EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC HEALTH

Keyword: COVID-19

31 results found.

Review Article
Associations and Correlations of Job Stress, Job Satisfaction and Burn out in Public Health Sector
European Journal of Environment and Public Health, 2022, 6(2), em0113, https://doi.org/10.21601/ejeph/12166
ABSTRACT: A literature review of proposed associations and correlations of job stress, job satisfaction, and burn out in public health sector. Evidence of occupational hazards job risks that are encountered by Greek public health workforce, limited global literature. Connection of occupational job stress, job satisfaction, and burn out health and safety with public health and hygiene. Provided evidence of the exact risks that are perceived in public health sector in Greece. Comprehensive relative to possible occupational hazards of public health organization and services, with established and new evidence include organizational job risks. During the COVID-19 pandemic, global financial crisis, job insecurity, decreased salaries, and social instability where working conditions changed, risk factors were affected, risk increased, and interpersonal working relationships had a particular impact under the period of the pandemic, especially for health professionals who were in the frontline. This study can bear a significant impact and with the help of various reviews we give the global associations and correlations of job stress, job satisfaction, and burn out in public health sector. A systematic review conducted on the recent period for the last decade published papers along in Scopus, Web of Science, Direct Science, and journals. There are very few papers are published based on the very contemporary title considered for the article hence this study identified several articles in the scientific literature, but only few articles were classified as eligible according to the previously established criteria.
Research Article
Evaluation of the Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Use of Food Supplements in Individuals Aged 18 and Over
European Journal of Environment and Public Health, 2022, 6(2), em0112, https://doi.org/10.21601/ejeph/12066
ABSTRACT: Introduction: Worldwide, the COVID-19 epidemic remains a serious as an important health problem. Vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and other products that we know as nutritional supplements have received a lot of attention since the beginning of the pandemic, considering their anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and immune system effects. The aims of this study are to evaluate the reasons and prevalence of the take of nutritional supplements in addition to the normal diet during the COVID-19 pandemic and to observe the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on individuals’ efforts to live a healthy life.
Material-Method: This study is a descriptive cross-sectional study. The data of the study was obtained through an online questionnaire containing 24 questions. The application of the questionnaire was carried out between August 1, 2021 and August 31, 2021. The online survey was delivered to people aged 18 and over living in Turkey by snowball method. Statistical evaluation was done with SPSS (statistical packet for the social science) 20.0 package program. Chi-square analysis was taken in the evaluation of categorical data.
Results: The study group was formed with 513 people. While 225 (43.9%) participants in the study received nutritional supplements, 288 (56.1%) individuals reported that they did not take nutritional supplements. The frequency of using nutritional supplements was higher in women (50.9%) than in men (29.6%) (p<0.001). The frequency of taking nutritional supplements in the undergraduate-graduate education group was higher than in the other groups (p<0.05). The frequency of taking nutritional supplements was found to be higher in the high monthly income group (4,001 ₺ and above) than in the other groups (p<0.05). The frequency of taking nutritional supplements (67.0%) was higher in those who had COVID-19 infection (38.9%) than in those who did not (p<0.05). Multivitamin was the most common combination of nutritional supplement taken in those taking nutritional supplements (10, 4.4%). Those who took nutritional supplements believed more than the other group that nutritional supplements taken in appropriate doses protected against COVID-19 infection (p<0.01).
Conclusion: For the study group, it is recommended that family physicians provide counseling on the correct take of other nutritional supplements other than multivitamins.
Research Article
Adoption of Telemedicine During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Perspectives of Primary Healthcare Providers
European Journal of Environment and Public Health, 2022, 6(1), em0106, https://doi.org/10.21601/ejeph/11804
ABSTRACT: Background: As the pandemic has unfolded across an array of communities worldwide, telemedicine has been promoted and scaled up to attend to and reduce person-to-person transmission of COVID-19 in the U.S. and internationally. This study examined the major barriers to adoption of telemedicine among primary healthcare providers at a primary care clinic in north Texas during the pandemic.
Methods: A self-administered questionnaire was mailed to 67 primary healthcare providers at a primary care clinic in north Texas, with a 70% percent response rate (n=47). The survey collected information on perceived barriers to telemedicine adoption and experience with telemedicine in the last 12 months. In addition to descriptive statistics, multiple logistic regression was conducted to determine characteristics related to use of telemedicine in the past year. Chi-square tests were also performed to examine the relationship between the number of perceived barriers and telemedicine usage.
Results: Results revealed that the lack of reimbursement was a significant obstacle to telemedicine adoption. Plus, the number of perceived barriers to telemedicine usage was negatively associated with using telemedicine.
