26 March 2020

RIHS researcher Joost Hopman believes that low-and middle-income countries should intensify their preparedness for a possible COVID-19 outbreak. This was the core message of an opinion article that he wrote at the request of the medical journal JAMA. According to Hopman, the infection prevention standards of WHO should prevail, and good cooperation between governments and the media is required to prevent the spread of misinformation.

“We have seen in China that there is a demonstrable link between the availability of medical supplies and equipment and the mortality rate related to COVID-19: lower availability of medical resources in a country is associated with a higher mortality rate. This problem can be prevented by adhering to WHO infection prevention (IPC) standards. This concerns measures such as the timely implementation of quarantine/isolation and social distancing. It is also important to have sufficient stocks of medical devices such as respirators, and to provide protective equipment such as face masks to healthcare staff and patients. ”
 
“Certainly in low-income and middle-income countries, programs still need to be established to meet minimum IPC standards. The virus currently appears to be spreading mainly in the Northern Hemisphere, where it is winter. This suggests that the virus could also spread rapidly in the Southern Hemisphere when it is winter there. The low prevalence of SARS-CoV in Africa and South America in 2003 supports this hypothesis, but it has not been rigorously tested. In any case, the countries in the Southern Hemisphere now have the opportunity to prepare for a possible outbreak of COVID-19.”
 
Refugee camps
“The need for preventive measures is particularly high in refugee camps, many of which are located in countries with limited medical resources. Healthcare in these camps is lacking, and access is limited. Moreover, there is less monitoring of vulnerable people with conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases, high blood pressure and cancer. These groups are especially susceptible to COVID-19, which means that an outbreak could have disastrous consequences in these camps. ”
 
“A major outbreak of COVID-19 in low and middle-income countries can still be prevented if they comply with the minimum IPC standards of the WHO. In addition, good cooperation between governments and media is crucial. Accurate, concise and motivational messaging is crucial for supporting measures and legislation to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
 
Publication
Managing COVID-19 in Low- and Middle-Income Countries 
Joost Hopman, MD, PhD, DTMH; Benedetta Allegranzi, MD, DTMH; Shaheen Mehtar, MBBS, MD (Lon).
JAMA: Published online March 16, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.4169
 
 
 

Related news items


Biomarkers found in COVID-19 patients support bradykinin hypothesis

29 May 2020

A study into inflammatory substances in the blood of COVID-19 patients supports the hypothesis that kinins could play a role in the respiratory problems experienced by critically ill COVID-19 patients in IC. This discovery, published at MedRxiv, could lead to the development of new treatments.

read more

Introducing OnePlanet Research Center webinar 5 June, 16:00 hrs.

29 May 2020

OnePlanet Research Center develops digital technologies to create a society in which everyone can live a healthy life and has access to healthy and sustainable food. Radboudumc and Radboud University are amongst the founding partners. Find out what OnePlanet can do for you in this online session.

read more

The impact of sex and gender in the COVID-19 pandemic

29 May 2020

The case study of Sabine Oertelt-Prigione, developed by the European Commission’s H2020 Expert Group to update and expand "Gendered Innovations/Innovation through Gender", examines the impact of sex and gender in the current COVID-19 pandemic.

read more

Terrestrial bacteria can grow on nutrients from space

26 May 2020

Researchers from the Radboudumc describe in an article in Astrobiology that bacteria can survive on an 'extraterrestrial diet', which affected their pathogenic potential.

read more

The new front line: big data podcast

22 May 2020

What role do big data and technology play in the fight against corona? What data can help save lives? How do you ensure that your personal health data is used safely? Among others, Peter-Bram 't Hoen explains.

read more

OARSI Basic Science Award for Peter van der Kraan

22 May 2020

Purpose of this Basic Science Award of the Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) is to stimulate fundamental research in the field of osteoarthritis. Congratulations Peter.

read more