EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC HEALTH

Volume 5, Issue 2, 2021

Research Article
A Planetary Health Perspective to Decarbonising Public Hospitals in Ireland: A Health Policy Report
European Journal of Environment and Public Health, 2021, 5(2), em0067, https://doi.org/10.21601/ejeph/9368
ABSTRACT: Background: Decarbonisation refers to the process by which countries, individuals or other entities aim to achieve zero fossil carbon emissions through reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, including procurement, energy and buildings, pharmaceuticals, transport, and waste which impacts public health. Preliminary findings on decarbonisation in healthcare systems suggest that further research is required.
Aims: This research was undertaken to explore the opportunities and barriers of decarbonisation of public hospitals within the ‘climate health’ planetary health boundary in the Republic of Ireland.
Methodology: A literature review was used in conjunction with semi-structured qualitative interviews to explore barriers and opportunities of decarbonisation of Irish healthcare sector. The purposive sampling for the qualitative interviews resulted in the selection of five key decision-makers within cross-sector fields including environmental, public health, management and transport.
Results: Themes emerged which reflected the cross-cutting planetary health principle. Barriers such as financial incentives and the requirement for a transdisciplinary approach were raised. The need for preparing the healthcare sector through adaptation and mitigation of the effects of climate change was also highlighted, as was the importance of leadership within the hospital from all sectors.
Recommendations: The findings emerging from this novel research through a planetary health lens can be used to further inform the ‘Climate Action Plan’ in the Republic of Ireland, with adaption to other healthcare sectors internationally, in order to ensure investment within the health sector in preparation for climate change.
Editorial
Review of the Lessons from the Mental Health Care in a Public Health Context Short Course: Australia Awards Africa
European Journal of Environment and Public Health, 2021, 5(2), em0068, https://doi.org/10.21601/ejeph/9369
ABSTRACT: The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends human resource development as a key strategy to promote global mental health. The optimal approach to building capacity in global mental health care requires partnerships between professional resources in high-income countries and promising health-related institutions in low- and middle-income countries. In this paper, we briefly describe the objectives of one of such initiatives, the Australia Awards Short Course titled, ‘Mental Health Care in a Public Health Context’, sponsored by the Australian Government, share our experience and reflections as participants in the program, and highlight key lessons relevant for scale-up of mental health care in low-middle income countries in Africa.
Research Article
Biodegradable Potential of Bacillus amyloliquefaciens and Bacillus safensis Using Low Density Polyethylene Thermoplastic (LDPE) Substrate
European Journal of Environment and Public Health, 2021, 5(2), em0069, https://doi.org/10.21601/ejeph/9370
ABSTRACT: Increase of plastics accumulation in the environment cause ecological threats and has been one of the serious issue worldwide. In the current study, two bacterial isolated strains Bacillus safensis and Bacillus amyloliquefaciens were used for their plastic degradation capabilities. The biodegradation of low density polyethylene thermoplastic was assessed by weight reduction, Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis and by culture media pH alteration. The results shows that Bacillus safensis was more efficient and degrade 18.6% LDPE than Bacillus amyloliquefaciens that degrade 18% of LDPE after incubation period of 30 days. Moreover, it was also noted that longer incubation periods results in higher biodegradation of low density polyethylene thermoplastic. It is concluded that the biodegrading ability of Bacillus safensis is more than Bacillus amyloliquefaciens as confirm from weight reduction of low density polyethylene thermoplastic.
Research Article
“It Makes you Fly to the Moon” - Stakeholder Perceptions of Physical Activity in the School Environment
European Journal of Environment and Public Health, 2021, 5(2), em0070, https://doi.org/10.21601/ejeph/9372
ABSTRACT: Abstract. Children are not achieving recommended levels of physical activity (PA), and a comprehensive school PA program (CSPAP) has been suggested as a way to address this within the school environment (CDC, 2017). Purpose: The purpose of this study, was to explore multiple stakeholders’ perceptions (i.e., students, teachers, principal) of PA in the school environment. Method: Semi-structured interviews were conducted; students in Kindergarten through grade two (N = 31) participated in focus group interviews, while teachers (N = 9) and the principal (N = 1) participated in individual interviews. Data were analyzed inductively using open and axial coding (Corbin & Strauss, 2008). Results: Teachers and the principal had favorable perceptions of PA in school, identified barriers and needed supports (teachers). Students liked PA, believed it was good for them, and wanted more PA opportunities at school. Conclusion: These results provide multi-level stakeholder support for PA promotion within the school environment; and are important to consider within the CSPAP framework.
