The outbreak of COVID-19 has had major implications on the global health systems. It has also shone a light on the importance of chronic disease management. Chronic diseases have been identified as one of the biggest risk factors for severe COVID-19 infection. As such, there is a growing need to prioritize chronic disease management to ensure that people living with these conditions can receive the necessary care and support, especially during unprecedented times like these.
Chronic diseases are long-term medical conditions that are often progressive in nature. They include conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, respiratory conditions, stroke, and cancer. These conditions are typically managed with medications, lifestyle changes, and regular check-ups with healthcare professionals. However, the emergence of COVID-19 has complicated the management of chronic diseases, as patients may have to forego or reduce these vital treatments to help reduce their exposure to the virus.
The risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 is higher in people with underlying chronic conditions. For instance, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that people with diabetes are twice as likely to have serious complications from COVID-19 than non-diabetic patients. Similarly, those with heart disease or respiratory conditions are also at an increased risk of severe COVID-19 complications.
It has become especially important for people with chronic diseases to receive regular and appropriate medical care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Healthcare professionals have had to adapt to the changing circumstance by providing telemedicine and virtual consultations, which offer patients much-needed access to care without jeopardizing their safety in disease-prone areas like hospitals and clinics.
Managing chronic diseases during a global health crisis requires a multi-faceted approach. Firstly, it involves ensuring that people living with these conditions receive proper medication and regular access to healthcare professionals. Secondly, lifestyle modifications are necessary to help reduce the risk of severe COVID-19 infection in people with chronic diseases. These modifications include regular exercise, proper nutrition, rest, avoiding smoking and excessive consumption of alcohol, and proper hand hygiene.
In conclusion, the importance of chronic disease management cannot be overemphasized, especially during a time of global health crisis. Health authorities and healthcare providers need to prioritize chronic disease management to ensure that people with these conditions receive the necessary care and support, both in-person and remotely. By doing this, it will be possible to mitigate the effects of chronic diseases, reduce the risk of severe COVID-19 complications, and support the overall health and wellbeing of patients.