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COVID-19 survivors with Post Intensive Care Syndrome: Key rehabilitation strategies for Africa
  • Chukwuebuka Okeke,
  • Michael Kalu,
  • Rita Ativie
Chukwuebuka Okeke
Nnamdi Azikiwe University
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Michael Kalu
McMaster University Faculty of Health Sciences
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Rita Ativie
University of Nigeria
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Abstract

The emergence of coronavirus diseases (COVID-19) has presented a global health threat. The number of COVID-19 cases continues to increase in Africa; this poses a challenge to the African healthcare system, particularly the intensive care unit (ICU). More so, individuals with severe COVID-19 would often have a prolonged intensive care stay, requiring mechanical ventilation and sedation and this may increase their risk of developing physical, cognitive and psychosocial impairments. These post-ICU sequelae of morbidities have been termed Post Intensive Care Syndrome. The African healthcare system needs to be prepared to manage the adverse effects of Post Intensive Care Syndrome (PICS) largely characterized by a decline in functional capacity and health-related quality of life. It is thus expedient that multi-targeted measures such as early rehabilitation, adequate screening, patient/caregiver education and post-discharge rehabilitation be adopted to combat imminent poor health outcomes in COVID-19 survivors. In this editorial, we provided a brief review of PICS and highlighted strategies for preventing and managing PICS in the critically ill within the African context Key words: Pandemic, COVID-19 Survivors, African healthcare, Intensive Care Unit, Rehabilitation