Research Article
An Assessment of Saudi Hospitals’ Disaster Preparedness
European Journal of Environment and Public Health, 2021, 5(2), em0071, https://doi.org/10.21601/ejeph/9663
ABSTRACT: Objective: The study aims to assess the level of Saudi Hospital Disaster Preparedness (HDP).
Methods: This study has utilized exploratory quantitative design with a structured self-administered questionnaire. It has adopted a convenient sampling technique, which has included nine hospitals within three Saudi Cities (Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dammam). The questionnaire contains 48 indicators in six HDP domains: planning, structural, non-structural, management, functional, and human resource competency capacities.
Results: The level of Saudi HDP was 69.8%. The domain of management capacity had the highest level of preparedness, at 83.6%, while human resources competency capacity was the least prepared, at 63%. The Spearman correlation revealed a positive significant relationship between preparing to respond to a disaster when occur and all HDP capacity indicators, r (46) = 0.424, p = < .001. A one-way ANOVA test showed a significant difference in HDP between the three cities; Riyadh hospitals were the most prepared, F (2, 313) = 4.343, p < .05. It also showed that there were significant differences in preparedness between the MOH, other governmental, and university hospitals; university hospitals were the most prepared, F (2, 313) = 5.087, p < .05.
Conclusion: Overall, Saudi hospitals have a high level of HDP, which indicates that they are likely to function well in the eventuality of disasters. There is a great opportunity to strengthen HDP capacities to improve hospital readiness in the medium-long term. The implemented HDP assessment tool should be built into hospitals’ systems and coordinated among involved governmental sectors.
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.
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
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.
Letter to Editor
Telemedicine in Low and Middle Income Countries: Closing or Widening the Health Inequalities Gap?
European Journal of Environment and Public Health, 2021, 5(2), em0075, https://doi.org/10.21601/ejeph/10777
ABSTRACT: Telemedicine has shown potentials in salvaging the dwindling healthcare system in low and middle-income countries but faced certain challenges that may create new health inequalities especially based on income. This letter discusses the debate that arises regarding the role of telemedicine on health inequalities in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). It calls for the development of strategies to prevent the widening of the health inequalities gap in LMICs from telemedicine usage. Recommendations were also highlighted to facilitate universal health coverage in LMICs through telemedicine.
Research Article
Determination of Social Exclusion Among Young Syrian Refugees Living in Turkey
European Journal of Environment and Public Health, 2021, 5(2), em0076, https://doi.org/10.21601/ejeph/10908
ABSTRACT: After the Syria Conflict in 2011, Turkey has accepted about four million Syrian refugees. Initially, they were seen as guests, but after eight years, the Turkish Government has spent more than forty billion USD, and the money that has been spent is seen as a burden by both the Government and the people. That’s why some Turkish people started using negative language against Syrian Refugees not only for economic reasons but also political. This study aims to understand the impact of young Syrian refugees’ social exclusion with temporary protection status on their daily lives. It is thought that the stigmatization and negative discourses by the Society in which they live leads to social exclusion, and this has a fundamental effect on daily life practices. In this study, it is understood that Syrian Youth sometimes face exclusion and negative discourses in their daily lives in family, friends, education, and other fields. According to their statements, these exclusion situations differ according to their gender and education. Especially, women confront with some exclusion because of language and behaviors. Education should be used as a leverage to increase the integration between Turkish and Syrian People and integration policies based on multiculturalism must be produced to increase the harmony between two societies.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Review Article
Designing Stimulating Environment to Alleviate Orphan Children Psychological Problems
European Journal of Environment and Public Health, 2021, 5(2), em0082, https://doi.org/10.21601/ejeph/11057
ABSTRACT: Children experience sorrow, anxiety, depression, and lack of support and care after losing their parents. Moreover, orphan children in center-based care live in institutional surroundings. Family environment deprivation and group living can manifest in psychological problems— even in the best programs. This research aims to elucidate how interior space architecture can instrumentally alleviate children’s post parental loss psychological issues. Relevant literature exploring environmental psychology was reviewed and analyzed. The researcher proposes a scheme to direct children home design to minimize children’s psychological problems, including detailed descriptions of design interventions.
