Publications by authors named "Humphrey Cyprian Karamagi"

3 Publications

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Towards universal health coverage in the WHO African Region: assessing health system functionality, incorporating lessons from COVID-19.

BMJ Glob Health 2021 03;6(3)

Director of Programme Management, World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa, Brazzaville, Republic of Congo.

The move towards universal health coverage is premised on having well-functioning health systems, which can assure provision of the essential health and related services people need. Efforts to define ways to assess functionality of health systems have however varied, with many not translating into concrete policy action and influence on system development. We present an approach to provide countries with information on the functionality of their systems in a manner that will facilitate movement towards universal health coverage. We conceptualise functionality of a health system as being a construct of four capacities: access to, quality of, demand for essential services and its resilience to external shocks. We test and confirm the validity of these capacities as appropriate measures of system functionality. We thus provide results for functionality of the 47 countries of the WHO African Region based on this. The functionality of health systems ranges from 34.4 to 75.8 on a 0-100 scale. Access to essential services represents the lowest capacity in most countries of the region, specifically due to poor physical access to services. Funding levels from public and out-of-pocket sources represent the strongest predictors of system functionality, compared with other sources. By focusing on the assessment on the capacities that define system functionality, each country has concrete information on where it needs to focus, in order to improve the functionality of its health system to enable it respond to current needs including achieving universal health coverage, while responding to shocks from challenges such as the 2019 coronavirus disease. This systematic and replicable approach for assessing health system functionality can provide the guidance needed for investing in country health systems to attain universal health coverage goals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjgh-2020-004618DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8015798PMC
March 2021

The potential effects of widespread community transmission of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the World Health Organization African Region: a predictive model.

BMJ Glob Health 2020 May;5(5)

Regional Director, World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa, Brazzaville, Congo.

The spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been unprecedented in its speed and effects. Interruption of its transmission to prevent widespread community transmission is critical because its effects go beyond the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths and affect the health system capacity to provide other essential services. Highlighting the implications of such a situation, the predictions presented here are derived using a Markov chain model, with the transition states and country specific probabilities derived based on currently available knowledge. A risk of exposure, and vulnerability index are used to make the probabilities country specific. The results predict a high risk of exposure in states of small size, together with Algeria, South Africa and Cameroon. Nigeria will have the largest number of infections, followed by Algeria and South Africa. Mauritania would have the fewest cases, followed by Seychelles and Eritrea. Per capita, Mauritius, Seychelles and Equatorial Guinea would have the highest proportion of their population affected, while Niger, Mauritania and Chad would have the lowest. Of the World Health Organization's 1 billion population in Africa, 22% (16%-26%) will be infected in the first year, with 37 (29 - 44) million symptomatic cases and 150 078 (82 735-189 579) deaths. There will be an estimated 4.6 (3.6-5.5) million COVID-19 hospitalisations, of which 139 521 (81 876-167 044) would be severe cases requiring oxygen, and 89 043 (52 253-106 599) critical cases requiring breathing support. The needed mitigation measures would significantly strain health system capacities, particularly for secondary and tertiary services, while many cases may pass undetected in primary care facilities due to weak diagnostic capacity and non-specific symptoms. The effect of avoiding widespread and sustained community transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is significant, and most likely outweighs any costs of preventing such a scenario. Effective containment measures should be promoted in all countries to best manage the COVID-19 pandemic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjgh-2020-002647DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7252960PMC
May 2020

How Can Digital Health Technologies Contribute to Sustainable Attainment of Universal Health Coverage in Africa? A Perspective.

Front Public Health 2019 15;7:341. Epub 2019 Nov 15.

International Health System Strengthening Expert, Accra, Ghana.

Innovative strategies such as digital health are needed to ensure attainment of the ambitious universal health coverage in Africa. However, their successful deployment on a wider scale faces several challenges on the continent. This article reviews the key benefits and challenges associated with the application of digital health for universal health coverage and propose a conceptual framework for its wide scale deployment in Africa. Digital health has several benefits. These include; improving access to health care services especially for those in hard-to-reach areas, improvements in safety and quality of healthcare services and products, improved knowledge and access of health workers and communities to health information; cost savings and efficiencies in health services delivery; and improvements in access to the social, economic and environmental determinants of health, all of which could contribute to the attainment of universal health coverage. However, digital health deployment in Africa is constrained by challenges such as poor coordination of mushrooming pilot projects, weak health systems, lack of awareness and knowledge about digital health, poor infrastructure such as unstable power supply, poor internet connectivity and lack of interoperability of the numerous digital health systems. Contribution of digital health to attainment of universal health coverage requires the presence of elements such as resilient health system, communities and access to the social and economic determinants of health. Further evidence and a conceptual framework are needed for successful and sustainable deployment of digital health for universal health coverage in Africa.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2019.00341DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6873775PMC
November 2019
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