Technical Support to Conduct Rapid Assessment at Malaria Outbreak Site at Rokan Hilir District, Riau Province, Indonesia
What if two disease outbreaks occur simultaneously? It happened in Panipahan, a remote area in Riau’s coastal region. By the end of 2019, Puskesmas personnel in Panipahan had discovered an increase in the number of malaria cases. The health workers were on high alert because Rokan Hilir had received free-malaria certification from the Ministry of Health in 2018. A few months later, the COVID-19 pandemic struck Indonesia, including Rokan Hilir. The pandemic received all of the attention, and the number of malaria cases continued to rise.
In August 2020, CTM UGM collaborated with the National Malaria Control Program (NMCP) and the World Health Organization to conduct a rapid assessment of the malaria outbreak (WHO). The investigator team not only conducted an outbreak assessment but also provided technical assistance and epidemiological investigation support for about three and a half months. They carried out reorientation responses, trained health staff for active case-finding in remote areas, and used Google Studio to create a data analysis and response dashboard.
What did the investigators discover as a result of their investigation? They discovered that the main barriers to achieving a comprehensive diagnosis, treatment, and reporting were limited healthcare access, a lack of trained health professionals, and a lack of funds. By the end of the project, these findings had been disseminated to community representatives, related stakeholders, local government, and district health officers in order to improve the implementation of malaria-fighting strategies.
The Project Team