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Preparing for and conducting the National Health and Morbidity Survey in Malaysia amid the COVID-19 pandemic: balancing risks and benefits to participants and society.
Chong, Zhuo Lin; Lodz, Noor Aliza; Mutalip, Mohd Hatta Abdul; Lim, Yin Cheng; Mahjom, Maznieda; Ahmad, Noor Ani.
  • Chong ZL; Institute for Public Health, National Institutes of Health, Ministry of Health, Setia Alam, Malaysia.
  • Lodz NA; Institute for Public Health, National Institutes of Health, Ministry of Health, Setia Alam, Malaysia.
  • Mutalip MHA; Institute for Public Health, National Institutes of Health, Ministry of Health, Setia Alam, Malaysia.
  • Lim YC; Institute for Medical Research, National Institutes of Health, Ministry of Health, Setia Alam, Malaysia.
  • Mahjom M; Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  • Ahmad NA; Institute for Public Health, National Institutes of Health, Ministry of Health, Setia Alam, Malaysia.
Western Pac Surveill Response J ; 12(3): 71-76, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1497709
ABSTRACT

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.
Subject(s)

Full text: Available Collection: International databases Database: MEDLINE Main subject: Pandemics / COVID-19 Type of study: Etiology study / Qualitative research / Risk factors Limits: Humans Country/Region as subject: North America / Asia Language: English Journal: Western Pac Surveill Response J Year: 2021 Document Type: Article Affiliation country: Wpsar.2021.12.3.842

Full text: Available Collection: International databases Database: MEDLINE Main subject: Pandemics / COVID-19 Type of study: Etiology study / Qualitative research / Risk factors Limits: Humans Country/Region as subject: North America / Asia Language: English Journal: Western Pac Surveill Response J Year: 2021 Document Type: Article Affiliation country: Wpsar.2021.12.3.842