Publications by authors named "Patrick O"

5 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Response to the Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19) Pandemic Across Africa: Successes, Challenges, and Implications for the Future.

Front Pharmacol 2020 11;11:1205. Epub 2020 Sep 11.

Department of Medical Pharmacology, University of Ghana Medical School, Accra, Ghana.

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has already claimed considerable lives. There are major concerns in Africa due to existing high prevalence rates for both infectious and non-infectious diseases and limited resources in terms of personnel, beds and equipment. Alongside this, concerns that lockdown and other measures will have on prevention and management of other infectious diseases and non-communicable diseases (NCDs). NCDs are an increasing issue with rising morbidity and mortality rates. The World Health Organization (WHO) warns that a lack of nets and treatment could result in up to 18 million additional cases of malaria and up to 30,000 additional deaths in sub-Saharan Africa.

Objective: Document current prevalence and mortality rates from COVID-19 alongside economic and other measures to reduce its spread and impact across Africa. In addition, suggested ways forward among all key stakeholder groups.

Our Approach: Contextualise the findings from a wide range of publications including internet-based publications coupled with input from senior-level personnel.

Ongoing Activities: Prevalence and mortality rates are currently lower in Africa than among several Western countries and the USA. This could be due to a number of factors including early instigation of lockdown and border closures, the younger age of the population, lack of robust reporting systems and as yet unidentified genetic and other factors. Innovation is accelerating to address concerns with available equipment. There are ongoing steps to address the level of misinformation and its consequences including fines. There are also ongoing initiatives across Africa to start addressing the unintended consequences of COVID-19 activities including lockdown measures and their impact on NCDs including the likely rise in mental health disorders, exacerbated by increasing stigma associated with COVID-19. Strategies include extending prescription lengths, telemedicine and encouraging vaccination. However, these need to be accelerated to prevent increased morbidity and mortality.

Conclusion: There are multiple activities across Africa to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and address misinformation, which can have catastrophic consequences, assisted by the WHO and others, which appear to be working in a number of countries. Research is ongoing to clarify the unintended consequences given ongoing concerns to guide future activities. Countries are learning from each other.
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September 2020

Perspectives of Physicians in Small Rural Practices on the Medicare Quality Payment Program.

Rand Health Q 2020 Jun 15;8(4). Epub 2020 Jun 15.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently launched its Quality Payment Program (QPP), which considerably changes the way physicians are paid under Medicare. There has been significant concern about the ability of small rural practices to successfully participate in the program. To address these concerns, RAND researchers conducted interviews with physicians in small rural practices on the initial implementation of the QPP in order to understand the flexibility provisions for small rural practices and to inform future federal rulemaking for the QPP. The findings suggest that small rural practices are struggling to participate in the QPP. Interviewees reported frustration with a lack of clarity of program details, requirements that appeared to be determined late and were subject to change, and the amount of effort needed to participate. Interviewees suggested several changes to the QPP and Medicare policy to improve the ability of small rural practices to participate in the program. These changes included clarifying and specifying program requirements, reducing the frequency of program policy changes, delaying program implementation for small practices, avoiding penalizing small practices that serve vulnerable populations, developing less obtrusive methods for assessing the quality of care of small practices, providing additional information technology support for small rural practices, and enabling greater engagement of rural physicians by policymakers.
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June 2020

Ongoing and planned activities to improve the management of patients with Type 1 diabetes across Africa; implications for the future.

Hosp Pract (1995) 2020 Mar 13;48(2):51-67. Epub 2020 May 13.

Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Strathclyde , Glasgow, UK.

Background: Currently about 19 million people in Africa are known to be living with diabetes, mainly Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) (95%), estimated to grow to 47 million people by 2045. However, there are concerns with early diagnosis of patients with Type 1 diabetes (T1DM) as often patients present late with complications. There are also challenges with access and affordability of insulin, monitoring equipment and test strips with typically high patient co-payments, which can be catastrophic for families. These challenges negatively impact on the quality of care of patients with T1DM increasing morbidity and mortality. There are also issues of patient education and psychosocial support adversely affecting patients' quality of life. These challenges need to be debated and potential future activities discussed to improve the future care of patients with T1DM across Africa.

