Coronavirus (999) The Lancet: COVID-19 is not a pandemic (2)

27 September, 2020

COVID-19 is a Syndemic, not Pandemic- LANCET

On 23rd May 2020, at Nigerian Universal Health Coverage Actions Network’s (NUHCAN’s) 

First Virtual Meeting on Zoom, the organisation advocated and recommended to the 

Presidential Task Force (PTF Nigeria) on COVID-19 pandemic, that the national response  is doing a lot to manage the damage to lives and livelihoods, butstressed that its scope was too narrow, and NUHCAN recommended the following:

• Extend to community, primary health care and secondary care levels

• Ensure efforts to fulfill commitments to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC2030) and Health-related SDGs2030 continue unabated and not neglect the NCDs which along with old age comprise the co-morbities

• Engage civil society organisations like NUHCAN during and post COVID-19 pandemic

• Influence that any new Law to regulate and manage infectious diseases, epidemics and related matters in Nigeria must be appropriately timed for synergy and completeness of facts

It is really interesting to read in this LANCET editorial echoes of what we (NUHCAN) saw coming in May, at least in Nigeria:

Courtesy of HIFA:

"[hifa] Coronavirus (993) The Lancet: COVID-19 is not a pandemic

Full text:

Sep 25, 2020

Below are extracts from Richard Horton's column in tomorrow's print issue of The Lancet:


As the world approaches 1 million deaths from COVID-19, we must confront the fact that we are taking a far too narrow approach to managing this outbreak of a new coronavirus... COVID-19 is not a pandemic. It is a syndemic. The syndemic nature of the threat we face means that a more nuanced approach is needed if we are to protect the health of our communities.

Syndemics are characterised by biological and social interactions between conditions and states, interactions that increase a person’s susceptibility to harm or worsen their health outcomes. In the case of COVID-19, attacking NCDs will be a prerequisite for successful containment...

Addressing COVID-19 means addressing hypertension, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular and chronic respiratory diseases, and cancer...

The most important consequence of seeing COVID-19 as a syndemic is to underline its social origins. The vulnerability of older citizens; Black, Asian, and minority ethnic communities; and key workers who are commonly poorly paid with fewer welfare protections points to a truth so far barely acknowledged — namely, that no matter how effective a treatment or protective a vaccine, the pursuit of a purely biomedical solution to COVID-19 will fail... ''


Full text:


@Health Resources International (HRI) WA.

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HIFA Profile: Joseph Ana is the Lead Consultant and Trainer at the Africa Centre for Clinical Governance Research and Patient Safety in Calabar, Nigeria. In 2015 he won the NMA Award of Excellence for establishing 12-Pillar Clinical Governance, Quality and Safety initiative in Nigeria. He has been the pioneer Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) National Committee on Clinical Governance and Research since 2012. He is also Chairman of the Quality & Performance subcommittee of the Technical Working Group for the implementation of the Nigeria Health Act. He is a pioneer Trustee-Director of the NMF (Nigerian Medical Forum) which took the BMJ to West Africa in 1995. He is particularly interested in strengthening health systems for quality and safety in LMICs. He has written Five books on the 12-Pillar Clinical Governance for LMICs, including a TOOLS for Implementation. He established the Department of Clinical Governance, Servicom & e-health in the Cross River State Ministry of Health, Nigeria in 2007. Website: Joseph is a member of the HIFA Steering Group and the HIFA working group on Community Health Workers.

Email: jneana AT