Conclusions: The findings suggested that the barriers to using telemedicine existed across an array of situations and that decreasing these obstacles would be critical in encouraging future telemedicine adoption among providers during and after the pandemic. This will especially be the case for primary care practices where scarce financial resources have been a traditional problem for such providers. This complicacy is likely to be amplified owing to the inimical effects of the pandemic, during and after its potential containment or successful management of it.
Research Article
Mental Distress Associated with Air Quality Vulnerability During COVID-19
European Journal of Environment and Public Health, 2022, 6(1), em0103, https://doi.org/10.21601/ejeph/11674
ABSTRACT: Yakima County, Washington is an area with prolonged exposure to poor air quality (PM 2.5) and has been one of the hardest hit counties in cases per capita of COVID-19 in the Western US. The physical health impacts of poor air quality exposure and COVID-19 have been well documented. However, the mental health impacts of these concurrent exposures are unknown. A pilot study (n=232) surveyed households using random-digit-dialing (RDD) in Yakima, County in Dec 2020-Jan 2021 to understand the spread of COVID-19 in vulnerable communities. Air quality behaviors and contexts including home filtration systems and use of community shelters during poor air quality events were measured. Mental distress was measured by the John Hopkins’s Mental Distress COVID-19 Community Response Survey. Descriptive data analysis along with Spearman’s rank correlation analysis were performed. Nearly half of the sample (45.3%) did not have access to air quality mitigation measures in their homes. The majority of the sample (54.3%) reported wanting to access clean air shelters during major air quality events such as the smoke and wildfire season of 2020. Participants who were unable to mitigate poor air quality in their households as well as those who were unable to access community clean air shelters were observed to have higher levels of mental distress (p<.05). This study adds to the body of evidence that environmental exposures play a significant role in mental health and that compounding impacts of climate change should be studied more in depth. Household interventions should be explored as COVID-19 has brought community protection measures to a halt, while climate change induced natural disasters will only increase in the future.
Research Article
Knowledge, Attitudes, Practices, and Misconceptions towards COVID-19 among Sub-Sahara Africans
European Journal of Environment and Public Health, 2022, 6(1), em0101, https://doi.org/10.21601/ejeph/11559
ABSTRACT: Background: COVID-19 is a viral disease that can be transmitted from one person to another. The virus was first reported in Wuhan, China in 2019 and Nigeria recorded the first case of COVID-19 in Sub-Sahara Africa in 2020. The right knowledge, attitudes, and practices are essential in curbing the spread of the virus. Hence, the study was conducted to assess the level of knowledge, attitude, practice, and misconception of Sub-Sahara Africa towards COVID-19 and identifying the factors associated with COVID-19.
Method: An online cross-sectional survey was conducted among respondents from Sub-Sahara Africa from December 2020 to June 2021. This study involved respondents from six African countries, the responses were gotten from Kenya and Sudan (representing East Africa) Nigeria and Ghana (representing West Africa), Cameroon (representing Central Africa), and Malawi (representing Southern Africa). Data collected was analyzed using IBM SPSS version 26.0.
Results: A total of 913 respondents participated in this study with the majority of the age group coming from 21-30 (70.9%). The result indicates that the majority have a good level of knowledge (89.9%) and attitude (97.7%) with an insufficient level of practice (61%). Also, the majority of the respondents had an acceptable level of misconception (84%). 67% of the respondents believe that 5G causes COVID-19. The majority of the respondents reckon that everyone should wear a facemask (90.3%) and that alcohol does not cure COVID-19 (85.9%).
Conclusions: The study suggests that Sub-Sahara Africans have adequate knowledge and Attitude without sufficient practice towards COVID-19. Improved policies, awareness and sensitization campaigns should be carried out by government and social media companies to ensure adequate practice towards COVID-19. Furthermore, these findings should be considered by policymakers to implement interventions for outbreaks.
Research Article
The Impact of COVID-19 on the Health-Related Quality of Life of Individuals Living in Scottish Communities with High Infection Rates
European Journal of Environment and Public Health, 2022, 6(1), em0099, https://doi.org/10.21601/ejeph/11502
ABSTRACT: A mixed method sequential study explored the impact of COVID-19 by gaining an understanding of how the pandemic has impacted individual experiences as well as examining if these experiences existed across a wider population of residents. Previous research suggests that socio-economic factors have exacerbated the adverse impact of the pandemic, therefore this study sought to explore this, as well as attempt to identify what these implications could mean for COVID recovery.
