant stakeholders, more girls will be at risk of early marriage and teenage pregnancy with their related health consequences. They will also be left behind in fulfilling their potentials and their aspirations cut off with early marriage, thus sustainable development cannot be achieved.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.puhip.2021.100152DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8411836PMC
November 2021

Yemen's triple emergency: Food crisis amid a civil war and COVID-19 pandemic.

Public Health Pract (Oxf) 2021 Nov 21;2:100082. Epub 2021 Jan 21.

Hadhramaut Hospital, Hadhramaut, Yemen.

Yemen has been termed as the world's worst humanitarian crisis by the United Nations. About 20.1 million (more than 50% of population) Yemenis are facing hunger and 10 million are severely food insecure according to reports by the World Food Programme. With the spread of COVID-19, the situation in Yemen has worsened and humanitarian aid from other countries has become the basis of life for hundreds of thousands of Yemenis after the threat of famine. Yemen is practically one of the poorest countries in the world. It has structural vulnerabilities that have developed over a protracted period of conflict and poor governance and more than 50% live in starving, they suffer for getting one meal a day. To prevent a total collapse of Yemen's food crises, the government and the international community should act now more decisively.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.puhip.2021.100082DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8411833PMC
November 2021

COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts: Is Afghanistan Prepared?

Am J Trop Med Hyg 2021 Aug 31. Epub 2021 Aug 31.

5Department of Global Health and Development, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom.

A country's preparedness for a prompt and successful implementation of vaccination programs plays a pivotal role in disease control and prevention. As it stands now, Afghanistan seems to be ill-prepared to embrace a successful implementation of the COVID-19 vaccination program because of a spate of challenges. These include, but are not limited to, the insufficient number of vaccinators, a dearth of fully integrated functioning cold chain, challenging geographical barriers, cultural issues, insecurity, and protracted conflict. The COVID-19 infodemic along with vaccine mistrust in the country will lead to a pervasive public vaccine hesitancy in Afghanistan, which will present serious obstacles to the COVID-19 immunization efforts. The politicization of the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) and the complaints of embezzlement and misuse of the pandemic aid have already eroded public trust during the pandemic. To ensure a large-scale and equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, the cold chain infrastructure should be strengthened, and the immunization personnel trained. Antivaccination propaganda and misinformation should be tackled with effective communication approaches and effective community engagement, which consider culturally relevant messages appropriate to the culture and people. The allegations of corruption should be addressed to revive public trust in public health interventions, including COVID-19 vaccination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4269/ajtmh.21-0448DOI Listing
August 2021

World's largest vaccination drive in India: Challenges and recommendations.

Health Sci Rep 2021 Sep 18;4(3):e355. Epub 2021 Aug 18.

Department of Global Health and Development London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine London UK.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hsr2.355DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8371561PMC
September 2021

COVID-19 and Antimicrobial Resistance: A Review.

Infect Dis (Auckl) 2021 31;14:11786337211033870. Epub 2021 Jul 31.

Department of Global Health and Development, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK.

As the world continues to respond to the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), there is a larger hidden threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) lurking behind. AMR remains worrisome in that the pathogens causing resistant infections to thrive in hospitals and medical facilities, putting all patients at risk, irrespective of the severity of their medical conditions, further compounding the management of COVID-19. This study aims to provide overview of early findings on COVID-19 and AMR as well as to provide recommendations and lesson learned toward improving antimicrobial stewardship. We conducted a rapid narrative review of published articles by searching PubMed and Google Scholar on COVID-19 and Antimicrobial Resistance with predetermined keywords. Secondary bacterial infections play crucial roles in mortality and morbidity associated with COVID-19. Research has shown that a minority of COVID-19 patients need antibiotics to treat secondary bacterial infections. Current evidence reiterates the need not to give antibiotic therapy or prophylaxis to patients with mild COVID-19 or to patients with suspected or confirmed moderate COVID-19 illness unless it is indicated. The pandemic has also brought to the fore the deficiencies in health systems around the world. This comes with a lot of lessons, one of which is that despite the advances in medicine; we remain incredibly vulnerable to infections with limited or no standard therapies. This is worth thinking in the context of AMR, as the resistant pathogens are evolving and leading us to the era of untreatable infections. There is a necessity for continuous research into understanding and controlling infectious agents, as well as the development of newer functional antimicrobials and the need to strengthen the antimicrobial stewardship programs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/11786337211033870DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8327234PMC
July 2021

Childhood Blindness: Beyond VISION 2020 and the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Glob Pediatr Health 2021 20;8:2333794X211022910. Epub 2021 Jul 20.

