Coronavirus in discussion now by HIFA's global health professionals ...

HIFA's global health professionals are discussing coronavirus (COVID-19) now. Below are the latest messages on our HIFA-English discussion forum. Find out more about HIFA here [www.hifa.org]. Join the discussion here: [www.hifa.org/joinhifa]

Discussion Date published
Coronavirus (666) Uncertainty amidst COVID-19 (9) COVID-19 in Sub-Saharan Africa (4)
In a recent virtual meeting on Zoom we discussed UHC2030 and the effect that focus on COVID-19 pandemic is having on routine health services especially in Africa. We contributed the following summarised thoughts and views: Africa is still experiencing “increases in numbers of COVID-19 cases. BUT has it got ‘advantages’, if you might call it that? : i) Demographics are on its side. Median age under 20 years - less than half that of Italy
25 May, 2020
Coronavirus (665) Uncertainty amidst COVID-19 (8)
Dear all, As frustrating as it may be to see nonsense on the web, there are dangers in trying to suppress it. Science – looking at evidence from all angles, raising questions, debating - can resolve many things over time. Here’s an example: Imperial College London estimated 40 million people around the world would die of Covid 19 in 2020 if nothing was done. Is Imperial College spreading misinformation by leaving that estimate on its website? Maybe. But let’s appreciate competing views.
25 May, 2020
Coronavirus (659) Policymakers and health misinformation (26) 'Let's party, coronavirus has ended' - Tanzanian official (4)
Dear all, As frustrating as it may be to see nonsense on the web, there are dangers in trying to suppress it. Science – looking at evidencefrom all angles, raising questions, debating - can resolve many things overtime.Here’s an example: Imperial College London estimated 40 million people around the world would die of Covid 19 in 2020 if nothing was done. Is Imperial College spreading misinformation by leaving that estimate onits website? Maybe. But let’s appreciate competing views.
25 May, 2020
Coronavirus (660) Policymakers and health misinformation (27) 'Let's party, coronavirus has ended' - Tanzanian official (5)
Thanks for your reply, Neil.
25 May, 2020
Coronavirus (661) Why is infection of frontline health workers with COVID-19 increasing
Dear All, We were discussing the increasing infection rate of frontline health workers during this COVID-19 pandemic in another platform, which I want to share it on HIFA.I had posted, ‘We notice the same phenomenon of increasing infection of frontline health workers in the COVID19 Pandemic in low resource countries like Nigeria. The reasons are likely to be multifactorial including preexisting poor hygiene of facilities; inadequate supply of PPEs, infrequent use of PPEs and associated poor awareness of their use. ‘By Joseph Ana’
25 May, 2020
Coronavirus (662) Policymakers and health misinformation (28) 'Let's party, coronavirus has ended' - Tanzanian official (6)
Dear Simon, Many thanks for your message: "Perhaps I should be more explicit: the BBC article is not only devoid of healthcare information, or any other kind of information that is of any use to people, in or out of Tanzania; the article is sensationalist, calculated to scare people, and to ridicule Tanzanian leaders, whether rightly or wrongly." The veracity or otherwise of health journalism is an important issue, especially where it relates to an institution such as the BBC, which is trusted by many. Thank you for raising questions about this. Best wishes, Neil
25 May, 2020
Coronavirus (663) Analysis of HIFA Forum Discussion on Coronavirus - Update
Hi everyone, This is an update regarding the qualitative research project currently underway that's aimed at identifying the common themes emerging from the HIFA forum discussion on coronavirus. As mentioned before, the goal is to determine what the information needs surrounding COVID-19 are as well as find ways to address the misinformation and disinformation so that an effective strategy can be put in place for the dissemination of appropriate and timely healthcare information.
25 May, 2020
Coronavirus (664) New cross-government research response to tackle COVID-19 in low- and middle-income countries
Dear All, I just learnt about this call from a contact who has asked it be shared with networks. https://www.nihr.ac.uk/news/new-cross-government-research-response-to-ta... Copying the first few paragraphs from the page for your information, please click the above link for further details.
25 May, 2020
Coronavirus (655) Policymakers and health misinformation (24) 'Let's party, coronavirus has ended' - Tanzanian official (2)
As an online forum for information professionals, sources such as the BBC should be flagged up as being on the less reliable end of the spectrum. For example, big crowds of people outside hospitals, and long waits for service, are the norm. During health emergencies, actual or threatened, exhortations to pray, recourse to indigenous medicines and sensationalist reports in the international press are also the norm. There is no health information in this article.
24 May, 2020
Coronavirus (656) Policymakers and health misinformation (25) 'Let's party, coronavirus has ended' - Tanzanian official (3)
