The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the response in low-to-middle income countries
Purpose of review: The COVID-19 pandemic has posed an unprecedented challenge to healthcare, particularly in resource-constrained low and middle-income countries (LMICs). We aim to summarize the challenges faced by LMICs in providing breast cancer care during the pandemic and their response during this crisis.
Recent findings: Conversion of oncology centers into COVID-19 isolation centers and lack of LMIC applicable guidelines for breast cancer treatment worsened the challenge for providers. Few LMICs changed their management framework, taking steps like triaging patients, prioritizing care, therapeutic spacing, and a shift to telehealth.
Summary: Modified protocols where available have served LMICs well for resource allocation; however, effectiveness of these cannot be determined due to lack of outcomes reporting. This pandemic has underscored the importance of flexibility, prompt intervention, good communication, and reassessment to address unexpected healthcare challenges and has been a learning lesson to help tailor guidelines early in the future.
Current Breast Cancer Reports
Sattar, A. K.
(2021). The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the response in low-to-middle income countries. Current Breast Cancer Reports.
Available at: https://ecommons.aku.edu/pakistan_fhs_mc_mc/200