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK.

The World report on vision in 2019 found it difficult to evaluate VISION 2020's impact on childhood blindness and VI since data on prevalence and causes were scarce. Considering the high chance of the global initiative missing its desired goal in children, we recommend that a sustainable version of it be launched soon. Central to this new initiative shall be better data collection on prevalence and causes of childhood blindness and VI, eye care provision and an updated and uniform system of reporting. Complete and updated data can better reflect the burden and monitor the impact of interventions. However, data collection will continue to be difficult due to the COVID-19 pandemic so the initial phase shall be tailored to the current situation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2333794X211022910DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8295931PMC
July 2021

Philippines braces for the typhoon season amidst COVID-19.

Lancet Reg Health West Pac 2020 Aug 3;1:100003. Epub 2020 Aug 3.

Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lanwpc.2020.100003DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7398084PMC
August 2020

Last fight of wild polio in Africa: Nigeria's battle.

Public Health Pract (Oxf) 2020 Nov 22;1:100043. Epub 2020 Dec 22.

Program Manager, International Organization for Migration, United Nations Migration Agency, Abuja, Nigeria.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.puhip.2020.100043DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7528738PMC
November 2020

The use of antibiotics in COVID-19 management: a rapid review of national treatment guidelines in 10 African countries.

Trop Med Health 2021 Jun 23;49(1):51. Epub 2021 Jun 23.

Department of Global Health and Development, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK.

Antimicrobial resistance is a hidden threat lurking behind the COVID-19 pandemic which has claimed thousands of lives prior to the emergence of the global outbreak. With a pandemic on the scale of COVID-19, antimicrobial resistance has the potential to become a double-edged sword with the overuse of antibiotics having the potential of taking us back to the pre-antibiotic era. Antimicrobial resistance is majorly attributed to widespread and unnecessary use of antibiotics, among other causes, which has facilitated the emergence and spread of resistant pathogens. Our study aimed to conduct a rapid review of national treatment guidelines for COVID-19 in 10 African countries (Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Liberia, Ethiopia, and Rwanda) and examined its implication for antimicrobial resistance response on the continent. Our findings revealed that various antibiotics, such as azithromycin, doxycycline, clarithromycin, ceftriaxone, erythromycin, amoxicillin, amoxicillin-clavulanic acid, ampicillin, gentamicin, benzylpenicillin, piperacillin/tazobactam, ciprofloxacin, ceftazidime, cefepime, vancomycin, meropenem, and cefuroxime among others, were recommended for use in the management of COVID-19. This is worrisome in that COVID-19 is a viral disease and only a few COVID-19 patients would have bacterial co-infection. Our study highlighted the need to emphasize prudent and judicious use of antibiotics in the management of COVID-19 in Africa.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s41182-021-00344-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8220112PMC
June 2021

COVID-19 and progress towards achieving universal health coverage in Africa: A case of Nigeria.

Int J Health Plann Manage 2021 Sep 23;36(5):1417-1422. Epub 2021 Jun 23.

Global Health Focus, London, UK.

Universal Health Coverage (UHC) 2030 is a global health target, and countries are making efforts to convert plans into tangible results. Nigeria, the most populated country in Africa, has made commitments towards UHC2030 target but is underperforming across many building blocks of health and progress has been slow. The arrival of COVID-19 poses additional pressure on the already feeble health system causing the government to direct focus towards containing the pandemic. However, existing gaps in health workforce density, weak primary health care infrastructure and inadequate budgetary allocation have resulted in inequitable access to basic healthcare services. This situation weighs most heavily on the poor who are mostly part of the informal economy thereby pushing people further into poverty. On the other hand, COVID-19 has provided valuable insights into Nigeria's current health system status which hopefully can be helpful in strengthening efforts towards building resilient health system and preparing the country towards future pandemic. The pandemic has highlighted the importance of essential health services and the need to strengthen primary healthcare system. It is, therefore, important that stakeholders in Nigeria and other African countries carry out situation analysis of the current health systems towards achieving UHC2030.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hpm.3263DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8426814PMC
September 2021

Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on antenatal healthcare services in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Public Health Pract (Oxf) 2021 Nov 11;2:100076. Epub 2021 Jan 11.

