J Glob Health. 2022 Nov 12;12:05046. doi: 10.7189/jogh.12.05046.
BACKGROUND: Continuous monitoring of the pandemic’s impact on health service provision and mental health, COVID-19 perceptions, and compliance with prevention measures among health care providers (HCPs) can help with mitigating the pandemic’s negative effects.
METHODS: A computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) survey was conducted among 1499 HCPs in Burkina Faso (Ouagadougou), Ethiopia (Addis Ababa), Nigeria (Lagos and Ibadan), Tanzania (Dar es Salaam), and Ghana (Kintampo). Self-reported mental health, perceptions of the COVID-19 pandemic, and prevention measures available in the workplace were assessed. HCPs’ responses to questions regarding the impact of COVID-19 on nine essential health services were summed into a score; high service disruption was defined as a score higher than the total average score across all sites. Modified Poisson regression was used to identify potential factors related to high service disruption.
RESULTS: Overall, 26.9% of HCPs reported high service disruption, with considerable differences across sites (from 1.6% in Dar es Salaam to 45.0% in Addis Ababa). A considerable proportion of HCPs reported experiencing mild psychological distress (9.4%), anxiety (8.0%), and social avoidance or rejection (13.9%) due to their profession. Participants in Addis Ababa (absolute risk ratio (ARR) = 2.10; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.59-2.74), Lagos (ARR = 1.65; 95% CI = 1.24-2.17), and Kintampo (ARR = 2.61; 95% CI = 1.94-3.52) had a higher likelihood of reporting high service disruption compared to those in Ouagadougou. Reporting ever-testing for COVID-19 (ARR = 0.82; 95% CI = 0.69-0.97) and the presence of COVID-19 guidelines in the workplace (ARR = 0.63; 95% CI = 0.53-0.77) were both associated with lower reported health service disruption among HCPs.
CONCLUSION: The COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt essential health services and present a challenge to HCPs’ mental health, with important differences across countries and settings; interventions are needed to mitigate these negative effects of the pandemic.