Sreymom Pol

Research Area: Global Health
Keywords: Antibiotic Resistance, Community Engagment, Mix Method, Ethics
Web Links:

Sreymom Pol is a researcher at the Cambodia Oxford Medical Research Unit (COMRU) Siem Reap, Cambodia. COMRU is a collaboration between the Angkor Hospital for Children (AHC) and the Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU). Sreymom’s research uses a mixed approach: she has conducted both quantitative and qualitative studies, in the hospital and surrounding communities. Sreymom received an ETHOX Global Health Ethics Fellowship to explore community attitudes towards research and its ethics in Cambodia by interpreting what community members know about research and what research means for them.

In addition to her research activities, Sreymom runs the YPAG (Young Person’s Advisory Group) and a Science Café called SPACE (Science for parents and community engagement) at Angkor Hospital for Children.

There are no collaborations listed for this principal investigator.

Pol S, Fox-Lewis S, Cheah PY, Turner C. 2017. "Know your audience": A hospital community engagement programme in a non-profit paediatric hospital in Cambodia. PLoS ONE, 12 (8), pp. e0182573. | Show Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this evaluation is to explore the impact of the new hospital community engagement programme (comprised of a Young Persons Advisory Group and a Science Café) on community members and other stakeholders, with regard to their attitudes, skills and degree of engagement in a paediatric hospital in Cambodia. DESIGN: Data collection included feedback questionnaires and reflections produced after each YPAG and Science Café event. Further questionnaires and reflective interviews were conducted to gather the views of key stakeholders. Data were analysed by thematic content analysis and numerical data were expressed using descriptive statistics. RESULTS: The vast majority of participants expressed their enjoyment and satisfaction of the hospital community engagement programme. Delivering the programme in the right manner for the target audiences, by prioritising their needs was key to this. Participants valued the programmes in terms of the knowledge delivered around good health practices, the skills developed such as confidence and responsibility for their health, and the provision of opportunities to voice their opinions. All stakeholders recognised the importance of the programme in improving the quality of the healthcare service provided at the hospital. CONCLUSIONS: In order to have a successful hospital community engagement programme, understanding the target audience is essential. The engagement programme must be delivered in the right way to meet the needs of community members, including right communication, right setting, right people and right timing. This will ultimately result in a meaningful programme that is able to empower community members, potentially resulting in lasting change in healthcare practices. In conclusion, the gap between hospitals and the community could narrow, allowing everyone to interact and learn from each other.

Turner C, Pol S, Suon K, Neou L, Day NP, Parker M, Kingori P. 2017. Beliefs and practices during pregnancy, post-partum and in the first days of an infant's life in rural Cambodia. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth, 17 (1), pp. 116. | Show Abstract

BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to record the beliefs, practices during pregnancy, post-partum and in the first few days of an infant's life, held by a cross section of the community in rural Cambodia to determine beneficial community interventions to improve early neonatal health. METHODS: Qualitative study design with data generated from semi structured interviews (SSI) and focus group discussions (FGD). Data were analysed by thematic content analysis, with an a priori coding structure developed using available relevant literature. Further reading of the transcripts permitted additional coding to be performed in vivo. This study was conducted in two locations, firstly the Angkor Hospital for Children and secondarily in five villages in Sotnikum, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia. RESULTS: A total of 20 participants underwent a SSIs (15 in hospital and five in the community) and six (three in hospital and three in the community; a total of 58 participants) FGDs were conducted. Harmful practices that occurred in the past (for example: discarding colostrum and putting mud on the umbilical stump) were not described as being practiced. Village elders did not enforce traditional views. Parents could describe signs of illness and felt responsible to seek care for their child even if other family members disagreed, however participants were unaware of the signs or danger of neonatal jaundice. Cost of transportation was the major barrier to healthcare that was identified. CONCLUSIONS: In the population examined, traditional practices in late pregnancy and the post-partum period were no longer commonly performed. However, jaundice, a potentially serious neonatal condition, was not recognised. Community neonatal interventions should be tailored to the populations existing practice and knowledge.