The study was carried out in two phases. In phase one, semi-structured interviews were undertaken with eight participants, transcribed verbatim and an interpretative phenomenological analysis was conducted. Five themes emerged: self-evaluation and reflection, gratitude, uncertainty, social isolation, and lack of faith in the government were identified. In phase two, standardised measures were administered to assess elicited themes via an online questionnaire. Correlation and multiple regression analyses showed a strong relationship between social isolation, gratitude, uncertainty and HRQoL, with social isolated being a significant predictor.
Despite the limitation of a low variance, evidence of a strong correlation amongst disabled and low-income participants experiencing higher levels of social isolation was found. Uncertainty and levels of gratitude were also found to be correlated with social isolation and HRQoL. Therefore, addressing social isolation should be a priority for mental health services and should influence any future restrictions that may be implemented in a ‘third wave’ or future pandemic.
Research Article
Twitter Voices: Twitter Users’ Sentiments and Emotions About COVID-19 Vaccination within the United States
European Journal of Environment and Public Health, 2022, 6(1), em0096, https://doi.org/10.21601/ejeph/11499
ABSTRACT: Introduction: The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has negatively impacted society as a whole. Vaccination became the only reliable solution to overcome the severity of this pandemic. A critical factor to achieve an adequate vaccination coverage is by improving public confidence in immunization. Social media plays an important role in reflecting public perception towards certain topics, such as COVID-19 vaccination. This study aims to evaluate U.S. Twitter users’ sentiments and emotions towards COVID-19 vaccination, and the changes experienced before and after vaccine rollout.
Methods: COVID-19 vaccine related tweets were collected from Twitter’s Application Programming Interface. We analyzed tweets from March 11, 2020, to May 17, 2021, and divide them into two groups; before and after the first vaccine was implemented in the U.S. Sentiment analysis, negative binomial regression and linear regression models were used for inferential analysis.
Results: A total of 19,654 tweets were extracted. From those, 10,374 and 9,280 tweets were posted before and after COVID-19 vaccine was launched in U.S., respectively. A statistically significant difference was evidenced between the two groups when comparing each individual emotion, and positive and negative sentiments, except for joy. Lastly, a statistically significant increase of the sentiment score in the post COVID-19 vaccine group compared to the pre COVID-19 vaccine group was evidenced.
Conclusion: Our findings evidenced that public perception of the COVID-19 vaccine has positively changed over time and suggest that the terms “trials” and “vaccination”, which were associated to trust, could potentially be used to create targeted educational and promotional schemes to achieve a better vaccination coverage rate.
Letter to Editor
COVID-19 Vaccine and Vaccination Misinformation and Disinformation: Repositioning Our Role as Educators in Pandemic Times
European Journal of Environment and Public Health, 2022, 6(1), em0095, https://doi.org/10.21601/ejeph/11498
ABSTRACT: We often encounter misleading claims, some of which have potential to influence decisions we make in our daily lives. Many people from all walks of life, even the most schooled, fall prey to the traps of misinformation and disinformation. How do such delusions enter our knowledge base and inform our public opinions and actions? I discuss in this editorial article the bases that underlie the issues of misinformation and disinformation that plague current COVID-19 vaccine and vaccination efforts. Such issues have a philosophical base anchored on the information processing theories and psychological base linked to our cognitive tendencies. I reflect in the end on our primary responsibility as teachers in these issues. I conclude that metacognition or a knowledge of our thinking, if we mindfully dare to pursue it, can help stimulate an enlightened perspective to ourselves that, with our vast influence as educators, may illuminate the perspectives of others.
Letter to Editor
Biodiversity Conservation: A Preventive Tool for Epidemics and Pandemics
European Journal of Environment and Public Health, 2022, 6(1), em0094, https://doi.org/10.21601/ejeph/11497
ABSTRACT: Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services highlights that there is a close nexus between the global health pandemics and the biodiversity. The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly indicated the importance of environmental health. Seeing the advancement of scientific field, it is clear that there is some link between the biodiversity and spread of outbreaks of epidemics and pandemics. Interestingly, preservation of biodiversity has been recognized as an important step to control the disease outbreaks since last one year. If biodiversity is well managed and conserved, it will act as a barrier against the spill-over of infectious diseases.
Letter to Editor
Towards National Health Recovery: Call for Intensified Science-based Information Campaigns on Vaccines against COVID-19 in the Philippines
European Journal of Environment and Public Health, 2022, 6(1), em0090, https://doi.org/10.21601/ejeph/11262
ABSTRACT: Vaccine refusal has been a recurring situation that transpires both in mainstream and social media for over a decade even up to this day. With the goal towards national health recovery, this editorial letter calls for science-based information campaigns on vaccines against COVID-19 in all possible venues. It discusses the background from which the call is grounded, theoretical arguments that explain people’s intention behavior, and the importance of information campaigns. This call hopes to increase COVID-19 vaccine literacy programs and encourage high vaccine acceptance and intention among Filipinos.
