Browsing by Author "Mwinga, Alwyn"
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- ItemAllocation of scarce resources in Africa during COVID‐19 : utility and justice for the bottom of the pyramid?(John Wiley & Sons, 2020-08-26) Moodley, Keymanthri; Rennie, Stuart; Behets, Frieda; Obasa, Adetayo Emmanuel; Yemesi, Robert; Ravez, Laurent; Kayembe, Patrick; Makindu, Darius; Mwinga, Alwyn; Jaoko, WalterThe COVID‐19 pandemic has raised important universal public health challenges. Conceiving ethical responses to these challenges is a public health imperative but must take context into account. This is particularly important in sub‐Saharan Africa (SSA). In this paper, we examine how some of the ethical recommendations offered so far in high‐income countries might appear from a SSA perspective. We also reflect on some of the key ethical challenges raised by the COVID‐19 pandemic in low‐income countries suffering from chronic shortages in health care resources, and chronic high morbidity and mortality from non‐COVID‐19 causes. A parallel is drawn between the distribution of severity of COVID‐19 disease and the classic “Fortune at the bottom of the pyramid” model that is relevant in SSA. Focusing allocation of resources during COVID‐19 on the ‘thick’ part of the pyramid in Low‐to‐Middle Income Countries (LMICs) could be ethically justified on utilitarian and social justice grounds, since it prioritizes a large number of persons who have been economically and socially marginalized. During the pandemic, importing allocation frameworks focused on the apex of the pyramid from the global north may therefore not always be appropriate. In a post‐COVID‐19 world, we need to think strategically about how health care systems can be financed and structured to ensure broad access to adequate health care for all who need it. The root problems underlying health inequity, exposed by COVID‐19, must be addressed, not just to prepare for the next pandemic, but to care for people in resource poor settings in non‐pandemic times.
- ItemEngaging with Community Advisory Boards (CABs) in Lusaka Zambia : perspectives from the research team and CAB members(BioMed Central, 2015) Mwinga, Alwyn; Moodley, KeymanthriBackground: The use of a Community Advisory Board (CAB) is one method of ensuring community engagement in community based research. To identify the process used to constitute CABs in Zambia, this paper draws on the perspectives of both research team members and CAB members from research groups who used CABs in Lusaka. Enabling and restricting factors impacting on the functioning of the CAB were identified. Methods: All studies approved by the University of Zambia Bioethics Research Committee (UBNZABREC) from 2008 – 2012 were reviewed to identify those studies that were likely to include a CAB. Eight teams with studies that included a CAB were identified. For each of these studies, consent was obtained to conduct an informal interview with a research team member and to obtain contact details for one CAB member. In total 14 interviews were conducted with 8 research team members and 6 CAB members from 12–30 August 2013. Results: Identification of potential CAB members from the community and their participation in developing the terms of reference for CABs was perceived to have contributed to the success of the CAB. Due to the trust that the community had in members of their community the CABs were then in a stronger position to influence community participation in the research. Training of CAB members was identified as a factor that enhanced the functioning of a CAB. Lack of commitment and low literacy levels of CAB members posed a threat to the role of the CAB. Although compensation in the form of a stipend was not provided, CAB members were provided with transport reimbursements for attending meetings. Conclusions: Selection of CAB members from within the community contributed to community confidence in the CAB, enhancing its ability to act as an effective link between study team and community. This contributed positively to the conduct of the study and enhanced community awareness and acceptance of the research. However, establishment of study specific CABs has the potential to compromise CAB independence due to support provided by the research team in the form of transport reimbursements and other forms of support. Consideration should be given to establishing community wide Community Advisory Boards that could function across a range of studies to increase independent objective decision-making.
- ItemWhat could "fair allocation" during the Covid-19 crisis possibly mean in Sub-Saharan Africa?(Wiley, 2020-06) Moodley, Keymanthri; Ravez, Laurent; Obasa, Adetayo Emmanuel; Mwinga, Alwyn; Jaoko, Walter; Makindu, Darius; Behets, Frieda; Rennie, StuartThe Covid-19 pandemic has sparked rapid and voluminous production of bioethics commentary in popular media and academic publications. Many of the discussions are new twists on an old theme: how to fairly allocate scarce medical resources, such as ventilators and intensive care unit beds. In this essay, we do not add another allocation scheme to the growing pile, partly out of appreciation that such schemes should be products of inclusive and transparent community engagement and partly out of recognition of their limited utility for physicians working in the field. Instead, we make the more modest claim that context matters when making such decisions and, more specifically, that recommendations from high-income countries about fair allocation during Covid-19 should not be cut and pasted into low-income settings. We offer a few examples of why seemingly universal, well-intentioned ethical recommendations could have adverse consequences if unreflectively applied in sub-Saharan Africa.