Turner P, Pol S, Soeng S, Sar P, Neou L, Chea P, Day NP, Cooper BS, Turner C. 2016. High Prevalence of Antimicrobial-resistant Gram-negative Colonization in Hospitalized Cambodian Infants. Pediatr. Infect. Dis. J., 35 (8), pp. 856-61. | Show Abstract

BACKGROUND: Antimicrobial-resistant Gram-negative infections are a significant cause of mortality in young infants. We aimed to determine characteristics of, and risk factors for, colonization and invasive infection caused by 3rd generation cephalosporin (3GC) or carbapenem-resistant organisms in outborn infants admitted to a neonatal unit (NU) in Cambodia. METHODS: During the first year of operation, patients admitted to the Angkor Hospital for Children NU, Siem Reap, Cambodia, underwent rectal swabbing on admission and twice weekly until discharge. Swabs were taken also from 7 environmental sites. Swabs were cultured to identify 3GC or carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter sp., Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. RESULTS: The study included 333 infants with a median age at NU admission of 10 days (range, 0-43). Colonization by ≥1 3GC-resistant organism was detected in 85.9% (286/333). Admission swabs were collected in 289 infants: 61.9% were colonized by a 3GC-resistant organism at the time of admission, and a further 23.2% were colonized during hospitalization, at a median of 4 days [95% confidence interval: 3-5]. Probiotic treatment (hazard ratio: 0.58; 95% confidence interval: 0.35-0.98) was associated with delayed colonization. Colonization by a carbapenem-resistant organism occurred in 25 (7.5%) infants. Six infants had NU-associated K. pneumoniae bacteremia; phenotypically identical colonizing strains were found in 3 infants. Environmental colonization occurred early. CONCLUSIONS: Colonization by antimicrobial-resistant Gram-negative organisms occurred early in hospitalized Cambodian infants and was associated with subsequent invasive infection. Trials of potential interventions such as probiotics are needed.

Emary KR, Carter MJ, Pol S, Sona S, Kumar V, Day NP, Parry CM, Moore CE. 2015. Urinary antibiotic activity in paediatric patients attending an outpatient department in north-western Cambodia. Trop. Med. Int. Health, 20 (1), pp. 24-8. | Show Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Antibiotic resistance is a prominent public and global health concern. We investigated antibiotic use in children by determining the proportion of unselected children with antibacterial activity in their urine attending a paediatric outpatient department in Siem Reap, Cambodia. METHODS: Caregiver reports of medication history and presence of possible infection symptoms were collected in addition to urine samples. Urine antibiotic activity was estimated by exposing bacteria to urine specimens, including assessment against multiresistant bacteria previously isolated from patients in the hospital (a methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a multiresistant Salmonella typhi and an extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli isolate). RESULTS: Medication information and urine were collected from 775 children. Caregivers reported medication use in 69.0% of children in the preceding 48 h. 31.7% samples showed antibacterial activity; 16.3% showed activity against a local multiresistant organism. No specimens demonstrated activity against an ESBL-producing E. coli. CONCLUSIONS: Antibiotics are widely used in the community setting in Cambodia. Parents are often ill-informed about drugs given to treat their children. Increasing the regulation and training of private pharmacies in Cambodia may be necessary. Regional surveillance of antibiotic use and resistance is also essential in devising preventive strategies against further development of antibiotic resistance, which would have both local and global consequences.

Kingori P. 2015. The 'empty choice': A sociological examination of choosing medical research participation in resource-limited Sub-Saharan Africa. Curr Sociol, 63 (5), pp. 763-778. | Show Abstract

This article explores the views of frontline research staff in different Sub-Saharan African contexts on the notion of choice in biomedical research. It argues that the current emphasis on individual choice, in the conduct of biomedical research, ignores significant structural and contextual factors in resource-limited settings. These factors severely constrain individual options and often make biomedical research enrolment the most amenable route to healthcare for the world's poorest. From the position of frontline research staff, local contextual factors and structural issues narrowly frame the parameters within which many prospective participants are asked to choose, to such an extent that individuals are effectively presented with an 'empty choice'. The article draws on ethnographic and interview data and insights gained through graphic elucidation techniques. It demonstrates that for frontline research staff, macro-level structural factors and their bearing on everyday realities shape what choice in biomedical research participation means in practice.

Parker M, Kingori P. 2016. Good and Bad Research Collaborations: Researchers' Views on Science and Ethics in Global Health Research. PLoS ONE, 11 (10), pp. e0163579. | Show Abstract

There has been a dramatic rise in the scale and scope of collaborative global health research. A number of structural and scientific factors explain this growth and there has been much discussion of these in the literature. Little, if any, attention has been paid, however, to the factors identified by scientists and other research actors as important to successful research collaboration. This is surprising given that their decisions are likely to play a key role in the sustainability and effectiveness of global health research initiatives. In this paper, we report on qualitative research with leading scientists involved in major international research collaborations about their views on good and bad collaborations and the factors that inform their decision-making about joining and participating actively in research networks. We identify and discuss eight factors that researchers see as essential in judging the merits of active participation in global health research collaborations: opportunities for active involvement in cutting-edge, interesting science; effective leadership; competence of potential partners in and commitment to good scientific practice; capacity building; respect for the needs, interests and agendas of partners; opportunities for discussion and disagreement; trust and confidence; and, justice and fairness in collaboration. Our findings suggest that the sustainability and effectiveness of global health research collaborations has an important ethical or moral dimension for the research actors involved.