Research Article
Evaluation of Knowledge about COVID-19 and Its Effect on Psychological States of University Students
European Journal of Environment and Public Health, 2021, 5(2), em0084, https://doi.org/10.21601/ejeph/11059
ABSTRACT: COVID-19 spread all over the world in a short time since the beginning of 2020, became a pandemic, caused serious interruptions and changes in peoples’ daily life. University students were among the masses that experienced the most change in their lives. For this reason, in this study, it was aimed to assess the knowledge and psychological status of university students about COVID-19. This cross-sectional study was planned and data was collected by reaching the students with an online questionnaire. Within the scope of the study, data of 720 participants were analyzed. As a result of the study, it was determined that the level of knowledge of the participants about COVID-19 was high and the majority of the participants had a normal level of depression, anxiety and stress. This situation may be due to the participants’ high level of knowledge about the disease, low-risk perception, and living with parents. It has been determined that the sources from which students get information are effective on their knowledge levels and their knowledge levels on their DASS levels. The importance of directing students to the right sources to get information has been demonstrated.
Short Communication
The Second Wave of COVID-19 and Risk of the Third Wave: Factors Affecting the Continuous Transmission, Spread of, and Increased Mortality Associated With Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
European Journal of Environment and Public Health, 2021, 5(2), em0081, https://doi.org/10.21601/ejeph/11056
ABSTRACT: The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) originated from China and spread globally within a short period. The spread of the first and second wave of COVID-19 were influenced by factors such as population density and weather changes. Areas that are densely populated have reported increased confirmed cases of COVID-19 compared to less populated areas. The main reason for this could be the fact that it is difficult to practice social distancing in overpopulated countries. With regards to temperature changes, most respiratory infections affect people when temperatures are low. This is exaggerated when there is increased air pollution in the environment. Economic factors have prevented countries to conduct a lockdown of epicentre towns and cities. This is in fear of an economic shut down because some cities are economic cornerstones of countries. Politically, most political leaders have failed to lockdown their countries for the fear of losing political support from their citizens. Further, some traditional and religious beliefs have also influenced the spread of COVID-19, thereby leading to increased morbidity and mortality globally. The spread of COVID-19 has been worsened by peoples negative perceptions and misinformation that COVID-19 is a myth, and thus relax to adhere to the recommended preventive measures. Besides, comorbidities, poor health-seeking behavior, and lack of vaccines, inadequate treatment modalities and test kits have worsened the failure to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiation and implementation of COVID-19 vaccination programs will help reduce the disease burden. However, there is need to improve the awareness and uptake of COVID-19 vaccines globally. Low COVID-19 vaccine acceptability and uptake due vaccine hesitancy have been reported globally. Hence, there is a need for continuous community sensitisation and education programmes and campaigns on the benefits of vaccines in containing disease outbreaks.
Editorial
Psychological, Physical, and Social Health Needs of the Aging Society and Post-Pandemic Recommendations on Gerontology
European Journal of Environment and Public Health, 2021, 5(2), em0080, https://doi.org/10.21601/ejeph/11055
ABSTRACT: Older adults experienced the trepidation of COVID-19 as they are seriously the most affected in confirmed deaths. The aging population experienced the mayhem of health vulnerabilities and detrimental effects of the pandemic that aggravate their health issues. Consequently, the relentless call to meet the health needs of the older adults is inevitable. Hence, this article discusses the psychological, physical, and social needs of the elderly population amid a global health crisis. It introduces the significance of mattering for the aging society, stress on scientific-based physical activities, and concludes on the need for more research on gerontology in the post-coronavirus period. It also highlights that practitioners in the aging field need to circumvent discriminatory verbal or behavioral communication that may exacerbate ageism among the older adults. Policymakers, social workers, and medical practitioners should strengthen their efforts to prioritize geriatric health needs and expedite health interventions that can mitigate the impact of COVID-19 to the elderly.
Research Article
COVID-19 and Environmental Racism: Challenges and Recommendations
European Journal of Environment and Public Health, 2021, 5(2), em0079, https://doi.org/10.21601/ejeph/10999
ABSTRACT: COVID-19, the pandemic of highly contagious respiratory disease, presents a global public health emergency.  Racial and ethnic minority groups in the USA are more likely to contract, be hospitalized with, and die from COVID-19 versus whites, highlighting glaring health disparities.   Injustices such as the persistent issue of police brutality against Blacks in the USA, along with the racial disparities and inequities underscored by the COVID-19 pandemic, have brought renewed global focus to issues of social justice in the USA. Moreover, there is a need to examine how environmental racism intensifies the COVID-19 pandemic and illuminates racial inequities in exposure to environmental pollutants.  This article describes environmental racism and its impact on people of color in the USA, critically examines how this practice elevates disease risk among racial and ethnic minorities already susceptible to COVID-19, and proposes recommendations to tackle this pervasive issue.
