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COVID-19 and neglected tropical diseases in Africa: impacts, interactions, consequences

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Molyneux, David ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8537-7947, Aboe, Agatha, Isiyaku, Sunday and Bush, Simon (2020) 'COVID-19 and neglected tropical diseases in Africa: impacts, interactions, consequences'. International Health, Vol 12, Issue 5, pp. 367-372.

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Abstract

The world has been assaulted by COVID-19. Unpredictable changes in all sectors of economies and societies will manifest themselves over the coming months and years. The most robust health systems have become overwhelmed and pre-occupied in response to the virus. The impact of COVID-19 will evolve from an acute medical emergency response to a chronic ‘maintenance’ phase, with health services adapting to life with the virus as another infectious agent. However, economic and societal costs will vastly outweigh initial medical costs, given the widely predicted global depression—trivial compared with the cost of preparedness that should have been undertaken. The most vulnerable in society will be driven into deeper poverty. The consequential mental health morbidity and suicidal ideations will place an increased burden on already overstretched services, against the background of mental illness being the world's leading cause of morbidity.1 This is likely to be exacerbated by increased violence and social stress on already depressed economies with high levels of unemployment. There may be hope for a vaccine, but its efficacy, duration of immunity and the complexities of distribution in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) will be major challenges. The longer-term consequences of the pandemic for Africa will be profound, given health system fragilities.2 In this editorial, we discuss the potential impact of COVID-19 on neglected tropical disease (NTD) programmes as health services seek to function in the newly changed COVID-19 environment

Item Type: Article
Subjects: WA Public Health > WA 105 Epidemiology
WA Public Health > Health Problems of Special Population Groups > WA 395 Health in developing countries
WC Communicable Diseases > Virus Diseases > Viral Respiratory Tract Infections. Respirovirus Infections > WC 505 Viral respiratory tract infections
WC Communicable Diseases > Tropical and Parasitic Diseases > WC 680 Tropical diseases (General)
Faculty: Department: Biological Sciences > Department of Tropical Disease Biology
Digital Object Identifer (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1093/inthealth/ihaa040
Depositing User: Stacy Murtagh
Date Deposited: 30 Jul 2020 16:55
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2020 12:42
URI: https://archive.lstmed.ac.uk/id/eprint/15186

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