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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
Occupational and Environmental Medicine ; 78(Suppl 1):A92, 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1480275


IntroductionThe pandemic of COVID-19 has brought a disastrous impact on every single aspect of human life and activities. The economic and health sectors are most affected by restriction on public movement, daily activities, and burden of coronavirus infection through increased infection and hospitalisation rate. Most research focused on front liners but they overlooked ambulance and healthcare drivers.ObjectivesTo determine the stress status of healthcare drivers in Malaysia and its associated factors during the COVID-19 pandemic.MethodsThis cross-sectional study was conducted among randomly selected 163 healthcare drivers in Negeri Sembilan State Health Department, Malaysia, using self-reported validated questionnaires.ResultsA majority of healthcare drivers were male (100%), married (90.1%) with their highest education consisting of a high school certificate (90.1%). Ethnically, they consisted of Malay (95.7%), Indian (3.7%) and Chinese (0.6%). Three out of ten healthcare drivers were ambulance drivers, while the rest were non ambulance drivers. The prevalence of stress among healthcare drivers was 7.4% (95% CI: 3.7, 11.7). Higher prevalence was found among ambulance drivers compared to non ambulance drivers;10.6% and 6.0% respectively. There was a significant association between stress and smoking status, performing on-call and duration of working hours in a similar unit.ConclusionThe study revealed that there was a low prevalence of stress among healthcare drivers in Malaysia during the pandemic. The reduced life threatening tasks, fewer emergency incidents and lesser assigned tasks throughout the movement control order during the COVID-19 pandemic could have contributed to the low prevalence statistics among the healthcare drivers in Malaysia. In addition, the effort by the Occupational and Environmental Health Unit, Negeri Sembilan State Health Department in providing consistent safety and health training including stress management might have assisted healthcare drivers to cope with the stressed situation both mentally and physically.