Review Article
A Brief Review of Clinical Features of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Algeria
European Journal of Environment and Public Health, 2021, 5(2), em0078, https://doi.org/10.21601/ejeph/10955
ABSTRACT: Purposes: The objective of the current work is to highlight the most common clinical and biological characteristics and potential risk factors of COVID-19 in Algeria.
Methods: This study was conducted using data of four published studies about clinical, biological characteristics and risk factors for severity and mortality of COVID-19 realized in three hospitals (Beni Messous, Bologhine and Rouiba) in the department of Algiers (Algeria).
Results: Results showed that cough, fever and asthenia were the most common clinical signs in COVID-19 positive patients. The median age of the presented cases was 54.4 years and 61% of them were older than 50 years. Also, 68% of them have at least one related comorbidity where diabetes and hypertension were the most common. Elevated sedimentation rate, elevated LDH, elevated CRP, elevated ALT/AST and lymphopenia were the most common biological abnormalities observed.
Conclusion: This work despite some limitations could contribute to the clinical characterization of COVID-19 in Algeria.
Review Article
Managing the Mental Health of Persons with Disabilities amid the COVID-19 Pandemic in the Philippines: Specific Factors and Key Actions
European Journal of Environment and Public Health, 2021, 5(2), em0077, https://doi.org/10.21601/ejeph/10954
ABSTRACT: This paper discusses the specific factors and key actions in managing the mental health of persons with disabilities (PWDs) amid Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in the Philippines. It is a short report that discusses the continuous record of knowledge related to the management of the mental health of PWDs amid the COVID-19 crisis specifically in the Philippines. The specific factors such as inadequate information, negative social perceptions, and inaccessible medical services are found to exacerbate the situation. The key actions such as policy review, stakeholder participation, continued support, and inclusive research are cogently identified. This paper provides a contribution in understanding more about the mental health of PWDs amid the COVID-19 crisis in a developing country. With the PWDs in mind, it is suggested to reconsider current guidelines, involve stakeholders in multisectoral responses, sustain financial subsidy, and conduct inclusive research and census.
Research Article
Air Pollution and COVID-19: A Comparison of Europe and the United States
European Journal of Environment and Public Health, 2021, 5(2), em0074, https://doi.org/10.21601/ejeph/9706
ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to compare the cases of COVID-19 deaths and cases in the United States and Europe. The area selected in the United States was parishes (counties) in Louisiana along the Mississippi River which is globally known as “Cancer Alley.” These parishes have been investigated in the past due to high levels of air pollution. The relationship of air pollution and COVID-19 was evaluated. Data from the Louisiana Department of Health was abstracted for the 11 parishes and infection, mortality, and case-fatality rates were calculated and compared to the remainder of the state. The racial distribution of deaths, and mortality and case-fatality rates were determined in the 11 Cancer Alley parishes. Additionally, risk ratios of infection and mortality were determined. Results indicated that infection, mortality, and case-fatality rates were higher in the 11 Cancer Alley parishes where chronic exposure to air pollution has occurred. The COVID-19 cases and deaths were higher in the 11 Cancer Alley parishes when compared to the remainder of the state. When stratified by race, infection, mortality, and case-fatality rates were higher among Blacks in the 11 Cancer Alley parishes. The risk of infection and mortality was higher in the 11 Cancer Alley parishes, as well as among Blacks in these parishes. Our research adds to others that document the effects of air pollution on COVID-19, as well as the historical patterns of health disparities and environmental injustices in Cancer Alley. We offer a set of progressive policy recommendations as a pathway to actions for sustainable change, which can inform risk mitigating strategies worldwide.
Review Article
Health and Telework: New Challenges after COVID-19 Pandemic
European Journal of Environment and Public Health, 2021, 5(2), em0073, https://doi.org/10.21601/ejeph/9705
ABSTRACT: The COVID-19 pandemic represented a big challenge not only for the health systems but also for the working world that has been characterized by the spread of telework. The aim of this review is to resume the knowledge about the effects of telework on the health and safety of teleworkers, and to point out these implications in the light of the growing development and diffusion of it after COVID-19 pandemic. A literature research on the main scientific research engines (Pubmed, Scopus, Google Scholar, Cochrane Review) has been performed. No restrictions were applied for language or publication type. All the articles not concerned with the health effects of telework have been excluded. That kind of work arrangement can take advantages to both employers and workers by improving productivity and work-life balance. However, it has some potential disadvantages, represented by the possible negative implications on worker’s health. The main hazards for the health of teleworkers are: the unavailability of ergonomic work equipment and a dedicated working area, the risk of overwork, and psychosocial implications of working from home. Performing telework can affect both physical and psychosocial health but some authors also described potential health benefits.
