As Chinese virus runs wild a 115 hotline puts help at the end of the phone for Cambodians (video)

Online English lessons

The current Wuhan novel* 2019-nCoV coronavirus outbreak and its rapid spread globally is a good excuse to resurface this video from InSTEDD iLab Southeast Asia (Instedd) on the capabilities provided to the Cambodian people through an initiative with the Ministry of Health (MOH)’s Communicable Disease Control Department (CDC), and Skoll Global Threats Fund.

With many Cambodians having close contact with a range of domesticated and/ or wild animals on a daily basis, in addition to illegal “bushmeat” markets in some provinces, the risk of contagion is high.

Ebola virus, SARS-CoV (severe acute respiratory syndrome), MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome), measles, Avian Influenza A(H5N1) (bird flu), Swine Influenza A(H1N1) (swine flu), monkeypox, Lyme disease, West Nile virus, HIV/AIDS, and rabies are just some diseases that have originated in animals and migrated to humans.

Launched in 2016, the 115 hotline allows the public and healthcare workers in Cambodia to access information and submit disease reports for free by dialing 1-1-5 from any phone.

Avian Influenza A(H5N1) outbreak success

In early 2017, the 115 hotline received around 35,000 total calls from the public, allowing Cambodian CDC to rapidly respond to, contain, and eradicate an outbreak of a deadly strain of Avian Influenza A(H5N1) in Svay Rieng province.

Over a three-month period between January and April 2017, the general statistics of the hotline showed:

  • 9,690 callers accessed disease outbreak information
  • 2,343 callers reported to CDC staff at the national level via case based reporting
  • 1,844 callers made an inquiry for additional information from the CDC staff
  • 1,538 callers listened to special ambulance information provided by the MOH

However, at the time, the data was not in a readily accessible format and the role of the 115 hotline in overcoming the outbreak did not become apparent until three months later. A collaboration between Instedd and Cambodian CDC is underway to enable the rapid aggregation and visualisation of hotline call data and its delivery in an actionable format.

In addition to the introduction of the 115 hotline service all twenty-five provincial health center staff, comprising 1,350 health staff at provincial health departments and hospitals, operational districts, health centers, and referral hospitals have received extensive training from Cambodia CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO).

In a blog entry last year Sok Samnang, deputy director of Cambodia CDC, was quoted as saying “we are continuing to work together to improve and support the 115 hotline project. We will continue to work alongside InSTEDD to collaborate on new and innovative ideas and technologies to detect and respond to disease outbreaks.”

The Cambodian CDC, which resides within the MOH, has worked extensively with a number of partners to address HIV/AIDS, global health security, malaria, influenza, and other urgent public health issues.



Feature video InSTEDD iLab Southeast Asia



*Novel means this coronavirus has not previously been detected in humans.





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Sreypov Men recently completed a course of study in International Relations at the Institute of Foreign Languages.

She commenced as an intern at AEC News Today and was appointed as a junior writer/ trainee journalist on April 2, 2018

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