Methodology: Documentation of the current situation across Africa for patients with T1DM including the epidemiology, economics, and available treatments within public healthcare systems as well as ongoing activities to improve their future care. Subsequently, provide guidance to all key stakeholder groups going forward utilizing input from senior-level government, academic and other professionals from across Africa.

Results: Whilst prevalence rates for T1DM are considerably lower than T2DM, there are concerns with late diagnosis as well as the routine provision of insulin and monitoring equipment across Africa. High patient co-payments exacerbate the situation. However, there are ongoing developments to address the multiple challenges including the instigation of universal health care and partnerships with non-governmental organizations, patient organizations, and pharmaceutical companies. Their impact though remains to be seen. In the meantime, a range of activities has been documented for all key stakeholder groups to improve future care.

Conclusion: There are concerns with the management of patients with T1DM across Africa. A number of activities has been suggested to address this and will be monitored.
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March 2020

Challenges in the Management of Mucopolysaccharidosis Type II (Hunter's Syndrome) in a Developing Country: a Case Report.

Ethiop J Health Sci 2015 Jul;25(3):279-82

Department of Surgery, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Kwara, Nigeria.

Background: Mucopolysaccharidosis type II (Hunter's syndrome) is an X-linked chromosomal storage disorder due to deficiency of the lysosomal enzyme iduronate-2-sulfatase with patients rarely living till adulthood. Failure to identify patients early could contribute to an increased morbidity as identified in this case report.

Case Details: An eight year old patient with Hunter's syndrome identified five years after disease onset with severe cardiovascular complications exemplifies the challenges faced in resource-limited countries towards making diagnosis and treatment of rare conditions. Elevated urinary glycosaminoglycans levels or a strong clinical suspicion of Hunter's syndrome, as identified in the index case, is a prerequisite for enzyme activity testing. Urinary mucopolysaccharide(MPS) level was 69.6 mg/mmol(normal range is 0.0 - 11.6 mg/mmol), and the confirming MPS electrophoresis analysis showed elevated heparan sulphate in the urine sample. Enzyme activity testing, with absent or very low iduronate-2-sulfatase activity, is diagnostic. However, the scarce availability and high cost of these tests is another constraint in making a diagnosis.

Conclusion: Identification and management of mucopolysaccharidosis type II pose a problem in resource-constrained countries due to late presentation, lack of facility for diagnosis and treatment, cost and expertise required for the management.
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July 2015

Commercial interferon gamma release assays compared to the tuberculin skin test for diagnosis of latent Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection in childhood contacts in the Gambia.

Pediatr Infect Dis J 2010 May;29(5):439-43

Bacterial Diseases Program, Medical Research Council (UK) Laboratories, Fajara, Banjul, The Gambia.

Background: We compared the performance of tuberculin skin test (TST), Quantiferon-TB Gold in-tube (QFT-GIT), and T-SPOT.TB in diagnosing latent tuberculosis (LTBI) among childhood TB contacts in a TB endemic setting with high BCG coverage. We evaluated the performance of interferon gamma release assays (IGRAs) and TST when combined in an algorithm.

Methods: Childhood contacts of newly diagnosed TB patients were tested with TST, QFT-GIT, and T-SPOT. The level of exposure in contacts was categorized according to whether they slept in the same room, same house, or a different house as the index case. For the evaluation of combined test performance, prior estimates for prevalence of latent TB were used in Bayesian models that assumed conditional dependence between tests.

Results: A total of 285 children were recruited. Overall, 26.5%, 33.0%, and 33.5% were positive for TST, T-SPOT, or QFT-GIT, respectively. All 3 tests responded to the gradient of sleeping proximity to the index case. Neither TST nor IGRA results were confounded by BCG vaccination. There was moderate agreement (kappa = 0.40-0.68) between all 3 tests. Combination of either IGRA with TST increased sensitivity (by 9.3%-9.6%) especially in contacts in the highest exposure category but was associated with loss of specificity (9.9%-11.3%).

Conclusion: IGRAs and TST are similar in their diagnostic performance for LTBI. An approximate 10% sensitivity benefit for using the TST and an IGRA in combination is associated with a slightly greater specificity loss. Testing strategies combining an IGRA and TST with an "or" statement may be useful only in situations where there is a high pretest probability of latent infection.
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May 2010