Home About us Editorial board Search Ahead of print Current issue Archives Submit article Instructions Subscribe Contacts Login 

 Table of Contents  
SHORT COMMUNICATION
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 47  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 130-131

Improving the COVID-19 outbreak readiness in areas with humanitarian emergencies and low-resource settings


1 Member of the Medical Education Unit and Institute Research Council, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission22-May-2020
Date of Acceptance31-May-2020
Date of Web Publication11-Sep-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Shrivastava, Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV) – Deemed to be University, Tiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District - 603108, Tamil Nadu
India
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jss.JSS_43_20

Rights and Permissions
  Abstract 


The Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has transformed the lives of everyone and compelled public health authorities to take immediate steps to minimize the spread of the transmission. In general, the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak is significantly higher amongst people either suffering from humanitarian crises or residing in low-resource settings. From the public health perspective, it is essential to maintain a balance between the implemented public health and social measures required for the containment of the pandemic and the impact which these interventions will have on income, access to basic services and food supply, especially for these vulnerable sections of societies. The need of the hour is to mobilize all the concerned sectors and local community to enable whole of society approach for the readiness and response against the disease. In conclusion, the impact of COVID-19 outbreak in humanitarian emergencies and in low-resource settings can turn out to be very severe. There is an immense need to strengthen the public health and social measures and supplement it with prevention and control measures in accordance with the local settings to not only reduce the caseload, but also maintain the livelihood of the vulnerable people.

Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic, Humanitarian emergencies, World Health Organization


How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Improving the COVID-19 outbreak readiness in areas with humanitarian emergencies and low-resource settings. J Sci Soc 2020;47:130-1

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Improving the COVID-19 outbreak readiness in areas with humanitarian emergencies and low-resource settings. J Sci Soc [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Sep 27];47:130-1. Available from: http://www.jscisociety.com/text.asp?2020/47/2/130/294798




  Introduction Top


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has transformed the lives of everyone and compelled public health authorities to take immediate steps to minimize the spread of the transmission. It is important to note that till date, 4,893,186 cases and 323,256 deaths have been attributed to the infection, and the case fatality rate has gradually increased to 6.6%.[1] Under all circumstances, the priority of the health sector should be to detect and isolate all cases at the earliest so that the risk of disease spread can be significantly minimized.[2]

COVID-19 in humanitarian emergencies: Challenges

In general, the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak is significantly higher among people either suffering from humanitarian emergencies or residing in low-resource settings.[3] These population groups include people living in slums, refugees, migrants, subjected to armed conflicts, limited access to health care-water supply-sanitation facilities, overcrowded settings, etc.[4] It becomes relatively difficult to implement standard preventive strategies such as ensuring physical distancing, frequent handwashing, and motivating people to stay indoors as their livelihood depends on their daily wage, and all these strategies are either impractical or potential impact their survival. Further, the concerns of food insecurity and constraints pertaining to testing capacity, isolation and treatment facilities, and tracing and quarantining contacts might also be significantly limited in these settings.[3],[4]

Area to focus

From the public health perspective, it is essential to maintain a balance between the implemented public health and social measures required for the containment of the pandemic and the impact which these interventions will have on income, access to basic services and food supply, especially for these vulnerable sections of societies.[3] It is important to reduce the impact of the planned interventions, and it is essential that all the planned strategies are implemented keeping the strengths of the health-care delivery system and after involving the local community.[5] Any irregularity on our part can result in a rise in the incidence of gender-based violence, violence against children, unemployment, and even deaths attributed to the disease.[3]

Need of the hour

The need of the hour is to mobilize all the concerned sectors and local communities to enable the whole of society approach for the readiness and response against the disease.[3] However, this will essentially depend on the conduction of a comprehensive risk assessment, development of an emergency plan depending on the strengths and the vulnerabilities of the population, timely communication of trustworthy information from reliable sources, active engagement of the community health workers, and ensuring the provision of socioeconomic support to the affected communities.[2],[5] These actions have to be very much supported by measures directed toward the prevention and slowing the transmission of the infection (namely promoting physical distancing, minimizing social gatherings, avoiding unnecessary travel, staying indoors, maintaining hand and respiratory hygiene, and using personal protective equipment).[2]

In addition, a detecting, reporting, and referral system needs to be established in these settings, which enables testing of all the suspect cases, promotes isolation and treatment of all mild and moderate cases, and ensures the identification and quarantining of contacts. However, all the severe and critical cases of the disease should be treated in well-equipped health-care facilities, and here arises the role of hospital readiness and comprehensive referral system. Finally, there is an immense need to maintain essential health and social services and improve the health-seeking behavior by suspending user fees of essential services.[2],[3],[4],[5]


  Conclusion Top


In conclusion, the impact of COVID-19 outbreak in humanitarian emergencies and in low-resource settings can turn out to be very severe. There is an immense need to strengthen the public health and social measures and supplement it with prevention and control measures in accordance with the local settings to not only reduce the caseload but also maintain the livelihood of the vulnerable people.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
World Health Organization. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report – 122. World Health Organization; 2020. Available from: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200521-covid-19-sitrep-122.pdf?sfvrsn=24f20e05_2. [Last accessed on 2020 May 22].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
World Health Organization. WHO Director-General's Opening Remarks at the Media Briefing on COVID-19-20 March 2020. World Health Organization; 2020. Available from: https://www.who.int/dg/speeches/detail/who-director-general-s-opening-remarks-at-the-media-briefing- on-covid-19---20-march-2020. [Last accessed on 2020 May 22].  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Liu K, Chen Y, Lin R, Han K. Clinical features of COVID-19 in elderly patients: A comparison with young and middle-aged patients. J Infect 2020;80:e14-8.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Karan A. To control the covid-19 outbreak, young, healthy patients should avoid the emergency department. BMJ 2020;368:m1040.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Vardavas CI, Nikitara K. COVID-19 and smoking: A systematic review of the evidence. Tob Induc Dis 2020;18:20.  Back to cited text no. 5
    




 

Top
 
 
  Search
 
Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
Access Statistics
Email Alert *
Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)

 
  In this article
Abstract
Introduction
Conclusion
References

 Article Access Statistics
    Viewed37    
    Printed0    
    Emailed0    
    PDF Downloaded15    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal