BACKGROUND: The pandemic caused by COVID-19 has seriously affected global health, resulting in the suspension of many regular health services, making the diagnosis of other infections difficult. Therefore, this study aimed to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the diagnosis of leprosy in Brazil during the year 2020. METHODS: We evaluated the monthly incidence of leprosy and calculated the percentage change to verify whether there was an increase or decrease in the number of leprosy cases in 2020, considering the monthly average of cases over the previous 5 years. We used interrupted time series analysis to assess the trend in the diagnosis of leprosy before and after the start of COVID-19 in Brazil and prepared spatial distribution maps, considering the percentage variation in each state. FINDINGS: We verified a reduction of 41.4% of leprosy cases in Brazil in 2020. Likewise, there was a reduction of leprosy notifications in children under 15 years-old (-56.82%). Conversely, the diagnosis of multibacillary leprosy increased (8.1%). There was a decreasing trend in the leprosy incidence in the general population between 2015 and 2020 in Brazil. Spatial distribution maps depicted a reduction of up to 100% in new cases of leprosy in some states. INTERPRETATION: Along with COVID-19 spread there was a reduction in leprosy diagnosis in the general population and children under 15 years-old, and also an increase in multibacillary cases diagnosed, signalling a serious impact of the pandemic on leprosy control strategies in Brazil. FUNDING: This research received no specific grants.
BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to governments implementing a variety of public health measures to control transmission and has affected health services. Leprosy is a communicable neglected tropical disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae and is an important health problem in low- and middle-income countries. The natural history of leprosy means that affected individuals need long-term follow-up. The measures recommended to reduce transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) can create barriers to health services. We evaluated the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic response on leprosy services and disease management. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional online survey with healthcare professionals in leprosy referral centres. RESULTS: Eighty percent of leprosy diagnostic services were reduced. All respondents reported that multidrug therapy (MDT) was available but two reported a reduced stock. Clinicians used alternative strategies such as telephone consultations to maintain contact with patients. However, patients were not able to travel to the referral centres. DISCUSSION: This study highlights the effects of the initial phase of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic on leprosy services in a range of leprosy-endemic countries. Many services remained open, providing leprosy diagnosis, MDT and leprosy reaction medications. Centres developed innovative measures to counter the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
AssuntosCOVID-19 , Hanseníase , Estudos Transversais , Quimioterapia Combinada , Humanos , Hansenostáticos , Hanseníase/diagnóstico , Hanseníase/tratamento farmacológico , Hanseníase/epidemiologia , Pandemias/prevenção & controle , Encaminhamento e Consulta , SARS-CoV-2 , Inquéritos e Questionários
The COVID-19 pandemic stressed the importance of understanding the sources of vulnerabilities that can lead to a financial crisis and highlighted the predominant impact on health systems. Firstly, the paper aims to conduct a retrospective analysis of the Romanian health care system, over the period of time 1985-2019, based on our own computed sustainability index for public health. Secondly, using the Gregory-Hansen cointegration method, we provide new evidence on the causal relationship between health expenditure and GDP for Romania over the period of time 1985-2017. Based on the retrospective analysis of the long-run co-movement between health spending and GDP, the study allows one to prospectively examine not only the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on health care spending, but also to reveal the government's fiscal position and vulnerabilities. Our results highlight the intergenerational costs related to the policy incoherence roadmap and regulatory fragmentation, stressing the importance of economic system resilience through fiscal diligence and the consolidation of the institutional context.
AssuntosCOVID-19/economia , Gastos em Saúde , Pandemias/economia , Saúde Pública/economia , Humanos , Estudos Retrospectivos , Romênia/epidemiologia
The Special Interest Group (SIG) on leprosy thought it to be prudent to revisit its previous practice recommendations through this update. During this period, the pandemic course shifted to a 'second wave' riding on the 'delta variant'. While the number of cases increased manifold, so did the research on all aspects of the disease. Introduction of vaccination and data from various drug trials have an impact on current best practices on management of diseases including leprosy. The beneficial results of using steroids in management of COVID-19, gives elbow room regarding its usage in conditions like lepra reactions. On the other hand, the increase in cases of Mucormycosis again underlines applying due caution while recommending immunosuppressants to a patient already suffering from COVID-19. This recommendation update from SIG leprosy reflects current understanding about managing leprosy while the dynamic pandemic continues with its ebbs and flows.