4 research outputs found

    Multilevel governance and control of the Covid-19 pandemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo: Learning from the four first waves

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    The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impose a heavy burden on people around the world. The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has also been affected. The objective of this study was to explore national policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in the DRC and drivers of the response, and to generate lessons for strengthening health systems’ resilience and public health capacity to respond to health security threats. This was a case study with data collected through a literature review and in-depth interviews with key informants. Data analysis was carried out manually using thematic content analysis translated into a logical and descriptive summary of the results. The management of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic reflected multilevel governance. It implied a centralized command and a decentralized implementation. The centralized command at the national level mostly involved state actors organized into ad hoc structures. The decentralized implementation involved state actors at the provincial and peripheral level including two other ad hoc structures. Non-state actors were involved at both levels

    Multilevel Governance and Control of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo: Learning from the Four First Waves

    Get PDF
    The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impose a heavy burden on people around the world. The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has also been affected. The objective of this study was to explore national policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in the DRC and drivers of the response, and to generate lessons for strengthening health systems’ resilience and public health capacity to respond to health security threats. This was a case study with data collected through a literature review and in-depth interviews with key informants. Data analysis was carried out manually using thematic content analysis translated into a logical and descriptive summary of the results. The management of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic reflected multilevel governance. It implied a centralized command and a decentralized implementation. The centralized command at the national level mostly involved state actors organized into ad hoc structures. The decentralized implementation involved state actors at the provincial and peripheral level including two other ad hoc structures. Non-state actors were involved at both levels. These ad hoc structures had problems coordinating the transmission of information to the public as they were operating outside the normative framework of the health system. Conclusions: Lessons that can be learned from this study include the strategic organisation of the response inspired by previous experiences with epidemics; the need to decentralize decision-making power to anticipate or respond quickly and adequately to a threat such as the COVID-19 pandemic; and measures decided, taken, or adapted according to the epidemiological evolution (cases and deaths) of the epidemic and its effects on the socio-economic situation of the population. Other countries can benefit from the DRC experience by adapting it to their own context

    Indirect Effects of Ebola Virus Disease Epidemics on Health Systems in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia: A Scoping Review Supplemented with Expert Interviews

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    Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) epidemics have been extensively documented and have received large scientific and public attention since 1976. Until July 2022, 16 countries worldwide had reported at least one case of EVD, resulting in 43 epidemics. Most of the epidemics occurred in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) but the largest epidemic occurred from 2014–2016 in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia in West Africa. The indirect effects of EVD epidemics on these countries’ health systems, i.e., the consequences beyond infected patients and deaths immediately related to EVD, can be significant. The objective of this review was to map and measure the indirect effects of the EVD epidemics on the health systems of DRC, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia and, from thereon, draw lessons for strengthening their resilience vis-à-vis future EVD outbreaks and other similar health emergencies. A scoping review of published articles from the PubMed database and gray literature was conducted. It was supplemented by interviews with experts. Eighty-six articles were included in this review. The results were structured based on WHO’s six building blocks of a health system. During the EVD outbreaks, several healthcare services and activities were disrupted. A significant decline in indicators of curative care utilization, immunization levels and disease control activities was noticeable. Shortages of health personnel, poor health data management, insufficient funding and shortages of essential drugs characterized the epidemics that occurred in the above-mentioned countries. The public health authorities had virtually lost their leadership in the management of an EVD response. Governance was characterized by the development of a range of new initiatives to ensure adequate response. The results of this review highlight the need for countries to invest in and strengthen their health systems, through the continuous reinforcement of the building blocks, even if there is no imminent risk of an epidemic

    Multilevel Governance and Control of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo: Learning from the Four First Waves

    No full text
    The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impose a heavy burden on people around the world. The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has also been affected. The objective of this study was to explore national policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in the DRC and drivers of the response, and to generate lessons for strengthening health systems’ resilience and public health capacity to respond to health security threats. This was a case study with data collected through a literature review and in-depth interviews with key informants. Data analysis was carried out manually using thematic content analysis translated into a logical and descriptive summary of the results. The management of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic reflected multilevel governance. It implied a centralized command and a decentralized implementation. The centralized command at the national level mostly involved state actors organized into ad hoc structures. The decentralized implementation involved state actors at the provincial and peripheral level including two other ad hoc structures. Non-state actors were involved at both levels. These ad hoc structures had problems coordinating the transmission of information to the public as they were operating outside the normative framework of the health system. Conclusions: Lessons that can be learned from this study include the strategic organisation of the response inspired by previous experiences with epidemics; the need to decentralize decision-making power to anticipate or respond quickly and adequately to a threat such as the COVID-19 pandemic; and measures decided, taken, or adapted according to the epidemiological evolution (cases and deaths) of the epidemic and its effects on the socio-economic situation of the population. Other countries can benefit from the DRC experience by adapting it to their own context
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