Department of Global Health and Development, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom.

Many Sub-Saharan African countries have been known to suffer various challenges which threaten the quality of health services that are offered to the population. With the emergence of COVID-19 outbreak, it is not impossible that access to quality antenatal care services would be further threatened in the region due to the competition for limited health care resources. This paper seeks to highlight the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on antenatal healthcare services in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is imperative for all African countries to put up measures to ensure antenatal care services, which are just as important and needed, are not disrupted due to the urgent need to shift limited resources to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.puhip.2021.100076DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8204802PMC
November 2021

Transfusion-dependent beta thalassemia in Afghanistan: current evidence amid COVID-19 and future recommendations.

Hematology 2021 Dec;26(1):432-434

Department of Global Health and Development, London School of and Tropical Medicine, London, UK.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/16078454.2021.1938814DOI Listing
December 2021

Prevalence, risk factors and impact of cellular immunity on intestinal parasitosis among people living with HIV at Auchi, Edo State, Nigeria.

Int J STD AIDS 2021 Jun 9:9564624211020984. Epub 2021 Jun 9.

Department of Global Health and Development, 4906London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK.

This study was sought to determine the impact of CD4 T-cell count and associated risk factors with intestinal parasitosis in people living with HIV (PLHIV) in Central Hospital, Auchi, Edo State, Nigeria. One hundred and seventy (170) HIV-seropositive subjects were enrolled in the study from 24 August 2015 to 22 January 2016. Sociodemographic data were assessed using structured questionnaires. Blood and stool samples were collected from every participant. CD4 T-cell count and stool parasitology were performed. The prevalence of intestinal parasites was 44.7%. Helminthiasis (67%) was a predominant infection in the study, while 32.9% had protozoasis. Specifically, (33.3%) was the most common helminth, and (7.8%), the least. However, were 13.7%, 31.5% and 13.7%, respectively. Cryptosporidium spp. (25.0%) was the only protozoan. Lower CD4 T-cell count, ART naivety (OR = 2.62 < 0.05), residence in a rural setting (OR = 0.89, < 0.05), and farming occupation (OR = 1.70, < 0.05) were associated with the prevalence of intestinal parasitosis among PLHIV. This study revealed a significantly high prevalence of intestinal parasitosis in ART naive PLHIV with reduced CD4 count. Hence, it is recommended to frequently test for intestinal parasitosis and commencement of ART in all PLHIV to improve their health and longevity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/09564624211020984DOI Listing
June 2021

COVID-19 and its impacts: The situation in Niger republic.

Clin Epidemiol Glob Health 2021 Jul-Sep;11:100797. Epub 2021 May 29.

Department of Global Health and Development, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK.

COVID-19 being a public health emergency of international concern has emerged in most African countries including Niger. Niger, a landlocked country, is tasked with controlling the pandemic. However, of the big challenges the country faced is the fragility of healthcare system which posed limitations to the fight against the virus. The virus overwhelmed the fragile healthcare system which led to inaccessibility of quality healthcare to the citizens coupled with issues of flooding and economic recession that happened during the pandemic. The healthcare sectored has further been crippled by exposure and infection of the already insufficient healthcare workers. In addition to this, there was the burden of NTDs and other communicable and non-communicable diseases that subverted the country in the depths of difficulties. As per the predictions of World Bank, the poverty curve is likely to escalate due to the outrageous impacts of COVID-19. Adding on to this, the occurrence of natural disasters such as flooding has further stretched the country. It's no coincidence that the country would confront plethora of challenges amidst the second wave. Therefore, timely decision and necessary interventions are needed to strengthen the country's fight against the pandemic. However, this is only feasible when Nigerien government, international allies and other wealthy nations work closely to ensure that the challenges faced by the healthcare system are tackled.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cegh.2021.100797DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8163563PMC
May 2021

Digital health and COVID-19: challenges of use and implementation in sub-Saharan Africa.

Pan Afr Med J 2021 7;38:240. Epub 2021 Mar 7.

Department of Global Health and Development, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom.

