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Angeles, Gustavo; Silverstein, Hannah A.; Ahsan, Karar Zunaid; Kibria, Mohammad G.; Rakib, Nibras A.; Escudero, Gabriela Maria; Singh, Kavita; Mpiima, Jamiru; Simmons, Elizabeth; & Weiss, William (2023). Estimating the Effects of COVID-19 on Essential Health Services Utilization in Uganda and Bangladesh Using Data from Routine Health Information Systems. Frontiers in Public Health, 11, 1129581. PMCID: PMC10564984


BACKGROUND: Since March 2020, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has been a major shock to health systems across the world. We examined national usage patterns for selected basic, essential health services, before and during the COVID-19 pandemic in Uganda and Bangladesh, to determine whether COVID-19 affected reporting of service utilization and the use of health services in each country.
METHODS: We used routine health information system data since January 2017 to analyze reporting and service utilization patterns for a variety of health services. Using time series models to replicate pre-COVID-19 trajectories over time we estimated what levels would have been observed if COVID-19 had not occurred during the pandemic months, starting in March 2020. The difference between the observed and predicted levels is the COVID-19 effect on health services.
RESULTS: The time trend models for Uganda and Bangladesh closely replicated the levels and trajectories of service utilization during the 38 months prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our results indicate that COVID-19 had severe effects across all services, particularly during the first months of the pandemic, but COVID-19 impacts on health services and subsequent recovery varied by service type. In general, recovery to expected levels was slow and incomplete across the most affected services.
CONCLUSION: Our analytical approach based on national information system data could be very useful as a form of surveillance for health services disruptions from any cause leading to rapid responses from health service managers and policymakers.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Frontiers in Public Health


Angeles, Gustavo
Silverstein, Hannah A.
Ahsan, Karar Zunaid
Kibria, Mohammad G.
Rakib, Nibras A.
Escudero, Gabriela Maria
Singh, Kavita
Mpiima, Jamiru
Simmons, Elizabeth
Weiss, William

Article Type







Angeles - 0000-0003-4598-152X
Simmons, E - 0000-0003-0780-467X
Singh, K - 0000-0001-8670-2262