Heng Sotheara1, Heng Sopheab1, Chhea Chhorvann1
1). National Institute of Public Health, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
In Cambodia, health workers at health centers play an important role in providing essential primary health services to the population in their coverage community. The recent epidemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) could cause additional workload burden for them and undermine their role in maintaining the provision of the essential health services or even cause burnout. This study aims to assess the burden of COVID-19 on the workload of health center staff during this epidemic in Cambodia.
We used the data from the assessment of Workload Indicator of Staffing Need (WISN) for Health Centers (HCs) in Cambodia 2020. A total of 16 HCs in four provinces with 174 health staff, both health care and non-health staff at HCs from January 2019 to June 2020, was included in this study. WISN tool was used to collect and calculate the workload and staff need for each HC.
The findings indicate that beside the current work as providing MPA services, health center staff also involved in the responding in communicable disease outbreak. About one third (31%) of HCs have overworked staff exceeding 1688 hours per year even before the COVID-19 epidemic in Cambodia. Battambang, the province with high activities on COVID-19, and Svay Rieng spent 4% extra time than the remaining province with low activities on COVID-19.
This study confirms that about 70% of HCs do not have the over workload for staff yet even the tasks related to COVID-19 were factored in. Therefore, it is highly recommended that frequency of COVID-19 prevention and community education should be implemented as part of the routine work at HCs of the coverage community on top of the basic health services.