Measuring the public health cost of COVID-19 control efforts

Type Working Paper - NIDS-CRAM Working Paper
Title Measuring the public health cost of COVID-19 control efforts
Issue 3
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2020
Our study examined the unintended health consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa. We considered access to acute and chronic care amongst the general population with our NIDS-CRAM (Coronavirus Rapid Rapid Mobile Survey) telephone interviews, and access to vaccinations, ARTs and antenatal care by pregnant women and women with infants in the public sector with our MATCH (Maternal and Child Health) SMS survey. We find that within the range of care and treatment types that we examined, the impact has been varied, with the highest-stakes type of care seemingly least affected. Chronic care and care of infants have been least affected. We find that 22% of those who needed acute health care, did not seek care. Also, 16% of pregnant women and mothers of infants in our public sector sample have not been to the clinic for two months. We find it particularly concerning that 11% of our sample of public sector expectant mothers or mothers with infants have run out of ARTs. Overwhelmingly, fear of contracting the Coronavirus is the most frequently cited reason for not seeking care or not accessing treatment.

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