Pol S, Fox-Lewis S, Cheah PY, Turner C. 2017. "Know your audience": A hospital community engagement programme in a non-profit paediatric hospital in Cambodia. PLoS ONE, 12 (8), pp. e0182573. | Show Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this evaluation is to explore the impact of the new hospital community engagement programme (comprised of a Young Persons Advisory Group and a Science Café) on community members and other stakeholders, with regard to their attitudes, skills and degree of engagement in a paediatric hospital in Cambodia. DESIGN: Data collection included feedback questionnaires and reflections produced after each YPAG and Science Café event. Further questionnaires and reflective interviews were conducted to gather the views of key stakeholders. Data were analysed by thematic content analysis and numerical data were expressed using descriptive statistics. RESULTS: The vast majority of participants expressed their enjoyment and satisfaction of the hospital community engagement programme. Delivering the programme in the right manner for the target audiences, by prioritising their needs was key to this. Participants valued the programmes in terms of the knowledge delivered around good health practices, the skills developed such as confidence and responsibility for their health, and the provision of opportunities to voice their opinions. All stakeholders recognised the importance of the programme in improving the quality of the healthcare service provided at the hospital. CONCLUSIONS: In order to have a successful hospital community engagement programme, understanding the target audience is essential. The engagement programme must be delivered in the right way to meet the needs of community members, including right communication, right setting, right people and right timing. This will ultimately result in a meaningful programme that is able to empower community members, potentially resulting in lasting change in healthcare practices. In conclusion, the gap between hospitals and the community could narrow, allowing everyone to interact and learn from each other.

Turner C, Pol S, Suon K, Neou L, Day NP, Parker M, Kingori P. 2017. Beliefs and practices during pregnancy, post-partum and in the first days of an infant's life in rural Cambodia. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth, 17 (1), pp. 116. | Show Abstract

BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to record the beliefs, practices during pregnancy, post-partum and in the first few days of an infant's life, held by a cross section of the community in rural Cambodia to determine beneficial community interventions to improve early neonatal health. METHODS: Qualitative study design with data generated from semi structured interviews (SSI) and focus group discussions (FGD). Data were analysed by thematic content analysis, with an a priori coding structure developed using available relevant literature. Further reading of the transcripts permitted additional coding to be performed in vivo. This study was conducted in two locations, firstly the Angkor Hospital for Children and secondarily in five villages in Sotnikum, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia. RESULTS: A total of 20 participants underwent a SSIs (15 in hospital and five in the community) and six (three in hospital and three in the community; a total of 58 participants) FGDs were conducted. Harmful practices that occurred in the past (for example: discarding colostrum and putting mud on the umbilical stump) were not described as being practiced. Village elders did not enforce traditional views. Parents could describe signs of illness and felt responsible to seek care for their child even if other family members disagreed, however participants were unaware of the signs or danger of neonatal jaundice. Cost of transportation was the major barrier to healthcare that was identified. CONCLUSIONS: In the population examined, traditional practices in late pregnancy and the post-partum period were no longer commonly performed. However, jaundice, a potentially serious neonatal condition, was not recognised. Community neonatal interventions should be tailored to the populations existing practice and knowledge.

Turner P, Pol S, Soeng S, Sar P, Neou L, Chea P, Day NP, Cooper BS, Turner C. 2016. High Prevalence of Antimicrobial-resistant Gram-negative Colonization in Hospitalized Cambodian Infants. Pediatr. Infect. Dis. J., 35 (8), pp. 856-61. | Show Abstract

