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Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on Tuberculosis and HIV services in Ghana: An interrupted time series analysis

 Eric Osei  ;  Hubert Amu  ;  Gideon Kye-Duodu  ;  Mavis Pearl Kwabla  ;  Evans Danso  ;  Fred N Binka  ;  So Yoon Kim 
 PLOS ONE, Vol.18(9) : e0291808, 2023-09 
Journal Title
Issue Date
COVID-19* / epidemiology ; Communicable Disease Control ; Ghana / epidemiology ; HIV ; HIV Infections* / drug therapy ; HIV Infections* / epidemiology ; Humans ; Interrupted Time Series Analysis ; Pandemics
Introduction The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) burden, coupled with unprecedented control measures including physical distancing, travel bans, and lockdowns of cities, implemented to stop the spread of the virus, have undoubtedly far-reaching aftereffects on other diseases. In low and middle-income countries (LMICs), a particular worry is the potential impact on Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Tuberculosis (TB), as a consequence of possible disruption to health services and limiting access to needed life-saving health care. In Ghana, there is a paucity of information regarding the impact of COVID-19 on disease control, particularly TB and HIV control. This study sought to contribute to bridging this knowledge gap. Method The study involved the analysis of secondary data obtained from the District Health Information Management System-2 (DHIMS-2) database of Ghana Health Service, from 2016 to 2020. Data were analysed using an interrupted time-series regression approach to estimate the impact of COVID-19 on TB case notification, HIV testing, and Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) initiations, using March 2020 as the event period. Results The study showed that during the COVID-19 pandemic period, there was an abrupt decline of 20.5% (955CI: 16.0%, 24.5%) in TB case notifications in April and 32.7% (95%CI: 28.8%, 39.1%) in May 2020, with a median monthly decline of 21.4% from April-December 2020. A cumulative loss of 2,128 (20%; 95%CI: 13.3%, 26.7%) TB cases was observed nationwide as of December 2020. There was also a 40.3% decrease in people presenting for HIV tests in the first month of COVID-19 (April 2020) and a cumulative loss of 262620 (26.5%) HIV tests as of December 2020 attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic. ART initiations increased by 39.2% in the first month and thereafter decreased by an average of 10% per month from May to September 2020. Cumulatively, 443 (1.9%) more of the people living with HIV initiated ART during the pandemic period, however, this was not statistically significant. Conclusion This study demonstrated that the COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted TB case notifications and HIV testing and counselling services, However, ART initiation was generally not impacted during the first year of the pandemic. Proactive approaches aimed at actively finding the thousands of individuals with TB who were missed in 2020 and increasing HIV testing and counselling and subsequent treatment initiations should be prioritised. Copyright: © 2023 Osei et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Medical Humanities and Social Sciences (인문사회의학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Kim, So Yoon(김소윤) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7015-357X
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