Research Article
How Important is Medical Ethics? Descriptive Cross-Sectional Survey among Medical Students of Karachi
European Journal of Environment and Public Health, 2021, 5(2), em0083, https://doi.org/10.21601/ejeph/11058
ABSTRACT: Introduction: Healthcare ethics is of prime importance and medical students should learn to incorporate it in their everyday practices. Our study aimed to assess and compare the knowledge of medical ethics among students enrolled in a government and a private medical college of Karachi, Pakistan.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted from November-December 2019 among 380 medical students who were recruited via convenience sampling after getting their informed consent. A pre-tested, self-administered structured questionnaire was used to assess knowledge. Data was analyzed by Statistical Package of Social Sciences version 22.
Results: Majority, 323 (85%) regarded medical ethics as important while 138 (36.3%) had acquired their knowledge from different workshops. Almost half, 187 (49.2%) had knowledge regarding Hippocratic Oath. When asked regarding ethical scenarios, 69 (18.2%) students in government medical college were of the opinion that a doctor can refuse to perform abortion even if law allows it as compared to 57 (15.0%) in private medical college (p=0.019). Moreover, 80 (21.1%) students in government medical college strongly disagreed that a patient who wishes to die should be assisted in doing so, as compared to 45 (11.8%) in private medical college (p< 0.001).
Conclusion: Students had knowledge and were aware of the importance of ethics in their profession. The ones belonging to government medical college held stronger views regarding ethical scenarios as compared to the ones in private medical college.
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.
Research Article
Knowledge and Perception of Malaria Among Hausa Married Men in Mokola Community of Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria
European Journal of Environment and Public Health, 2021, 5(2), em0085, https://doi.org/10.21601/ejeph/11095
ABSTRACT: Malaria is endemic in most countries within the African continent and accounts for high morbidity and mortality in those countries. The Nigerian Government launched the National Malaria Strategic Plan 2014-2020 to address the high burden of malaria in the country. However, like the previous plans, this plan focused more on the vulnerable groups to malaria (i. e. pregnant women, children under five years old and people living with HIV/AIDS) as the target population for the interventions. Men being the heads of the family in most African societies make all health decisions for the family. Many interventions that did not involve men do not succeed because of the decision roles men play in the family. An understanding of the knowledge and perception of men regarding malaria causes prevention, and management would assist in developing interventions aimed at reducing morbidity and mortality related to the disease in the community as well as achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 3.3, which focuses on Ending the Epidemic of Malaria.
Therefore, this study was designed to investigate the knowledge and perception of malaria among Hausa married men in Mokola community, Ibadan.The study was a descriptive cross-sectional survey. A three-stage sampling technique was used to recruit 302 Hausa married men based in Mokola; stratified into the Hausa and Yoruba (Okesu) axis, systematic random sampling was used to select the houses and balloting was used when a house had more than one married man. A validated semi-structured interviewer-administered questionnaire was used for data collection. Knowledge, perception and preventive practices were measured on a 22-point, 26-point and 14-point scales, respectively. Knowledge scores of 113 and scores >13 were categorized as poor and good, respectively. Perception scores of 016 and scores >16 were categorized as poor and good, respectively. Preventive practice scores of 08 and scores ˃8 were categorized as poor and good, respectively. Data was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics such as Chi-square test at p˂0.05 level of significance. Respondents’ mean age was 36.4 years, with trading accounting for 97.7% respondents’ occupation. Respondents whose monthly income range from N30,000-N75,000 accounted for 56.0%. Monogamy was practised by 75.5% with 73.2% having less than 5 children. Most respondents (76.2%) correctly defined malaria, with 22.2% obtaining information on malaria from the electronic media. Majority (99.3%) of respondents acknowledged to buying of drugs as one of the roles men should play in the treatment of malaria in their households. Most respondents, 89.1%, had good knowledge on definition of malaria and 97.0% had a good perception towards malaria management in their families with 51.6% of respondents reporting that a family member had malaria less than a month ago. Respondents who used ITN as prevention against malaria for their families accounted for 80.8%. Overall, 78.5% of respondents practised right preventive practice against malaria. The test of association between level of education and knowledge of malaria showed that only knowledge on symptoms of malaria was associated with the respondents’ level of education (p = 0.012). Test of association between level of education and perception of malaria revealed that perception of the respondents on causes of malaria was significantly associated with their level of education (p = 0.003). The test of association between respondents’ knowledge and perception on malaria revealed that knowledge and perception were significantly associated (p < 0.001), also the test of association between knowledge and the preventive practices of respondents revealed a statistically significant association exists between knowledge level and preventive practices against malaria (p= 0.028).
