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Coordination mechanisms for COVID-19 in the WHO Regional office for Africa

Ngoy, Nsenga, Oyugi, Boniface, Ouma, Paul O., Conteh, Ishata Nannie, Woldetsadik, Solomon Fisseha, Nanyunja, Miriam, Okeibunor, Joseph Chukwudi, Yoti, Zabulon, Gueye, Abdou Salam (2022) Coordination mechanisms for COVID-19 in the WHO Regional office for Africa. BMC Health Services Research, 22 . Article Number 711. E-ISSN 1472-6963. (doi:10.1186/s12913-022-08035-w) (KAR id:99005)

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Aim: this study describes the coordination mechanisms that have been used for management of the COVID-19 pandemic in the WHO AFRO region; relate the patterns of the disease (length of time between onset of coordination and first case; length of the wave of the disease and peak attack rate) to coordination mechanisms established at the national level, and document best practices and lessons learned.

Method: We did a retrospective policy tracing of the COVID-19 coordination mechanisms from March 2020 (when first cases of COVID-19 in the AFRO region were reported) to the end of the third wave in September 2021. Data sources were from document and Literature review of COVID-19 response strategies, plans, regulations, press releases, government websites, grey and peer-reviewed literature. The data was extracted to Excel file database and coded then analysed using Stata (version 15). Analysis was done through descriptive statistical analysis (using measures of central tendencies (Mean, DS, and median) and measures of central dispersion (range)), multiple linear regression, and thematic analysis of qualitative data.

Results: There are three distinct layered coordination mechanisms (strategic, operational, and tactical) that were

either implemented singularly or in tandem with another coordination mechanism. 87.23% (n=41) of the countries

initiated strategic coordination, and 59.57% (n=28) initiated some form of operational coordination. Some of countries (n=26,55.32%) provided operational coordination using functional Public Health Emergency Operation Centres

(PHEOCs) which were activated for the response. 31.91% (n=15) of the countries initiated some form of tactical

coordination which involved the decentralisation of the operations at the local/grassroot level/district/ county levels.

Decentralisation strategies played a key role in coordination, as was the innovative strategies by the countries; some

coordination mechanisms built on already existing coordination systems and the heads of states were effective in the

success of the coordination process. Financing posed challenge to majority of the countries in initiating coordination.

Conclusion: Coordinating an emergency is a multidimensional process that includes having decision-makers and

institutional agents define and prioritise policies and norms that contain the spread of the disease, regulate activities

and behaviour and citizens, and respond to personnel who coordinate prevention.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1186/s12913-022-08035-w
Uncontrolled keywords: Coordination mechanism, COVID-19, Health Emergencies, Pandemic Management, WHO Regional Office for Africa
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research > Centre for Health Services Studies
Funders: University of Kent (
Depositing User: George Austin-Coskry
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2022 10:39 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2022 14:21 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Oyugi, Boniface:
Okeibunor, Joseph Chukwudi:
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