The global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has disproportionately impacted global human health, economy, and security. Because of weaker health-care systems, existing comorbidities burden (HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, and non-communicable conditions), and poor socioeconomic determinants, initial predictive models had forecast a disastrous impact of COVID-19 in Africa in terms of transmission, severity, and deaths. Nonetheless, current epidemiological data seem not to have matched expectations, showing lower SARS-CoV-2 infection and fatality rates compared to Europe, the Americas and Asia. However, only few studies were conducted in low- and middle-income African settings where high poverty and limited access to health services worsen underlying health conditions, including endemic chronic infectious diseases such as HIV and tuberculosis. Furthermore, limited, and heterogeneous research was conducted to evaluate the indirect impact of the pandemic on general health services and on major diseases across African countries. International mitigation measures, such as resource reallocation, lockdowns, social restrictions, and fear from the population have had multi-sectoral impacts on various aspects of everyday life, that shaped the general health response. Despite the vast heterogeneity of data across African countries, available evidence suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted the control and prevention programs, the diagnosis capacity and the adherence to treatment of major infectious diseases (HIV, TB, and Malaria) - including neglected diseases - and non-communicable diseases. Future research and efforts are essential to deeply assess the medium- and long-term impact of the pandemic, and to implement tailored interventions to mitigate the standstill on decades of improvement on public health programs.

The impact of COVID-19 on communicable and non-communicable diseases in Africa: a narrative review

Formenti, Beatrice;Gregori, Natalia;Crosato, Verena;Castelli, Francesco
2022-01-01

Abstract

The global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has disproportionately impacted global human health, economy, and security. Because of weaker health-care systems, existing comorbidities burden (HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, and non-communicable conditions), and poor socioeconomic determinants, initial predictive models had forecast a disastrous impact of COVID-19 in Africa in terms of transmission, severity, and deaths. Nonetheless, current epidemiological data seem not to have matched expectations, showing lower SARS-CoV-2 infection and fatality rates compared to Europe, the Americas and Asia. However, only few studies were conducted in low- and middle-income African settings where high poverty and limited access to health services worsen underlying health conditions, including endemic chronic infectious diseases such as HIV and tuberculosis. Furthermore, limited, and heterogeneous research was conducted to evaluate the indirect impact of the pandemic on general health services and on major diseases across African countries. International mitigation measures, such as resource reallocation, lockdowns, social restrictions, and fear from the population have had multi-sectoral impacts on various aspects of everyday life, that shaped the general health response. Despite the vast heterogeneity of data across African countries, available evidence suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted the control and prevention programs, the diagnosis capacity and the adherence to treatment of major infectious diseases (HIV, TB, and Malaria) - including neglected diseases - and non-communicable diseases. Future research and efforts are essential to deeply assess the medium- and long-term impact of the pandemic, and to implement tailored interventions to mitigate the standstill on decades of improvement on public health programs.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11379/561540
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