In early 2020, the world was faced with the global pandemic of COVID-19. This has brought to the public eye the importance of public health and emergency preparedness. It has also starkly illustrated how the disease both reveals, and worsens existing inequities in any society, and there was growing concern of the disproportionate effect the pandemic will have on the most vulnerable populations.
The Faculty of Health Sciences at the American University of Beirut has conducted a comprehensive 3-year project to inform and help strengthen the role of public health in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and future health emergencies in fragile community settings. To achieve this action-oriented research project, FHS mobilized its homegrown 360° system-network model, engaged the three functions of public health, namely research, practice, and policy, through its respective centers: Center for Research on Population and Health (CRPH), Center for Public Health Practice (CPHP), and Knowledge to Policy (K2P) Center.
A participatory and community-based public health approach, led by CPHP, has been developed for the design, implementation and evaluation of interventions against COVID-19 and other health emergencies in Sin El Fil, Lebanon. In order to ensure that these respond to changing needs of vulnerable subpopulations in Sin El Fil, a rotating phone panel survey, led by CRPH, has been conducted over several waves of data collection. This survey design allowed the assessement of indicators of vulnerabilities to COVID-19 and their changes over time in groups of populations at higher risk of exposure or severe outcomes to COVID-19. Local waste water surveillance for COVID-19 has been also implemented as a way to identify clusters of active COVID-19 cases in the community. The local community-based intervention and research ran in parallel with a critical assessment and analysis (K2P) of the actions and policies that have guided the Lebanese national action in this pandemic to help inform a national dialogue about public health preparedness, and identify good practices and recommend changes.
Research Timeline: 2020-2024
Click on each conference to explore the posters presented
Society for Social Medicine & Population Health, 67th Annual Scientific meeting
Newcastle Upon Thyme, United Kingdom
September 6-8, 2023
Regular stakeholder meetings were held to enhance collaboration and preparedness
Stakeholders' meeting on "Building a community-model for outbreaks preparedness and
response" with Sin el Fil municipality.
Interactive dashboards were created by the research team showcasing the study's insights in an interactive way
Select the desired dashboards and navigate through the findings
Dashboard I. Socio-demographics, Ability to access Healthcare, COVID-19 Infection and Vaccination
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- Jocelyn DeJong (PI), Associate Provost and Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS), American University of Beirut (AUB), Lebanon
- Aline Germani (co-PI), Director of the Center for Public Health Practice (CPHP), FHS, AUB, Lebanon
- Fadi El Jardali (co-PI), Professor and Director of the Knowledge to Policy (K2P) Center, FHS, AUB, Lebanon
- Hala Ghattas (co-PI), Associate Research Professor, Center for Research on Population and Health (CRPH), FHS, AUB, Lebanon
- Stephen McCall (co-PI), Acting Director, CRPH
- Nada Melhem (co-I), Director of the Division of Health Professions and Coordinator of the Medical Laboratory Sciences Program, FHS, AUB, Lebanon
- Municipality of Sin El Fil
- Marie Elizabeth Ragi, Senior Research Assistant, CRPH
- Dana Zayoud, Project Assistant, CRPH
- Fida Sidani, Coordinator, CPHP
- Jihane Abou Samra, Community Mobilizer, CPHP