Research Article
Safe Reopening of Schools during COVID-19: An Evaluation of Handwash Facilities and Students’ Hand Hygiene Knowledge and Practices
European Journal of Environment and Public Health, 2021, 5(2), em0072, https://doi.org/10.21601/ejeph/9704
ABSTRACT: Children are energetic and filled with vigour, the high rate of person-to-person contact at schools could leave the students susceptible to hygiene-related illnesses if appropriate measures are not put in place. The absence of adequate handwash facilities, inadequate hand hygiene knowledge, and poor hand hygiene practices have been reported to be prevalent among schools in Nigeria. The emergence of COVID-19 even makes it more important to provide recent and quality data as schools plan to reopen safely. This study aimed to assess the accessibility of public-school students in Badagry, Lagos State to basic handwash services, as well as their hygiene-related knowledge and practices. A 4-stage sampling method was used to select 5 wards, 5 schools, the classes, and 351 students. A mixed-method which included a semi-structured questionnaire, observational checklist, and a key informant interview guide was used to collect data. Data were inputted into SPSS version 20 and analyzed using descriptive statistics, chi-square, and logistic regression at a 95% confidence interval. The respondents had a mean age of 15.88± 1.54 years. All the available wash-hand stations (WHS) were in the toilet blocks. All the male toilet facilities had WHS as opposed to just 60% of the female facilities. None of the WHS had soap present, while a quarter of the WHS did not have water available. Based on the Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) classification; none of the WHS provided basic hygiene service, 60% provided limited service and 40% provided no service. The majority (83%) of the students possessed a good knowledge of hand hygiene, however, only less than half (47%) reported washing their hands with soap and water at school. Factors like age (p=0.010) and their parents’ educational status (mother- p=0.002; father- p=0.011) significantly affected the students’ knowledge. The absence of basic handwash facilities in all the schools clearly shows the need for rapid intervention, particularly to eliminate gender disparities and to ensure the sustainable availability of sufficient soap and water.
Letter to Editor
Self-medication and its Consequences during & after the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic: A Global Health Problem
European Journal of Environment and Public Health, 2021, 5(1), em0066, https://doi.org/10.29333/ejeph/9308
ABSTRACT: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory tract infection that emerged from China in December 2019 and is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. Due to the airborne nature of its transmission, COVID-19 spread to the rest of the world rapidly. Thus, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. This paper evaluated the factors that lead to self-medication in people suffering from respiratory tract infections such as COVID-19, and the consequences of practicing self-medication using antimicrobial agents. Most of the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 are also seen in infections such as malaria, flu, and the common cold. For this reason, and also due to poor healthcare-seeking behaviour, most people tend to self-medicate using medicines that are known to be effective against malaria, common cold, and COVID-19. Among the commonly used medicines in the practice of self-medication include antibacterials, antimalarials, and antivirals. Some vitamins such as vitamin C boost the immune system enabling it to provide effective defence mechanisms against microbes. However, self-medication may pose consequences such as the emergence of antimicrobial-resistant microorganisms, hypersensitivity reactions as well as dose-dependent toxicities viz dermatoxicity, cardiotoxicity, and hepatoxicity. Infectious diseases caused by antimicrobial-resistant microbes are difficult and, in some instances, impossible to treat thereby leading to increased morbidity and mortality among infected people. Consequently, antimicrobial resistance poses another global public health problem and requires a multisectoral approach to curb. It is our recommendation that all governments ensure that there are adequate medicines and efficient human resources in healthcare facilities as well as sufficient public awareness to prevent people from seeking self-medication.
Letter to Editor
Development of Preparedness Competencies in Basic Education Science Curriculum: An Insight from the COVID-19 Global Outbreak
European Journal of Environment and Public Health, 2021, 5(1), em0063, https://doi.org/10.29333/ejeph/8578
ABSTRACT: The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has caused an extraordinary crisis that affects educational systems. This editorial letter calls for the development of preparedness competencies as part of the basic education science curriculum. It discusses the background from which the current call is hinged, contemporary place of preparedness competencies in the basic education science curriculum, and possible actions for curriculum development. This call hopes to open windows of opportunity for the consideration of preparedness competencies as part of the basic education science curriculum.
