According to foreign media reports, a new study conducted on March 30 at the University of California, Los Angeles, said a new coronavirus could provide important insights for decision-makers in response to the outbreak, Namely the importance of public participation and trust.
Following the outbreak of Ebola in early 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates there are more than 28,000 Ebola cases in West Africa, half of which come from Sierra Leone. Common interventions that encourage people to seek treatment have increased reports of Ebola cases by 60%, which researchers believe has reduced the production rate of the virus by 19%.
The study was conducted in 254 public clinics in Sierra Leone. The study involving about one million people and accounting for more than 15% of the population of Sierra Leone. The study examined the effectiveness of two interventions. The study aimed at increasing public participation and trust in the country’s health system.
With the first intervention, community members attended meetings with local health clinics. They submitted complaints and suggestions aimed at improving health services. Clinic staff also shared healthcare tips with the community members. Such as encouraging women to enter the clinic for birth.
Another intervention is an incentive scheme that awards clinics to clinicians who do a good job of providing services. The purpose is to encourage providers to provide high-quality care at their clinic.
Studies have shown that these potential interventions before Ebola outbreaks have prompted a significant increase in the detection and reporting of Ebola cases. Higher detection rates have led to more effective prevention of the outbreak, with 30% fewer deaths benefiting from Ebola patients’ intervention in areas.
Darin Christensen, an assistant professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, said that if people lack confidence in their health care providers, they are less likely to seek testing and treatment when they feel unwell. This hinders the identification, treatment, and isolation of infected patients and further limits the spread of the outbreak.
The Ebola outbreak has shown that strengthening links between health service providers and the communities they serve can strengthen outbreak control, and public participation and confidence can also help people decide whether to heed those calls.