Surveillance with Community Engagement for Covid-19 in Sampov Loun OD, Battambang Province

Health is a state of complete well-being whether physical, mental, or social. It is not simply the absence of disease or disability. According to the World Health Organization’s definition, promoting health behavior change is possibly achieved if people in a community take part in the process including thinking, speaking, and committing. This participation may lead to a positive contribution towards improving people’s health in each country.

The most critical burden of health issues are infectious and non-communicable diseases, etc. Moreover, most of those diseases or health issues are caused by bad behavior of people. Examples include lack of hygiene, unhygienic housing, unhealthy food and unsafe use of water, etc. The process of doing so creates significant health risks.

In Cambodia, the health system in the national level includes the Ministry of Health, and national centers at national institutions. Separately, the health department of the provincial administration, the operational health district (OD), the health center, and the community level, which is a structure directly related to the people, are sub-national levels. Each level has its own roles and responsibilities, but they complement each other. In fact, during the outbreak of COVID-19, the National Center for Health Promotion collaborated with the World Health Organization (WHO) to prepare guidelines, measures to prevent COVID-19, and broadcasting, community-based education, and Social media education. Health departments, ODs, and Health Centers Management Committee are involved in implementing those guidelines at the national level. the Ministry of Health, other ministries, as well as the Royal Government have all put in effort on this work.  

In fact, Sampov Loun OD has been testing the Surveillance of Community Engagement to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to its members. The prevention strategy was the result of the hard work of the staff at the National Center for Health Promotion, the Battambang Provincial Health Department, Sampov Loun OD and 10 health centers. Teams at the National  and provincial levels, along with WHO, have developed methods and tools to gather information related to COVID-19 disease monitoring and trained people at the health center level in order for them to train those in the community level, which is called village focal points, including 1 village chief/village, 1village health support group/village, commune police chief 1 person/commune, and 1 CCWC chief/commune so that they have the ability, knowledge, skills and experiences to carry out this monitoring work. National, provincial, district and health centers monitored the performance of village focal points people.

This strategy has strengthened the collaborative work system between village focal points, community chiefs, police officers in each community and health center, which have reinforced the village and communication network to respond to any events on time. Furthermore, it is highly effective, especially to keep eyes on newcomers, migrants, and those who escape from quarantine. Through this strategy, we hope that the local people in Sampov Loun OD will be able to avoid community infection or the catastrophe of COVID-19.

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