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SHORT COMMUNICATION
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 30-31

Ensuring the supply of essential commodities in the containment of the COVID-19 pandemic: World health organization


1 Member of the Medical Education Unit and Institute Research Council, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Web Publication28-May-2020

Correspondence Address:
Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV) – Deemed to be University, Tiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu - 603 108
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/dmr.dmr_9_20

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  Abstract 


The trends of the ongoing Corona Virus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic have been extremely alarming and a persistent rise in the caseload and the number of deaths has been reported. However, one of the biggest challenges for the health sector has been to ensure the consistent supply of the desired resources and logistics. In order to help the nations and various other stakeholders, the World Health Organization has developed the Essential Supplies Forecasting Tool, which can aid to precisely forecast the requirement of the essential commodities to effectively respond to the disease outbreak. In conclusion, as the ongoing pandemic has resulted in the shortage of essential supplies in multiple settings, the adoption of a tool to estimate the requirements of essential commodities can be looked upon as an effective tool to help the program managers for their preparedness and response activities without compromising the safety of health care workers or the patients.

Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic, forecasting, World Health Organization


How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Ensuring the supply of essential commodities in the containment of the COVID-19 pandemic: World health organization. Dent Med Res 2020;8:30-1

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Ensuring the supply of essential commodities in the containment of the COVID-19 pandemic: World health organization. Dent Med Res [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Sep 18];8:30-1. Available from: http://www.dmrjournal.org/text.asp?2020/8/1/30/285214




  Introduction Top


The trends of the ongoing Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic have been extremely alarming, and a persistent rise in the caseload and the number of deaths has been reported. In fact, till date, 1,696,588 cases and 10,592 people have succumbed to the infection across the 213 nations and areas where cases of the disease have been reported.[1] However, the most worrisome concern has been the rapid pace with which the rise in the number of cases has been reported, which has outstretched the health system of even the developed nations.[2],[3] The need of the hour is to prepare for wide-scale community transmission and thus ensure outbreak readiness and response activities in all the nations.

Resource constraints and forecasting tool

However, one of the biggest challenges for the health sector has been to ensure the consistent supply of the desired resources and logistics, which are must to ensure that the potential risk of the transmission of the infection can be minimized and that the diagnosed cases can be effectively treated.[3] In order to help the nations and various other stakeholders, the World Health Organization has developed the Essential Supplies Forecasting Tool, which can aid to precisely forecast the requirement of the essential commodities (viz., personal protective equipment, diagnostic kits, instruments for case management, and essential drugs) to effectively respond to the disease outbreak.[4] The designed tool is a user-friendly option and helps the stakeholders to rapidly estimate the needs of essential supplies, depending on the nature of the disease in the nation.

Forecasting tool: Features and utility

The tool has been designed to estimate the requirements predominantly for the initial 6–12 weeks of the outbreak in a nation, as the further course of the disease is unpredictable.[4] The users have to select the country and the region, which will automatically detect the estimated population in the nation, and thus the estimates pertaining to the disease can be drawn keeping in mind the density of the population. This is followed by the estimation of the infection growth rate, which in turn is determined by the total number of currently known cases, estimated number of cases after a specific period of time based on the doubling rate, testing strategy in the nation (viz., testing all suspects or testing all critical and severe cases), and the attack rate (rate at which a population is symptomatically infected).[4]

The tool has a provision to enter the total number of health-care workers and laboratory personnel available in the nation, and out of them how many have been assigned to work for the COVID-19-related activities. In addition, we can even enter the total number of beds available in the nation and of these, how many have been earmarked for the treatment of critical cases in intensive care units. While forecasting the estimates for essential commodities, it is important to consider the amount of time required for the shipments to be delivered to health-care establishments. However, the limitation of the tool is that it is not an epidemiological model and the precision of estimation will predominantly depend on the information which has been fed in the tool.[4]


  Conclusion Top


In conclusion, as the ongoing pandemic has resulted in the shortage of essential supplies in multiple settings, the adoption of a tool to estimate the requirements of essential commodities can be looked upon as an effective tool to help the program managers for their preparedness and response activities without compromising the safety of health-care workers or the patients.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
World Health Organization. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report – 83; 2020. Available from: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200412-sitrep-83-covid-19.pdf?sfvrsn=697ce98d_4. [Last accessed on 2020 Apr 13].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
World Health Organization. 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV): Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan. Geneva: WHO Press; 2020. p. 1-20.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Grasselli G, Pesenti A, Cecconi M. Critical care utilization for the COVID-19 outbreak in Lombardy, Italy: Early experience and forecast during an emergency response. JAMA 2020 Mar 13. doi: 10.1001/jama.2020.4031. [Epub ahead of print].  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
World Health Organization. Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Technical Guidance: Essential Resource Planning – Forecasting Supplies, Diagnostics and Equipment Requirements; 2020. Available from: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus- 2019/technical-guidance/covid-19-critical-items. [Last accessed on 2020 Apr 13].  Back to cited text no. 4
    




 

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