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Over 30 Health Workers Attend Advanced IPC Training

 

 

The Ministry of Health in collaboration with the World Health Organization is conducting a close to two weeks’ advanced Infection Prevention and Control (IPC)  training for more than 30 health practitioners in Liberia.

The pilot project, as it is called, began on Monday, July 31, 2017 and will end on August 11, 2017 at the Bella Casa Hotel in Sinkor, Monrovia.

At the opening ceremony on Monday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Country Director for Liberia, Dr. Desmond Williams, lauded those who have turned out from across the country to participate in the training.

Dr. Williams noted that there is a particular reason while he is always excited about Infection Prevention and Control, making specific reference to September 2014 when he arrived in Liberia at the time the Ebola scourge was at its peak.

According to him, any healthcare system is as strong as the people who are in it, and people who sacrifice and put their lives on the line everyday to save their fellow countrymen.

Dr. Williams said this was demonstrated during the Ebola crisis when hundreds of health workers died in the West African Region where the epidemic was discovered, as a result of which hospitals, clinics and other health facilities were closed down for many months and people could not seek medical attention at that terrible time in the Ebola-affected countries-Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

He indicated that the IPC management is not a one day event or an overnight solution, but a process that calls for continuous practice that needs to be demonstrated in the hospitals, clinics and health centers about how to provide care for patients while practitioners themselves are very mindful of self-protection.

He thanked WHO and other partners involved in formulating the curriculum being used for the advanced IPC training in Liberia for focal persons, who are expected to make maximum use of what they would be taught to be transferred to other health workers who could not be opportune to attend the training.

Dr. Williams assured CDC’s willingness and commitment to always work along with WHO, the Ministry of Health and other partners in providing better healthcare delivery, hoping that one thing to learn from should be the legacy which Ebola made health practitioners to note during the devastating health crisis in the country.

He urged the participants to learn and properly utilize what they are taught and that a curriculum from such training can form part of the university’s curriculum for medical students.

At the same time, WHO Representative in Liberia, Dr. Alex Gasasira, commended the Ministry of Health for organizing the training program, and for demonstrating a strong leadership role in tackling challenges associated with Liberia’s resilient health system.

Dr. Gasasira observed that since the outbreak of Ebola and its containment, the Ministry of Health has strived to ensure a healthy environment in the country, by collaborating with partners in undertaking initiatives for better healthcare delivery, something he termed as laudable.

He encouraged health workers in Liberia to remain committed in combating diseases to save human lives, assuring that WHO will always support health-driven activities.

Dr. Gasasira, impressed with the development so far, admonished the participants to use the curriculum for the advanced IPC training as their daily guide in their places of work in fulfillment of combating infectious diseases in the country.

He said as far as his knowledge can serve him, the advanced IPC training is the first in the region hence it has to be taken seriously.

Meantime, Liberia’s Medical Doctor, Dr. Francis N. Kateh, who formally open the training workshop, said the Assistant Minister for Curative at MOH, Dr. Catherine Cooper, is symbolic of Infection Prevention and Control in Liberia who deserves  flowers while still alive.

He indicated that talking about improved health system in the country, some of the causes can be alluded to Dr. Cooper’s intervention.

Dr. Kateh also thanked Dr. Gasasira and Dr. Williams for their tireless efforts in collaborating with other partners and the Ministry of Health for possible interventions geared towards transforming the health system of Liberia.

He further hailed facilitators of the training who came from Geneva and elsewhere for showing interest in helping the country to address some of its critical health needs, especially following the Ebola outbreak.

Dr. Kateh told the participants that the major bridge that connects one with an assigned duty is ‘passion,’ stressing that the practitioners should always have passion for the work they do.

Meanwhile,  a background information regarding the advanced training indicates that Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) training and education forms one of the eight recommendations of the new WHO Guidelines on Core Components of IPC Programmes at the National and Acute Health Care Facility Level, and one component of the WHO recommended multimodal improvement strategy.

Accordingly, a recent IPC workshop of Ministry of Health (MOH) representatives and relevant stakeholders from across Africa organized by WHO, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Infection Control Africa Network, focused on IPC implementation challenges and opportunities.

A strong consensus emerging from the meeting was the need for strengthened training strategies, including the development of standardized training packages for IPC professionals in low-resource settings to support successful implementation and IPC country capacity building.

To address this need, the WHO IPC Global Unit is developing advanced IPC training module content that can be adapted and used by countries, in particular in settings with limited resources. The target audience for these modules will be IPC focal persons or health care professionals with at least basic IPC experience and competencies.

The objective of this project is to develop and publish (WHO web pages) a package of advanced IPC training modules in the form of- Materials to allow for training delivery by IPC professionals including PowerPoint slide sets, a trainer’s guide for each training module (including content reviewed by external experts and evaluated in a real-world training scenario) and a suite of case study materials and knowledge evaluation resources; Audiovisual and e-learning supporting materials of selected content.

The content for these advanced IPC training modules is currently being developed by WHO and a consortium of international institutions with extensive educational and implementation experience and expertise in developing countries. The materials will go through detailed expert revision and be adapted into e-learning package and other supporting tools. As part of the expert revision process, it is critical to pilot and evaluate the use of the training module content in a low-resource setting, incorporate the feedback received and review accordingly.

The data gathered from this evaluation will be used to strengthen and improve the course content, materials, timing, flow and suggested delivery strategies presented in the training modules. The training package is expected to be launched in late 2017.

Accordingly, at the above-mentioned international workshop on national IPC training programmes and curricula, Liberia presented their goals to further develop the IPC training programme as part of their strategic national vision.

Following the outbreak of Ebola virus disease, Liberia has taken concerted steps to improve IPC practices nationally and under the leadership of the Ministry of Health, Liberia has developed a strategic national vision for IPC and implemented basic IPC training and monitoring across all 15 counties.

At the workshop, it is disclosed that the Liberian delegation discussed the next steps for this training programme and worked through a potential action plan for setting up IPC and quality training programmes across its education system from pre-service to in-service and post-graduate. The current proposal is meant to provide some technical support to these plans; writes Lewis K. Glay 0886469835/lglay.inprofile@gmail.com