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Home > Archives > Volume 20, No 8 (2022) > Article

DOI: 10.14704/nq.2022.20.8.NQ44835

Potentials and Challenges for Village Health Volunteers After COVID-19 Outbreak: Thailand

Kittipol Wisaeng, Vikas Kumar, Amporn Sa-ngiamwibool

Abstract

The GHS Index 2021 ranked Thailand first in virus detection and rapid reporting of COVID-19. However, the spread still continues across the country. Although more than 1,040,000 Village Health Volunteers (VHVs) are the key to Thailand’s success, no previous investigation into a cross-country comparison of how VHVs manage COVID-19. This study was based on a mixed-method approach. The results revealed differences between VHVs in the seven locations (namely Bangkok, Central, Northern, Northeastern, Eastern, Western, and Southern) in managing COVID-19 in the six topic areas (namely effectiveness of COVID-19 health service management; problems with the operation of COVID-19 control, strategies, measures, and practices to control the outbreak; leadership in public health and control; needs for additional development and training, and location-related issues). The findings revealed insights into which topic areas and indicators are effective or ineffective in which locations. The findings have practical implications for VHVs and the general public in all locations. For policymakers, the insights practically imply what topic areas and indicators need to be further developed for more effective management at the local and national levels. The lessons that can be learned from Thailand can also help other developing countries prepare for future outbreaks.

Keywords

COVID-19, village health volunteers (VHVs), health management, potentials, challenges

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