A descriptive assessment of the National Institute of Public Health’s role in supporting the COVID-19 response in Cambodia, 2020–2021

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.5365/wpsar.2023.14.1.974

Keywords:

COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2 testing, laboratories, training of trainers, capacity building, public health surveillance, Cambodia

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.

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Published

22-03-2023

How to Cite

1.
Chhim S, Wuddhika IV, Pa K, Chhorn C, Housen T, Parry AE, Van Damme W, Ir P, Chhea C. A descriptive assessment of the National Institute of Public Health’s role in supporting the COVID-19 response in Cambodia, 2020–2021. Western Pac Surveill Response J [Internet]. 2023 Mar. 22 [cited 2024 Apr. 20];14(1):7. Available from: https://ojs.wpro.who.int/ojs/index.php/wpsar/article/view/974

Issue

Section

COVID-19: Field Investigation Report

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