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Western Pac Surveill Response J ; 12(3): 71-76, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1497709


PROBLEM: The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic adversely affected the preparation of Malaysia's National Health and Morbidity Survey for 2020 because conducting it would expose data collectors and participants to an increased risk of infection. CONTEXT: The survey is nationally representative and community based and is conducted by the Institute for Public Health, part of the National Institutes of Health, to generate health-related evidence and to support the Malaysian Ministry of Health in policy-making. Its planned scope for 2020 was the seroprevalence of communicable diseases such as hepatitis B and C. ACTION: Additional components were added to the survey to increase its usefulness, including COVID-19 seroprevalence and facial anthropometric studies to ensure respirator fit. The survey's scale was reduced, and data collection was changed from including only face-to-face interviews to mainly self-administered and telephone interviews. The transmission risk to participants was reduced by screening data collectors before the survey and fortnightly thereafter, using standard droplet and contact precautions, ensuring proper training and monitoring of data collectors, and implementing other administrative infection prevention measures. OUTCOME: Data were collected from 7 August to 11 October 2020, with 5957 participants recruited. Only 4 out of 12 components of the survey were conducted via face-to-face interview. No COVID-19 cases were reported among data collectors and participants. All participants were given their hepatitis and COVID-19 laboratory test results; 73 participants with hepatitis B and 14 with hepatitis C who had been previously undiagnosed were referred for further case management. DISCUSSION: Preparing and conducting the National Health and Morbidity Survey during the COVID-19 pandemic required careful consideration of the risks and benefits, multiple infection prevention measures, strong leadership and strong stakeholder support to ensure there were no adverse events.

COVID-19 , Pandemics , Humans , Malaysia/epidemiology , Morbidity , Pandemics/prevention & control , Risk Assessment , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies , United States
Front Public Health ; 9: 574135, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1110363


The COVID-19 pandemic that emerged in 2019 has inflicted numerous clinical and public health challenges worldwide. It was declared a public health emergency by the World Health Organization and activated response teams at almost all Malaysian healthcare facilities. Upon activation of the National Crisis Preparedness and Response Center in January 2020, the National Institutes of Health Malaysia established a COVID-19 operation room at the facility level to address the rise in COVID-19 infection cases each day. The National Institutes of Health COVID-19 operation room committee formed a workforce mobilization team for an effective and efficient mobilization system to fulfill requests received for human resource aid within the Ministry of Health Malaysia facilities. Selected personnel would be screened for health and availability before mobilization letters and logistics arrangements if necessary. The workforce from the National Institutes of Health, consisting of various job positions, were mobilized every week, with each deployment cycle lasting 2 weeks. A total of 128 personnel from the six institutes under the National Institutes of Health were mobilized: tasks included fever screening, active case detection, health management at quarantine centers, and management of dead bodies. A well-organized data management system with a centralized online system integration could allow more rapid deployment and answer some of the key questions in managing a similar pandemic in the future. With improving infected COVID-19 cases throughout the country, the National Institutes of Health COVID-19 operation room was effectively closed on June 15, 2020, following approval from the Deputy Director-General of Health.

COVID-19 , International Cooperation , National Institutes of Health (U.S.) , Pandemics/prevention & control , Public Health Administration , Workforce/organization & administration , COVID-19/epidemiology , Disaster Planning , Humans , Malaysia/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , United States