Community-Based Assessment of People with Chronic Diseases and Conditions Worsening the Severity of COVID-19 in Addis Ababa City Administration
Background: the COVID-19 pandemic stayed in a sporadic form for a long time after introducing the coronavirus in the country, later appearing in clusters within communities. During such sporadic and clustered spread of the disease, the government of Ethiopia started identifying suspects through active surveillance for COVID-19. This study aimed to describe people who have chronic illnesses that could be underlying conditions for increased severity of COVID-19.
Methods: A survey was conducted in May 2020 using active community-based case surveillance in 30 randomly
selected woredas in Addis Ababa City. Data were collected from each household member by assessing for general conditions and diseases expected to increase their risk of suffering higher severity from COVID-19. Data were stored in M.S. Excel and analyzed using SPSS-version 26 for windows. Descriptive analysis was conducted to know the proportion of persons with chronic diseases, and thus the population with a higher risk of suffering more severity from COVID-19 by place, person, and time. The results are presented using tables and graphs as appropriate.
Results: The point prevalence of flu-like syndrome was 51.9 per 100,000 persons, and the prevalence was higher among older people. The study showed that 11,600 per 100,000 households have at least a member with chronic diseases that worsen the severity of COVID-19 morbidity. The survey also found 6,939 and 5,140 households per 100,000 households have diabetes mellitus and hypertension, respectively, and about 1950 per 100,000 households were with bronchial asthma. Nearly a quarter of the households have people with two or more chronic diseases that worsen their risk of facing a more severe course of COVID-19 than it would be for people without those underlying conditions.
Discussion: High proportion of households have people with chronic diseases that worsen their risk of suffering a more severe course of COVID-19 than it would be for people without those underlying conditions. The Ministry of Health should devise and implement mechanisms to safeguard people with chronic diseases from contracting the diseases. [Ethiop. J. Health Dev. 2021; 35(2):133-140]
Keywords: COVID-19, chronic diseases, severe course of COVID-19, Addis Ababa