Dear Simon (Collery) Thanks for pointing out that news websites are not always reliable. This is of course true. Some news sites are less reliable than others, and perception of reliability varies from person to person, and from topic to topic.
24 May, 2020
Coronavirus (657) BBC: Which health claims are circulating online?
Extracts below. Full text here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-52710478 (As Simon Collery noted today, news articles are not always reliable.) --As the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect countries across the world, false and misleading health advice is still being widely shared online... 1. The doctors who didn't recommend vegetarianism
24 May, 2020
Coronavirus (658) COVID-19 Africa Rapid Grant Fund: science and health journalists and communicators
Dear HIFA colleagues, Below is a funding opportunity for 'science and health journalists and communicators' that you may find of interest. It is reproduced from the website of South Africa’s National Research Foundation, and is open to applicants from Botswana, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and in the context of the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) Nigeria and South Africa. The closing date is 17 June 2020.
24 May, 2020
Coronavirus (646) United Nations initiative to fight Covid19 misinformation
UN launches new initiative to fight COVID-19 misinformation through "digital first responders" "A new UN initiative aims to push back against the tide of lies and hate that has risen in tandem with the COVID-19 pandemic, by empowering people worldwide to share accurate information to help save lives and promote global solidarity." https://news.us15.list-manage.com/track/click?u=372753f560ef60c400f1a4f3...
23 May, 2020
Coronavirus (652) Weekly update no.7 - Evidence Aid COVID-19 project
Dear Friends (with apologies for any cross-posting), Here is the seventh weekly update on our COVID-19 project, designed to keep our partners, volunteers and staff up to date with what Evidence Aid is doing. Please feel free to forward within your networks. Evidence Aid COVID-19 Weekly Bulletin Report covering 7 days to 22nd May 2020 - https://www.evidenceaid.org/coronavirus-covid-19-evidence-collection/
23 May, 2020
Coronavirus (652) Open access: how COVID-19 will change the way research findings are shared (2) Pre-prints
We have always worried about the tendency of authors going ahead to promote their findings before peer review. Especially where literacy is low preprints that do not get through peer review eventually, and therefore not published, have already entered the literature (is that misinformation?). We were thrilled to read the following on preprints:
23 May, 2020
Coronavirus (647) Policymakers and health misinformation (23) 'Let's party, coronavirus has ended' - Tanzanian official
BBC news item below. Read online: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/world-africa-47639452 --A senior politician has sparked disbelief among Tanzanians by saying that coronavirus has "ended" and calling on the public to celebrate in the streets on Sunday. Paul Makonda, who is regional commissioner of the country's biggest city Dar es Salaam, even told residents which shops had 80%-off sales so they could buy new clothes to look their best as they party.
22 May, 2020
Coronavirus (648) Policymakers and health misinformation (24) 'Let's party, coronavirus has ended' - Tanzanian official (2)
Dear Neil, I read your comments about covid and Tanzania. Few additions:
22 May, 2020
Coronavirus (649) Management of gastrointestinal cancers in the COVID-19 pandemic
New recommendations from the Brazilian Gastrointestinal Tumors Group on how to best manage gastrointestinal cancers in the COVID-19 pandemic have just been published. The guidelines take into consideration the limited health resources available in many countries and include evidence-based approaches to both treating and minimising the risk of COVID-19 for cancer patients, simultaneously proposing how to decrease the use of hospital resources at a time these resources need to be available to treat COVID-19 patients.
22 May, 2020
Coronavirus (650) How can I break bad news remotely?
This article may be useful for those who are unable to see patients physically during the coronavirus pandemic. CITATION: How can I break bad news remotely?BMJ 2020; 369 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m1876 (Published 12 May 2020)Cite this as: BMJ 2020;369:m1876 Covid-19 has made breaking bad news harder than ever. Doctors share their advice on how to speak to patients and their families when you can’t see them face-to-face.
22 May, 2020
Coronavirus (642) Brazil's health workers: 'Our biggest problem is fake news'
Extracts and a comment from me below. Full text here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-52739734 --“I can categorically say that Brazil has become the most important epicentre for the spread of the Covid-19 virus in the world,” Domingos Alves, a professor at the Ribeirao Preto Medical School told BBC News Brasil. Almost 18,000 people have died according to official figures, but Prof Alves warns that the death toll has been massively underreported.
22 May, 2020

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