Cambodia has made impressive progress in reducing malaria trends and, in 2018, reported no malaria-related deaths for the first time. However, the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic presents a potential challenge to the country’s goal for malaria elimination by 2025. The path toward malaria elimination depends on sustained interventions to prevent rapid resurgence, which can quickly set back any gains achieved. Malaria Consortium supported mobile malaria workers (MMWs) to engage with target communities to build acceptance, trust, and resilience. At the start of the pandemic, Malaria Consortium conducted a COVID-19 risk assessment and quickly developed and implemented a mitigation plan to ensure MMWs were able to continue providing malaria services without putting themselves or their patients at risk. Changes in malaria intervention coverage and community uptake have been monitored to gauge the indirect effects of COVID-19.
Comparisons have been made between output indicators reported in 2020 and from the same month-period of the previous year. In general, malaria service intervention coverage and utilisation rates did not decline in 2020. Rather, the reported figures show there was a substantial increase in service utilisation. Preliminary internal reviews and community meetings show that despite a heightened public risk perception toward COVID-19, malaria testing motivation has been well sustained throughout the pandemic. This may be attributable to proactive program planning and data monitoring and active engagement with the communities and the national authorities to circumvent the indirect effect of COVID-19 on intervention coverage in Cambodia during the pandemic.
Published in Global Health: Science and Practice
Country: CambodiaKeywords: Capacity building | Community delivery | Research | COVID-19 | Malaria | Case management | Elimination | Quality improvement | SDG3
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