Implementing infection prevention and control capacity building strategies within the context of Ebola outbreak in a "Hard-to-Reach" area of Liberia

Michael Ogbonnaya Oji, Mesfin Haile, April Baller, Nathalie Tremblay, Nuha Mahmoud, Alex Gasasira, Victor Ladele, Catherine Cooper, Francis Ndivo Kateh, Tolbert Nyenswah, Peter Nsubuga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Introduction: In August 2014, WHO declared that Ebola outbreak ravaging West Africa including Liberia had become a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). Infection prevention and control (IPC) among healthcare workers was pivotal in reducing healthcare worker infection and containing the recent EVD outbreak. Hard to reach areas (HTRA) presents peculiar challenges in public health emergencies. We present the result of IPC capacity building strategies deployed in Gbarpolu County: an HTRA of Liberia. Methods: Between April to October 2015, we conducted IPC training and mentorship at the county, district and facility levels in a selected HTRA of Liberia using the keep Safe, Keep Serving manual and the WHO core components of infection control. Serial follow-up assessments and mentoring using the Liberian Minimum standard tool for safe care in Liberian health facilities (MST) were done. Results: 180 (100%) facility based healthcare workers were trained: including 59 clinicians (32%) and 121 (67%) non-clinicians. 100% of the healthcare workers in four selected very HTRAs were trained and underwent facility based-mentorship. Compliance with IPC practice increased: the MST score increased from 75% to 90% and for the MST score for waste management and isolation increased 60% to 87%. Conclusion: Strengthening the capacity of healthcare workers for IPC was instrumental for containing the EVD epidemic but also critical for routine safe and quality services. A culture of IPC among healthcare workers in HTRA can be implemented through capacity building and training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number107
JournalPan African Medical Journal
Volume31
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Capacity building
  • Ebola virus disease
  • Hard-to-reach areas
  • Infection prevention and control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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