Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

The Indirect Health Effects of COVID-19

Free maternity care clinic in Mombasa, Kenya. Credit: Arete / Albert Gonzalez Farran for HP+, Flikr

About the series

The full extent of COVID-19's impact remains to be seen. At CGD, we've been reviewing the indirect health effects brought on by disruptions to essential health services. Over the past year CGD partnered with researchers in Kenya, the Philippines, South Africa,and Uganda to document, from a whole-of-health perspective, what we know about the nature, scale, and scope of the disruptions to essential health services in those countries, and the health effects of such disruptions. Find out more below!

More from the Series

The Indirect Health Effects of COVID-19
An image of COVID patients and a doctor in Africa.

Plus ça change: COVID-19 and Its Collateral Impact during the Vaccine Era

Over the past year we partnered with researchers in Kenya, the Philippines, South Africa, and Uganda to document, from a whole-of-health perspective, what we know about the nature, scale, and scope of COVID-19’s disruptions to essential health services in those countries, and the health effects of such disruptions. In a working paper released today, we build on a blog we published in March when we released working papers from each country team (the papers are available here: Kenya, the Philippines, South Africa, Uganda). In this new working paper, we summarize the results and lessons across the four countries in more detail.  We also tie together many of the blogs we have written on this topic over the past year (this series of blogs can be found here).

Publication

COVID-19 has caused significant morbidity and mortality, both directly and indirectly via the disruption to routine health services. Evidence on the indirect health impacts has largely been anecdotal or modeled, and cause/program-specific. We aimed to document the indirect health impacts in four countries with different experiences: Kenya, the Philippines, South Africa, and Uganda.

Publication

In the Philippines, anecdotes on the dwindling use of essential healthcare services as an indirect consequence of COVID-19 pandemic are mounting, but compelling evidence remains scarce up to this day. In this study, we examined the magnitude of decline in insurance claims of twelve high burden diseases and five common procedures from 1,286 public and private hospitals.

Publication

This paper investigates both the potential impact of national lockdown measures on COVID-19 transmission, and other health and non-health indicators in South Africa, based on available data. We present findings relating to both “costs” and “benefits” in health terms of the national lockdown side by side

Publication

On 21st March 2020, Uganda reported its first COVID-19 case. The government responded by instituting a lockdown and other measures. We assess the effects of the COVID-19 containment measures on health services to better inform the next preventive measures. We use a case study approach that involved document reviews and secondary analysis of data on attendance of key health services and mortality for the years 2019 and 2020.

Publication

This paper presents an analysis of the indirect health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in Kenya. We employed a mixed-methods approach, combining the analysis of secondary quantitative data obtained from the Kenya Health Information System database (from January 2019 to November 2020) and a qualitative inquiry involving key informant interviews and document reviews

Publication

This paper presents a preliminary review on the collateral health systems impact of COVID-19 in the Philippines through review of academic and grey literature, supplemented by a qualitative survey.

What Do We Really Know About COVID-19’s Impact on Essential Health Services? Evidence from Kenya and Uganda

Event
3/31/21

This event, the first in a series of panels examining the indirect health effects of COVID-19 and co-hosted by CGD and Gates Ventures will focus on emerging findings from Kenya and Uganda, comparing how these two neighboring countries experienced disruptions to essential health services during the pandemic. Panelists will share insights about how ongoing response strategies can protect and promote the broader health needs of the population.

Pages