Surveying the World’s COVID-19 Response

What do healthcare professionals around the world think about their countries’ responses to COVID-19? In a study drawing on the first-hand knowledge of health workers from around the globe, researchers in Italy and Australia – including the PCHSS’s Dr Louise Ellis, Professor Johanna Westbrook, and Professor Jeffrey Braithwaite – offer an international, comparative perspective of different countries’ and regions’ efforts to tackle the pandemic.

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In “International survey of COVID-19 management strategies”, published in Quality in Health Care in November 2020, the researchers outline their findings from a survey involving 1,131 respondents from 97 countries. They found several significant differences between regions. For example, although most respondents believed that their countries had an effective plan in place prior to the outbreak, this was only the case for 32% of respondents from the Americas region, compared with 91% of respondents from the Southeast Asia region. From the wide-ranging survey, the authors drew out the following insights:

The world has progressed in its knowledge and sophistication in tackling the pandemic after early and often substantial obstacles were encountered. Most WHO regions have or are in the process of responding well, although some countries have not yet instituted widespread measures known to support mitigation, for example, effective swab testing and social control measures.

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