BACKGROUND: Antimicrobial-resistant Gram-negative infections are a significant cause of mortality in young infants. We aimed to determine characteristics of, and risk factors for, colonization and invasive infection caused by 3rd generation cephalosporin (3GC) or carbapenem-resistant organisms in outborn infants admitted to a neonatal unit (NU) in Cambodia. METHODS: During the first year of operation, patients admitted to the Angkor Hospital for Children NU, Siem Reap, Cambodia, underwent rectal swabbing on admission and twice weekly until discharge. Swabs were taken also from 7 environmental sites. Swabs were cultured to identify 3GC or carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter sp., Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. RESULTS: The study included 333 infants with a median age at NU admission of 10 days (range, 0-43). Colonization by ≥1 3GC-resistant organism was detected in 85.9% (286/333). Admission swabs were collected in 289 infants: 61.9% were colonized by a 3GC-resistant organism at the time of admission, and a further 23.2% were colonized during hospitalization, at a median of 4 days [95% confidence interval: 3-5]. Probiotic treatment (hazard ratio: 0.58; 95% confidence interval: 0.35-0.98) was associated with delayed colonization. Colonization by a carbapenem-resistant organism occurred in 25 (7.5%) infants. Six infants had NU-associated K. pneumoniae bacteremia; phenotypically identical colonizing strains were found in 3 infants. Environmental colonization occurred early. CONCLUSIONS: Colonization by antimicrobial-resistant Gram-negative organisms occurred early in hospitalized Cambodian infants and was associated with subsequent invasive infection. Trials of potential interventions such as probiotics are needed.

Emary KR, Carter MJ, Pol S, Sona S, Kumar V, Day NP, Parry CM, Moore CE. 2015. Urinary antibiotic activity in paediatric patients attending an outpatient department in north-western Cambodia. Trop. Med. Int. Health, 20 (1), pp. 24-8. | Show Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Antibiotic resistance is a prominent public and global health concern. We investigated antibiotic use in children by determining the proportion of unselected children with antibacterial activity in their urine attending a paediatric outpatient department in Siem Reap, Cambodia. METHODS: Caregiver reports of medication history and presence of possible infection symptoms were collected in addition to urine samples. Urine antibiotic activity was estimated by exposing bacteria to urine specimens, including assessment against multiresistant bacteria previously isolated from patients in the hospital (a methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a multiresistant Salmonella typhi and an extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli isolate). RESULTS: Medication information and urine were collected from 775 children. Caregivers reported medication use in 69.0% of children in the preceding 48 h. 31.7% samples showed antibacterial activity; 16.3% showed activity against a local multiresistant organism. No specimens demonstrated activity against an ESBL-producing E. coli. CONCLUSIONS: Antibiotics are widely used in the community setting in Cambodia. Parents are often ill-informed about drugs given to treat their children. Increasing the regulation and training of private pharmacies in Cambodia may be necessary. Regional surveillance of antibiotic use and resistance is also essential in devising preventive strategies against further development of antibiotic resistance, which would have both local and global consequences.

Kingori P. 2015. The 'empty choice': A sociological examination of choosing medical research participation in resource-limited Sub-Saharan Africa. Curr Sociol, 63 (5), pp. 763-778. | Show Abstract

This article explores the views of frontline research staff in different Sub-Saharan African contexts on the notion of choice in biomedical research. It argues that the current emphasis on individual choice, in the conduct of biomedical research, ignores significant structural and contextual factors in resource-limited settings. These factors severely constrain individual options and often make biomedical research enrolment the most amenable route to healthcare for the world's poorest. From the position of frontline research staff, local contextual factors and structural issues narrowly frame the parameters within which many prospective participants are asked to choose, to such an extent that individuals are effectively presented with an 'empty choice'. The article draws on ethnographic and interview data and insights gained through graphic elucidation techniques. It demonstrates that for frontline research staff, macro-level structural factors and their bearing on everyday realities shape what choice in biomedical research participation means in practice.

Parker M, Kingori P. 2016. Good and Bad Research Collaborations: Researchers' Views on Science and Ethics in Global Health Research. PLoS ONE, 11 (10), pp. e0163579. | Show Abstract

There has been a dramatic rise in the scale and scope of collaborative global health research. A number of structural and scientific factors explain this growth and there has been much discussion of these in the literature. Little, if any, attention has been paid, however, to the factors identified by scientists and other research actors as important to successful research collaboration. This is surprising given that their decisions are likely to play a key role in the sustainability and effectiveness of global health research initiatives. In this paper, we report on qualitative research with leading scientists involved in major international research collaborations about their views on good and bad collaborations and the factors that inform their decision-making about joining and participating actively in research networks. We identify and discuss eight factors that researchers see as essential in judging the merits of active participation in global health research collaborations: opportunities for active involvement in cutting-edge, interesting science; effective leadership; competence of potential partners in and commitment to good scientific practice; capacity building; respect for the needs, interests and agendas of partners; opportunities for discussion and disagreement; trust and confidence; and, justice and fairness in collaboration. Our findings suggest that the sustainability and effectiveness of global health research collaborations has an important ethical or moral dimension for the research actors involved.

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