Majority of respondents had good knowledge and perception on malaria and only few reported practicing malaria preventive measures involving spending money for their households. Interventions such awareness through the electronic media and community mobilization on malaria preventive measures focusing on men should be carried out in other communities.
Research Article
Physician Training Related to Environmental Hazards Near Ash Superfund Sites
European Journal of Environment and Public Health, 2021, 5(2), em0086, https://doi.org/10.21601/ejeph/11096
ABSTRACT: Physicians do not receive formal environmental health training in medical schools. The objectives of this study were to provide health care providers with basic environmental medicine training to better advise, treat or refer patients in the community and to observe any differences in the environmental medicine learning gains pre/post- test assessment. To rectify the problem of the lack of physicians’ training related to environmental hazards, we conducted an environmental health workshop which targeted physicians living near Health Zone 1, Superfund ash sites. Fifty health care providers from both St. Vincent Family Medicine and Department of Health, Duval County Health Department (DOH-Duval) participated in a pre-test survey before the training and a post-test survey following the training. We used a non-parametric Wilcoxon Signed-Rank test to compare pre- and post- knowledge of training participants. At the 10% level of significance, the number of incorrect answers significantly declined in the post-training survey compared to the pre-training survey for all participants from both facilities combined (p=0.083). Site-specific analysis show, while a significant difference was found for participants from the St. Vincent’s site (p=0.084), the difference for participants from the DOH-Duval site was not significant (p = 0.102), although the number of incorrect answers declined. The training resulted in learning gains for the 50 participants and the evaluations were very positive with 100% of physicians recommending this training to other health care providers. Additionally, training participants gave a high mark for the environmental medicine pocket guide. In 2019, the ash sites are 90% remediated and cleanup is expected to be completed in 2022. There is still a need for additional training for physicians due to other active sites (i.e., Kerr-McGee) in the community. This study highlights the importance of providing environmental hazards training to physicians and the approach by which it could be delivered effectively.
Letter to Editor
Mental Health and Educational Trajectories in Students During the Coronavirus Pandemic
European Journal of Environment and Public Health, 2021, 5(2), em0087, https://doi.org/10.21601/ejeph/11097
ABSTRACT: The COVID-19 pandemic has produced a significant psychological impact on the student population and the greatest alteration of traditional educational practices in recent history. The consequences of the pandemic on the mental health of students and their educational trajectories will likely endure globally for years to come. Online education seems to have come to stay permanently in education systems, and we may be at the beginning of a new era in learning methods. The present study reflects on the need to provide students with quick and effective assistance for their mental health problems, and to implement evaluation systems on online teaching to limit its negative impact on the learning process.
Research Article
Antibiotic Use: Knowledge, Attitude and Practices of a Southern Community in Lebanon
European Journal of Environment and Public Health, 2021, 5(2), em0088, https://doi.org/10.21601/ejeph/11111
ABSTRACT: Background: The irrational use of antibiotics is one of the leading causes to antibiotic resistance affecting the public’s health. This study aimed at examining the public’s knowledge, attitude, and practice in a Southern village of Lebanon.
Methods: A quantitative cross-sectional survey was conducted in Haddatha Village-Beint Jbeil in South Lebanon during the month of October 2017. The target population for the survey included Lebanese adults (21 years of age or older) that had been living in the Village for at least the past 3 years.
Results: All households were targeted, of whom 91 agreed to participate (86%), within the same household, we surveyed only one member. More than half of the respondents were misinformed about antibiotics usage to treat viral infections (60.4%), almost 30% reported that it cures all infections and 26.4% assumed that they can stop taking the antibiotic before completing the course if their symptoms improved. Half of the respondents (48.4%) conveyed expecting their physicians to prescribe antibiotics to treat common cold. On the other hand, 60% do not usually seek medical care when sick because they think that it is not needed. The results, also, showed that almost 30% take antibiotics without a physician’s prescription. Approximately, half of the population reported consuming leftover antibiotics (50.5%), with only 5.6% waiting more than 4 days to start an antibiotic course.
Conclusion: This study reflects several misconceptions and poor knowledge regarding antibiotics use, with an exhibition of contentious attitude and practice. Therefore, it is recommended to advocate for policies to control the misuse of antibiotics through public health interventions targeting individuals and their families to limit antibiotic resistance.