Jeffrey D Sachs, Salim S Abdool Karim, etc.,
The Lancet Commission on lessons for the future from the COVID-19 pandemic, 2022.09.14,
The authors argue that when facing COVID-19, the world’s major powers have failed to collaborate to control the pandemic and point out the multiple failures of international cooperation. The final part of the report presents policy recommendations, particularly around multilateral cooperation centred at WHO to address global health crises, and around investments in preparedness for future health crises through strong national health systems and international financing and technology cooperation with the world's lower-income regions.
Elliot Hannon, Layth Hanbali, etc.,
Why we still need a pandemic treaty, 2022.07.13,
What we learned from COVID-19 is that data and evidence play too small a role in decision making, which means that we need to focus less on what states should do and focus more on what they did not do, including why they did not comply with the IHR during the pandemic. An important step to prepare for future disease outbreaks is committing to a treaty that keeps the issue elevated at the head of state-level; so that states are ready to live up to their commitments and work together in a coordinated response when the next pandemic hits.
What Does the Monkeypox Outbreak Tell Us about Global Health Governance? Critical Remarks on the New WHO Declaration of Public Health Emergency of International Concern, 2022.08.10,
On 23 July 2022, the Director-General of WHO declared that the outbreak of monkeypox constitutes a public health emergency of international concern. Against this backdrop, the present post is aimed at highlighting some critical issues related not only to the PHEIC declaration but, more generally, to global health governance, as designed by the IHRs and the WHO Constitution. If States will not effectively take into consideration these issues, both by amending the IHRs and strengthening the existing normative framework, one may wonder whether the WHO architecture can effectively address current public health challenges. Some authors took a rather sceptical view in this respect.
Emily A Siegrist, Joseph Sassine,
Antivirals With Activity Against Monkeypox: A Clinically Oriented Review,2022.07.29,
Monkeypox virus is an emergent human pathogen. While it is less lethal than smallpox, it can still cause significant morbidity and mortality. In this review, we explore 3 antiviral agents with activity against monkeypox and other orthopoxviruses: cidofovir, brincidofovir, and tecovirimat. Cidofovir, and its prodrug brincidofovir, are inhibitors of DNA replication with a broad spectrum of activity against multiple families of double-stranded DNA viruses. Tecovirimat has more specific activity against orthopoxviruses and inhibits the formation of the extracellular enveloped virus necessary for cell-to-cell transmission. For each agent, we review basic pharmacology, data from animal models, and reported experience in human patients.
Kaiyuan Sun, Stefano Tempia, etc.,
SARS-CoV-2 transmission, persistence of immunity, and estimates of Omicron’s impact in South African population cohorts, 2022.05.31,
Understanding the build-up of immunity with successive severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants and the epidemiological conditions that favor rapidly expanding epidemics will help facilitate future pandemic control. We analyzed high-resolution infection and serology data from two longitudinal household cohorts in South Africa to reveal high cumulative infection rates and durable cross-protective immunity conferred by prior infection in the pre-Omicron era. Building on the history of past exposures to different SARS-CoV-2 variants and vaccination in the cohort most representative of South Africa’s high urbanization rate, we used mathematical models to explore the fitness advantage of the Omicron variant and its epidemic trajectory. Modeling suggests that the Omicron wave likely infected a large fraction (44 to 81%) of the population, leaving a complex landscape of population immunity primed and boosted with antigenically distinct variants. We project that future SARS-CoV-2 resurgences are likely under a range of scenarios of viral characteristics, population contacts, and residual cross-protection.
Allison Codi, Damon Luk, etc.,
Aggregating Human Judgment Probabilistic Predictions of Coronavirus Disease 2019 Transmission, Burden, and Preventive Measures, 2022.07.25,
Aggregated human judgment forecasts for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) targets of public health importance are accurate, often outperforming computational models. Our work shows that aggregated human judgment forecasts for infectious agents are timely, accurate, and adaptable, and can be used as a tool to aid public health decision making during outbreaks.
Julia Smith, Alice Mũrage, etc.,
Integrating Gender-Based Analysis Plus into Policy Responses to COVID-19: Lived Experiences of Lockdown in British Columbia, Canada, 2022.08.31,
Recognition of the differential effects of COVID-19 on women has led to calls for greater application of gender-based analysis within policy responses. Beyond pointing out where such policies are implemented, there is little analysis of the effects of efforts to integrate gender-based analysis into the COVID-19 response. Drawing on interviews informing a lived experienced approach to policy analysis, this article asks if, how, and to what effect gender-based analysis was implemented within social and economic policy responses during the initial lockdown, in British Columbia, Canada. It finds that, despite a rhetorical commitment to gender-based analysis, policies failed to address everyday inequalities.
Michiko Ueda, Robert Nordström, Tetsuya Matsubayashi,
Suicide and mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan, 2021.04.13,
Compared to the 2017–19 period, the number of suicide deaths during the initial phase of the pandemic was lower than average but exceeded the past trend from July 2020. Female suicides, whose numbers increased by approximately 70% in October 2020 (incidence rate ratio: 1.695, 95% confidence interval: 1.558–1.843), were the main source of this increase. The largest increase was found among young women (less than 40 years of age). Our survey data indicated that the status of young women’s mental health has been deteriorating in recent months and that young female workers were more likely to have experienced a job or income loss than any other group, suggesting adverse economic conditions surrounding them. Continuous monitoring of mental health, particularly that of the most vulnerable populations identified in this study, and appropriate suicide prevention efforts are necessary during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nina Mešl, Vesna Leskošek, etc.,
Social Work During COVID-19 in Slovenia: Absent, Invisible or Ignored?, 2022.08.11,
The article discusses the results of a research study on social work during COVID-19 in Slovenia. Governmental measures to prevent the spread of the disease have increased the need for assistance to various groups of people but at the same time limited their access to social services. The main research question was to what extent social workers and social services were able to reorganise and adapt to crisis conditions and how this relates to the role of social work in society. Data were collected using mixed methods: online survey and interviews with social workers. Content analysis and selective coding, thematic analysis and univariate descriptive statistics were used for data analysis. The analysis shows that the ability of social workers to respond to the growing and changing needs of people during the pandemic depended on the context in which they worked. Social work was perceived as more effective and responsive in social services where professional autonomy was assured and valued and where horizontal relationships existed between staff and management. The study contributed to a better understanding of the context in which the pandemic occurred and identified some structural barriers to successful social work that are internationally comparable and relevant.
Cathal O’Donoghue, Denisa M Sologon, Iryna Kyzyma,,
Novel welfare state responses in times of crises: the COVID-19 crisis versus the Great Recession, 2022.08.12,
Using microsimulation tools, we explore the social policy responses to the Great Recession and the COVID-19 crisis, and their impact on preserving living standards in Ireland. During the Great Recession, the focus was on cost reduction. By contrast, during the COVID-19 crisis, the focus was on mitigating the impact on household incomes. In addition, an innovation in joint public and private responses emerged through social partnership. We find a stronger policy response during the COVID-19 crisis than the Great Recession. The COVID-19 crisis was more rapid, leaving more individuals out of work, thus family support was weaker. This was compensated by stronger private support through social partnership. Consequently, those with lower incomes had larger disposable incomes at the onset of the crisis; an effect that reduced with policy learning. We find increasing trust in public institutions during the COVID-19 crisis as opposed to a decline during the Great Recession.
Beijing Interest Group on Global Health and Global Governance