Insights from Cuba: Primary care as the focus of COVID-19 prevention

Today our focus is on Cuba, a Caribbean island with about 11 million population and a very different economic and political regime. Canadians know Cuba well through their tourist visits – more than one million in 2019. Today, we are interested in a different facet of Cuban society – the community focus of its health system and their success, so far, in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic. There are important insights for us in Ontario.

Support Zimbabwean nurses arrested and fired for protesting deteriorating pay and working conditions during pandemic

Dr. Denise Gestaldo has brought to our attention the struggle of Zimbabwean nurses. On 6 July, the Zimbabwean government arrested 13 nurses at the Harare hospital. They were protesting their deteriorating pay and working conditions. Those nurses have since been released on bail -- but have been dismissed from their jobs. With the inflation rate hovering around 1000%, the cost of living has risen so rapidly that public sector salaries are now almost worthless.

Technology as a solution: Opportunities and pitfalls of COVID contact-tracing apps

One of the most worrisome aspects of the current opening of the economy and increased mobility is that we have not developed sufficiently the infrastructure for surveillance, identification of clusters, containment, testing, case and contact tracing and isolating. Today, I explore one tool being used in many jurisdictions to help with contact tracing -- smartphone apps.

Counting the missing deaths: Tracking the true toll of the coronavirus outbreak

The official counting of deaths is just a fraction of the real toll of COVID-19 in about every country affected by the pandemic. The New York Times, doing important work, found at that least 60,000 more people have died during the coronavirus pandemic than the official Covid-19 death counts report, a review of mortality data in 15 countries shows — providing a clearer, if still incomplete, picture of the toll of the crisis.

A home based model to confront COVID-19 – the case of the Balearic Islands

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A crucial question we face as we start thinking beyond the pandemic is what systemic factors have contributed to worsening its impacts, and which ones have mitigated them. I have expressed earlier RNAO’s concerns that an excessive hospital orientation within the health system in Ontario, and the neglect of community-based approaches, is most likely a factor that has aggravated the impacts in our province. Today I am profiling the way that the Balearic Islands, a province of Spain, has tackled COVID-19 with an innovative primary care and home-based approach.