Letter to Editor
Mobile Healthcare Technology for People with Disabilities amid the COVID-19 pandemic
European Journal of Environment and Public Health, 2021, 5(1), em0060, https://doi.org/10.29333/ejeph/8551
ABSTRACT: People with disabilities are often deprived of their rights for quality healthcare during an emergency. The reasons for the deprivations are due to a lack of specialized healthcare that can cater for their health essentials and due to a lack of policies that protect their health rights. However, people with disabilities should be safeguarded since they tend to be the most vulnerable during times of crisis. In this regard, technology can empower people with disabilities through the use of designed mobile healthcare technologies or mhealth apps that are specialized for their health needs which they can use during the global emergency.
Research Article
Challenges Facing Older Adults during the COVID-19 Outbreak
European Journal of Environment and Public Health, 2021, 5(1), em0059, https://doi.org/10.29333/ejeph/8457
ABSTRACT: As COVID-19 rapidly spread at the globe, it has attracted significant attention and brought unprecedented efforts, resulting in stops of routine activities and changes in day-to-day behavioral patterns of the public. To mitigate its impact on health bodies and systems, societies, and economies, many countries have adopted nonpharmacological preventive procedures such as social or spatial distancing, using protective gloves and masks, as well as frequently handwashing; these have been extensively implemented. However, preventive procedures aimed at protecting the healthcare systems have side-effects that might have a big impact on the elderly’s life. In this article, we highlight the main challenges facing older adults during the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the importance of preventive measures in the protection of elderly health and containing the outbreak of COVID-19, they will undoubtedly have short and long term consequences for the well-being and mental health of the older adults.
Editorial
Review of the New Zealand’s COVID-19 Elimination Plan and the Mental Health Fall out on Vulnerable Groups
European Journal of Environment and Public Health, 2020, 4(2), em0058, https://doi.org/10.29333/ejeph/8456
ABSTRACT: Around the time when several countries battle with COVID-19 pandemic, the New Zealand implemented an elimination strategy- a headway   that successfully eliminated the novel SARS-CoV-2 from   Aotearoa/ New Zealand. A review of the elimination plan shows an extended and   strict restrictions on social contact   that could cause mental health fall out particularly among the vulnerable groups such as the aged, prisoners, and people with preexisting mental health issues. For a proactive action against these after-lockdown possibilities, surveillance of the risk factors among the vulnerable groups, deliberate interventional psychiatric and psychological care, and investment in mental health personnel   training should be  first point of action. Hence, this paper aims at drawing attention to these needed  response.
Research Article
Social Distancing Practices of Residents in a Philippine Region with Low Risk of COVID-19 Infection
European Journal of Environment and Public Health, 2020, 4(2), em0057, https://doi.org/10.29333/ejeph/8455
ABSTRACT: While scholars and authorities have come to extol the effectiveness of social distancing practices (SDPs) in curbing the exponential growth of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection, it is interesting to know how people practice them in the real situation. Thus, the overall objective of this paper is to describe the SDPs of residents in a Philippine region with a low risk of COVID-19 infection. Following the descriptive research design, it employed an online survey method and qualitative content analysis. The result showed that the residents generally follow a combination of different SDPs. They practice the recommended distance; express verbal cues to remind others; convey implied signals to motion others; select time to perform errands; choose places to perform errands; exercise metacognitive skills; greet without physical contact; prefer virtual activities; avoid touching objects; use objects of third party; utilize protective items; and stay out of the external environment. It is suggested that the multidimensional impacts of these SDPs should be further explored considering the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
Editorial
Burnout among Physicians and Nurses during COVID-19 Pandemic
European Journal of Environment and Public Health, 2020, 4(2), em0055, https://doi.org/10.29333/ejeph/8447
ABSTRACT: Health professionals treating COVID-19 patients have been reported to suffer extreme stress, which can lead to burnout and a reduced capacity to continue work. Physicians and nurses are directly at risk when performing the treatment and care of COVID-19 patients and therefore experience intense stress. This paper highlights the individual, organizational, and social effects of burnout among physicians and nurses due to COVID-19. Moreover, evidence based interventions were discussed to promote a healthy workplace, and to prevent burnout among health professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Research Article
The COVID-19 Epidemic in Rural U.S. Counties
European Journal of Environment and Public Health, 2020, 4(2), em0050, https://doi.org/10.29333/ejeph/8331
ABSTRACT: Having first reached epidemic proportions in coastal metropolitan areas, COVID-19 has spread around the country. Reported case rates vary across counties from zero to 126 per thousand population (around a state prison in the rural county of Trousdale, Tennessee). Overall, rural counties are underrepresented relative to their share of the population, but a growing proportion of all daily cases and deaths have been reported in rural counties. This analysis uses daily reports for all counties to present the trends and distribution of COVID-19 cases and deaths in rural counties, from late March to May 21, 2020. I describe the relationship between population density and case rates in rural and non-rural counties. Then I focus on noteworthy outbreaks linked to prisons, meat and poultry plants, and nursing homes, many of which are linked to high concentrations of Hispanic, American Indian, and Black populations. The growing epidemic in rural counties is apparently driven by outbreaks concentrated in these institutional settings, which are conducive to transmission. The impact of the epidemic in rural areas may be heightened due to their weaker health infrastructure and more vulnerable populations, especially due to age, socioeconomic status, and health conditions. As a result, the epidemic may contribute to the ongoing decline of health, economic, and social conditions in rural areas.