COVID-19 is a global health emergency that exposed the gaps in health systems globally, especially in sub-Saharan Africa home to many fragile healthcare systems and a region beset with a large burden of disease. Various mitigation strategies have been put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19 and management of patients in sub-Saharan Africa. However, much still need to be done. Digital health provides the promise for the continent to bridge the gap in decreasing the negative impact of COVID-19 and effectively mitigate the pandemic. This commentary argues how countries in sub-Saharan Africa need to embrace the use of digital health in public health interventions to vigorously mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic and to contribute towards attaining universal health coverage (UHC).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.11604/pamj.2021.38.240.27948DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8140728PMC
June 2021

When it is available, will we take it? Social media users' perception of hypothetical COVID-19 vaccine in Nigeria.

Pan Afr Med J 2021 2;38:230. Epub 2021 Mar 2.

Department of Global Health and Development, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom.

Introduction: COVID-19 pandemic is a global public health threat facing mankind. There is no specific antiviral treatment for COVID-19, and many vaccine candidates are currently under clinical trials. This study aimed to understand the perception of social media users regarding a hypothetical COVID-19 vaccine in Nigeria.

Methods: we conducted a cross-sectional survey among social media users in Nigeria in August 2020 using an online questionnaire. The questionnaire includes sections on the demographic characteristics of the respondents and their perception regarding a hypothetical COVID-19 vaccine. A total of 517 respondents completed and returned the informed consent along with the questionnaire electronically. Data were coded and abstracted into Microsoft Excel spreadsheet and loaded into the STATA 14 software for final analysis.

Results: the results showed that more than half of the respondents were male 294 (56.9%). Most of the respondents 385 (74.5%) intend to take the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available. Among the 132 respondents that would not take the COVID-19 vaccine, the major reason for non-acceptance was unreliability of the clinical trials 49 (37.1%), followed by the belief that their immune system is sufficient to combat the virus 36 (27.3%). We found a significant association between the age of the respondents and the COVID-19 vaccine acceptance (P-value=0.00) as well as geographical location and COVID-19 vaccine acceptance (P-value=0.02).

Conclusion: it was observed that most of the respondents were willing to take the COVID-19 vaccine. Our findings also reiterate the need to reassure the public the benefits an effective and safe COVID-19 vaccine can reap for public health. There is a need for national health authorities in Nigeria to ensure public trust is earned and all communities, including the marginalized populations, are properly engaged to ensure an optimal COVID-19 vaccine acceptance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.11604/pamj.2021.38.230.27325DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8140724PMC
June 2021

Community distribution of oxygen: a unique COVID-19 intervention.

Trop Med Health 2021 May 14;49(1):39. Epub 2021 May 14.

Department of Global Health and Development, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK.

The rapid spread of COVID-19 around the world has exposed some long-standing deficiencies in health systems, particularly in environments with low financial and medical resources. Most patients ill with COVID-19 require oxygen and supportive therapy for survival as there remains no conclusively established curative therapy. Following a number of critical research work and drawing from a millennia-long evolution of medical practice, respiratory support has been identified as a paramount intervention to ensure lives are saved when supportive care is required, and oxygen is an essential commodity to achieve this. This letter focuses on the numerous means for oxygen delivery to health facilities and in turn the end users and expands on the importance of innovation to improve oxygen supply. We describe a community distribution system with a telemedicine structure that can be leveraged for oxygen delivery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s41182-021-00333-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8119612PMC
May 2021

Vietnam's success story against COVID-19.

Public Health Pract (Oxf) 2021 Nov 7;2:100132. Epub 2021 May 7.

Department of Global Health and Development, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom.

Vietnam's close proximity to China where the COVID-19 outbreak started made it one of the countries expected to have widespread transmission of the virus. However, the country opposed this expectation and attained low spread of COVID-19 infection due to its proactive approaches in containing the disease. As of March 11, 2021, Vietnam has a total of 2529 confirmed cases, equivalent to 26 cases per one million population-compared to the global rate of 15,223 cases. The low-cost model approach used by Vietnam in dealing with previous public health issues, tackle the importance of a strategic public health system, good governance, and citizen cooperation in the fight against COVID 19 pandemic. This paper aims to analyze Vietnam's achievement in its early and continued success in combating COVID-19 by taking into account various aspects of its health system and experience on outbreaks that have previously occurred and how these can be applied to current COVID-19 responses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.puhip.2021.100132DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8103712PMC
November 2021

Rethinking 'Bacha Bazi', a culture of child sexual abuse in Afghanistan.

Med Confl Surviv 2021 Jun 10;37(2):118-123. Epub 2021 May 10.

