A descriptive assessment of the National Institute of Public Health's contribution to the COVID-19 response in Cambodia, 
2020-2021

Srean Chhim, Wuddhika In Vong, Kimsorn Pa, Chanboroth Chhorn, Tambri Housen, Amy Elizabeth Parry, Wim Van Damme, Por Ir, Chhorvann Chhea

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review

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Abstract

Objective: This paper examines the contributions made by the National Institute of Public Health to Cambodia's response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic during 2020-2021.

Methods: The activities conducted by the Institute were compared with adaptations of the nine pillars of the World Health Organization's 2020 COVID-19 strategic preparedness and response plan. To gather relevant evidence, we reviewed national COVID-19 testing data, information about COVID-19-related events documented by Institute staff, and financial and technical reports of the Institute's activities.

Results: The main contributions the Institute made were to the laboratory pillar and the incident management and planning pillar. The Institute tested more than 50% of the 2 575 391 samples for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) testing and provided technical advice about establishing 18 new laboratories for SARS-CoV-2 testing in the capital city of Phnom Penh and 11 provinces. The Institute had representatives on many national committees and coauthored national guidelines for implementing rapid COVID-19 testing, preventing transmission in health-care facilities and providing treatment. The Institute contributed to six other pillars, but had no active role in risk communication and community engagement.

Discussion: The Institute's support was essential to the COVID-19 response in Cambodia, especially for laboratory services and incident management and planning. Based on the contributions made by the Institute during the COVID-19 pandemic, continued investment in it will be critical to allow it to support responses to future health emergencies in Cambodia.

Original languageEnglish
JournalWestern Pacific Surveillance and Response Journal : WPSAR
Volume14
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
ISSN2094-7321
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Keywords

  • Humans
  • COVID-19/diagnosis
  • COVID-19 Testing
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Pandemics/prevention & control
  • Cambodia/epidemiology
  • Public Health

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