COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT IN DISASTER PREPAREDNESS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW
Keywords:community engagement, COVID-19, emergency preparedness, pandemic
Introduction: Preparedness in emergency and disaster management is crucial. In the last decades, community engagement and participation have been playing a key role in disaster preparedness, and during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this strategy has been encouraged. This systematic review aims at assessing the role of community engagement in disaster preparedness during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: A systematic review of English articles was performed on PubMed and Embase, according to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) checklist and guidelines. Studies were included if reporting on the community engagement and participation in disaster preparedness during the COVID-19 pandemic. Exclusion criteria included titles with not available full text, not in English, or not related to humans. Results: Eleven papers were examined. All studies were conducted in three continents (Asia, Africa, and North America). In 63.6% of studies, the objective of the emergency preparedness plans for fighting against COVID-19 pandemic included implementing prevention measures against the spread of the pandemic. Only in 36.3% of the studies, specific vulnerable groups were the final target of the preparedness plan. The implementation of the community engagement was reached through the use of social media (45.4%), face-to-face talks (36.3%), and electronic surveys and questionnaires (27.2%).Conclusion: This systematic review wants to emphasize that the involvement of the communities and their leaders in the decision making processes and in the promotion of prevention of health could help the population in building its resilience and afford the humans and economic losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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