Department of Global Health and Development, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK.

The global pandemic appears to be a never ending challenge. With the authorities' reach shrinking, we can assume that Bacha Bazi is celebrated more than before. Perpetrators not only harass individuals but also put public health in peril by organizing gathering and parties. With both individual and public health and rights at stake, this pandemic could also be a chance to contain Bacha Bazi practices. It may be early to say this and we definitely need to collect more information before we reach any conclusion, but most importantly, we, from healthcare workers and youth workers to policymakers, need to take action. Awareness is the spark of our mobilization. As citizens we can be more critical towards traditions involving any kind of abuse. As healthcare workers, we can be alert when treating boys, adolescents and young adults. We can probably spot a hidden case of abuse and refer the victim accordingly. As citizens we can support policymakers who are committed to take action against harassment of this, and any other, kind and this can also be a crucial chance to address the shadows haunting our societies once and for all.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13623699.2021.1926051DOI Listing
June 2021

Climate change, human migration, and skin disease: is there a link?

Int J Dermatol 2021 May 10. Epub 2021 May 10.

Department of Dermatology, Aleris-Hamlet Private Hospitals, Esbjerg, Denmark.

Climate change, exemplified by higher average global temperatures resulting in more frequent extreme weather events, has the potential to significantly impact human migration patterns and health. The consequences of environmental catastrophes further destabilize regions with pre-existing states of conflict due to social, political, and/or economic unrest. Migrants may carry diseases from their place of origin to their destinations and once there may be susceptible to diseases in which they had not been previously exposed to. Skin diseases are among the most commonly observed health conditions observed in migrant populations. To improve awareness among dermatologists of the burden of skin diseases among migrants, the group searched the English language scientific literature to identify articles linking climate change, migration, and skin disease. Skin diseases associated with human migration fall into three major categories: (i) communicable diseases, (ii) noncommunicable diseases, and (iii) environmentally mediated diseases. Adopting comprehensive global strategies to improve the health of migrants requires urgent attention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ijd.15543DOI Listing
May 2021

Inherited bleeding disorders in Afghanistan: The current situation amid COVID-19.

Haemophilia 2021 Jul 9;27(4):e579-e580. Epub 2021 May 9.

Department of Global Health and Development, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/hae.14332DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8239604PMC
July 2021

Psychosocial factors of stigma and relationship to healthcare services among adolescents living with HIV/AIDS in Kano state, Nigeria.

Heliyon 2021 Apr 13;7(4):e06687. Epub 2021 Apr 13.

Global Health Focus, London, United Kingdom.

Background: Stigma associated with HIV shapes all aspect of prevention and treatment, yet there are limited data on how HIV-infected adolescents are affected by stigma. Stigma increases risk of psychological problems among HIV-infected individuals which can affect access to treatment and social support services. This study aimed at identifying psychosocial factors of stigma and relationship to healthcare services among adolescents on antiretroviral therapy (ART) in Gwale Local Government Area (LGA) of Kano state, Nigeria.

Methods: A facility-based cross-sectional survey was carried out from January 26 to February 28, 2020 across six health facilities providing ART service in Gwale local government. A structured interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to collect the data. ART clients attending clinics were interviewed following an informed consent. Descriptive statistics was used to summarize the data and results are presented using simple frequency tables and percentages. Upon completion of univariate analysis, the data was analyzed at the bivariate level using chi-square test to determine associations between different variables.

Results: One hundred and eight (108) clients voluntarily participated in the study of which 54 (50%) are male respondents and 54 (50%) are female respondents. Under the internalized stigma item, 67% of HIV-infected adolescents who have lost their father or mother to AIDS reported feeling less valuable than other children who are not infected with HIV. Under the perceived stigma items, 86% of participants who have lost their father or mother to AIDS reported to have excluded themselves from health services and social activities in the last twelve months due to fear of being insulted. Under the experienced stigma items, 62% of participants who have lost their father or mother to AIDS reported to have been avoided by friends and colleagues in the last twelve months.

Conclusion: The study revealed that loss of intimate relation (father or mother) to AIDS and equal treatment with other HIV negative siblings were found to be significantly associated with the three forms of stigma (internalized stigma, perceived stigma, and experienced stigma) including access to healthcare services. There is a need for social and psychological support programs among HIV-infected adolescents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2021.e06687DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8065261PMC
April 2021
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