Mazyanga L Mazaba

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Opinion on the covid-19 pandemic impact on the scientific writing and publication community: a case of the health press Zambia

The COVID-19 pandemic declared as a public health emergency of international concern on 30th January 2020 by the World Health Organisation has impacted negatively on the lives and livelihoods of populations across the globe. We note the negative impact on businesses, individual and national economies, health systems, politics and governance.

This editorial focuses on the perceived negative impact of non-COVID-19 public health research and publication in Zambia, a case in point of The Health Press Zambia. We recognize that this is not peculiar to Zambia as other publications indicate a dramatic rise in COVID-19 publications was accompanied by a substantial decrease in non-COVID-19 research (Marc Raynaud, 2021). Similarly, The Health Press Zambia (THP-Z) noted a decline in receipts of non-COVID-19 articles.

Furthermore, THP-Z sustainable publication was affected by reduced numbers of hours spent by the managers on advocacy, article review and editorial management processes. This is against the backdrop of limited dedicated staff on THP-Z who have other critical responsibilities in the response to COVID-19 along with other tasks around securing Public Health Security in the country and region.

THP-Z was established as a public health publication of the Zambia National Public Health Institute in December 2016 managed by an Editor-in-Chief and Managing editor, a part-time desktop publisher supported by a 6-member Editorial team and 2 technical representatives of the CDC Foundation. THP-Z with monthly issues published rose to be a high flying read among its peers supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies through CDC Foundation. By 2019, THP-Z was embraced as a member of the Africa Journal Partnership Program. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic THPZ published ## issues with ## Peer-reviewed articles. In the last one and a half years, this has been challenging.

A review of how to survive as a publication going forward has been conducted. A renewed and sustainable THP-Z  is envisioned from now onwards.