Global health plan:
A global health crisis requires a global health plan; a systemic, evidence-based, consistent approach is required with a focus on risk management in the context of respiratory infections (eg hand washing before touching the face or eating) and protective factors that support and strengthen the immune system and contribute to general and mental health (eg calm, normalcy, liberty and autonomy, giving individuals with capacity to make good decisions the responsibility and tools to act responsibly).
Relevant evidence-based bio-psycho-social risk and protective factors have to be identified, considered and weighed during risk assessments and risk management plans by clinicians with clinical experience in complex and high risk contexts. Every country is different and biological, psychological, cultural and social contexts vary vastly within many countries. Culture and social environment must be considered. Photographs available on our social media links illustrate various living quarters for children; many individuals live 10 per room, do not have plumbing, clean water and do not eat if they do not leave home. The latter is true for many families in nearly every country including the UK (please see recent reports by The Trussell Trust) and the USA. Living arrangements and lifestyles are of course different in Hong Kong and Korea or Canada and New Zealand or London, Leicester (in lockdown until recently) and Wales.
We have to consider the clinical and social outcomes of initiatives put in place to protect the public in every country and context.
General health, mental health and social risk outcomes secondary to this pandemic and secondary to relevant initiatives put in place to protect in one country, will affect all countries; a global and systemic approach is therefore important. Consider the relevance of childhood immunisations or vaccines, for example. Equal, considered and consistent protection in communities and countries should be a treatment goal.
It is essential that a global health plan prevents harm, protects and is simple, generalisable and evidence-based, not indiscriminate, prescriptive, dictatorial or micro-managing, but rather providing all responsible adults with tools (such as information and education) to make good decisions for themselves, their families and communities in every bio-psycho-social context. This is the clinically safest approach, considering a systemic and evidence-based view, and is congruent with relevant laws and ethics relating to health, liberty and children.
Give people the tools, including information and education, and let every adult make responsible decisions for self and others. This approach has good clinical outcomes in many or most medical fields in all cultural contexts. Deprivation of liberty has devastating immediate and long term consequences for the immune system, general health and mental health for the general public, as per evidence-based research.
Let’s work together to protect the most vulnerable in every age group.
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