Review Article
Can Aerosols and Wastewater be Considered as Potential Transmissional Sources of COVID-19 to Humans?
European Journal of Environment and Public Health, 2020, 4(2), em0047, https://doi.org/10.29333/ejeph/8324
ABSTRACT: In view of the current situation regarding the COVID-19 disease, recently, published studies have proved the higher aerosol and surface stability of COVID-19. This virus, can survive long time on wastewater and aerosol. Therefore, its transmission via contaminated waste surfaces and airborne transmission through aerosols can occur besides close-distance contacts. This article discusses the potential presence of the COVID-19 pandemic on aerosol, wastewater and sewage sludge. This article highlights the need for health protection, which should be considered to curb the rapid spread of COVID‐19. An eventual development of new specific techniques would be of great interest for controlling the environmental dissemination of these viruses in the current and eventual future outbreaks. Finally, levels of infectious virus in poor countries like Africa could be increase, due to lack of wastewater treatment. So, it is clear that to limit the transmission of COVID-19, a high disinfection methods and sustainable international collaborative work are required. Meanwhile, further research is important to develop new strategies to limit the transmission of COVID-19 and to avoid a serious second wave of the pandemic or even third waves of COVID-19 infections.
Editorial
Why Menstrual Health and Wellbeing Promotion should not be Sidelined in Africa’s Response to COVID-19
European Journal of Environment and Public Health, 2020, 4(2), em0045, https://doi.org/10.29333/ejeph/8278
ABSTRACT: The COVID-19 crisis has unprecedentedly altered the course of life of majority of Africans. Menstrual health and wellbeing is a key altered aspect. The manifestation of this is apparent in the reduction/elimination of access to Menstrual Hygiene Management products and facilities, adoption of unhygienic menstrual management practices even by healthcare workers, decrease in access to menstrual-related knowledge, increase in the risk of occurrence and severity of several stress-related menstrual disorders, and a shift of public focus from menstrual health and wellbeing promotion. This disruption, in turn, leads to increased risk of predisposition to several other diseases/illnesses; prevalence of medical negligence and error, morbidity and mortality; and development lag in the continent. Prevention of these possible negative outcomes is only feasible through continued and reinforced menstrual health and wellbeing promotion facilitated by the African government and other stakeholders. This paper, thus, aim to redraw their attention to this urgent need.
Letter to Editor
The Spread of the Pandemic of Social Media Panic during the COVID-19 Outbreak
European Journal of Environment and Public Health, 2020, 4(2), em0044, https://doi.org/10.29333/ejeph/8277
ABSTRACT: The outbreak of novel COVID-19 has opened up different issues for social media including the life-endangering consequences of supposed cures, misleading rumors, and conspiracy theories about the origin of coronavirus. These dangerous rumors circulated the world and thus paired with racism and mass fearmongering all closely linked to the new “Infomedia” systems of the present century characterized by the multiplicity of means of communication between people especially platforms of social media. The sharing of misinformation has an influence beyond the harm of the coronavirus itself. Many posts were seen related to treatments that are not proven, techniques to mitigate exposure, and infection that are either not proven and/or filled with a lot of misleading information, and instruction for individuals to stock up on supplies and food. Taking into account the present situation, there is an important need to consider and assess the awareness of the public towards the dangerous impact of the spread of misinformation in the time of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Research Article
Rural America and Coronavirus Epidemic: Challenges and Solutions
European Journal of Environment and Public Health, 2020, 4(2), em0040, https://doi.org/10.29333/ejeph/8200
ABSTRACT: There are emerging concerns about the preparedness of rural communities in the United States in the face of the 2019 novel coronavirus (called SARS-CoV-2, causing the disease COVID-19) considering the existing disparities across the social determinants of health between rural and urban Americans. Taking into account the current exponential rate of spread of the coronavirus, this article critically examines the risk facing the 60 million Americans living in rural areas, discusses possible solutions pertaining to rural COVID-19 prevention, and examines measures to consider to prepare for this epidemic before it reaches rural areas.