By Sothy Ung
Starting mid-July, and over a period of 55 days, the Cambodia team went to the field to perform a national Household Survey to collect data about Hypertension (HT) and Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) as part of Work Package 2 ‘Situation Analysis’ (WP2), Work Package 3 ‘Costing and Financing’ (WP3) and Work Package 4 ‘Health Information and Monitoring’ (WP4). More than 30 team members divided into listing, interview and biomarker teams set out to 5 different Operational Districts to conduct the study in consecutive order.
The main objective of the household survey is to analyze the effectiveness of current different models of care for T2D and HT in 5 provinces that are under those different care models. Those models of care consist of the Ministry of Health’s Diabetes Clinic, the Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) MoPoTsyo diabetes program, and the World Health Organization WHO-PEN program. All in all, this household survey will provide an overview of the situation and hopefully lead to creating successful strategies for a holistic approach on how we can scale-up the integrated care based on what is currently available.
In order to get valuable insight and have an accurate representation of the population, we’ve randomly selected households with adults aged 40 and above as those in this age range were most at-risk of developing illnesses.
Prior to starting the official survey, the team ran a field test from 14 to 16 July 2020. At about 40km away from Phnom Penh in the Udong Operational District, the team ran this field test to evaluate the effectiveness of the survey process and go through the detailed explanation of each section of the questionnaire with the target population.
Figure 1: Sokunthea Yem (right) and Wuddhika Invong (left) taking measurements in Udong during the field test.
During this field test, the team encountered a number of challenges ranging from identifying the households in a timely manner and fixing a schedule with the household person. These valuable insights were taken into account in case these issues were to occur during the official survey mission.
On the data collection side, the team went to the field armed with scales for height, weight, waist/hip measurement tools, blood pressure devices, and tablets. After the field test, we identified some constructive ways to proceed forward in a more effective way, like how to use the measurement tools in a safe manner, especially since we are and will be doing the survey during a time where COVID-19 is prevalent in the world and we need to use proper infection control precaution.
In conclusion, while there have been and will be some obstacles that the team will need to jump over during the official mission, our goal to survey over 5000 people and get satisfactory data is off to a good start while remaining flexible on our approach to solving the challenges that keep coming our way.
Figure 2: Vannarath Te (left) ready to note down information about the local situation