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Previous activities on Ebola fever

Joint development of contents

The Opera Village has been a permanent cooperation partner of the EFFO project since 2019. RKI and the Opera Village Africa organised a joint-workshop on "High Consequence Infectious Diseases" (HCID) at Berlin. The aim was to connect different actors from the project country Burkina Faso as well as to build capacities on a local level.

Participants of the HCID theme week and the EFFO teamParticipants of the HCID theme week and the EFFO team © RKI

The first workshop with the African partners was held in Burkina Faso, and involved experts from the Robert Koch Institute, the Medical Mission Institute, doctors from Burkina Faso, and a doctor from Senegal. Learning targets were identified and prioritised as part of a two-day workshop. The modular structure developed in Ouagadougou has been in effect ever since. Details and methods change depending on the results of interim evaluations, and content must of course also be adjusted in the event of new findings.

Training materials in Burkina Faso

Protective clothing is the most elaborate training material in the programme. EFFO uses materials commonly also employed by “Doctors Without Borders”. In 2014, the global market was not prepared for such demand, and there were shortages. The countries directly affected were of course given priority when it came to protective equipment supplies, which is why expired suits were used for the training. The second major shortage related to the protective hoods. In order to be able to make the training as realistic as possible, a tailor in Ouagadougou sewed hoods out of cloth. The correct materials were then provided to the healthcare facilities somewhat later.

In the meanwhile the EFFO team in Germany developed systematically criteria which are important in the selection of Personal Protective Equipment.

Trainers and training in Burkina Faso

Trainers in Burkina Faso have so far all come from the medical field. This is helpful for some modules, but is not a “must” for the programme. Some of the trainers have received government-run Ebola training and hold positions of responsibility. The pilot phase involved four trainers; there are now ten. They have all been re-trained for the PPE module and have undergone training as part of a three-day programme. This concept was also first piloted in Burkina Faso. The partners there work with the Medical Mission Institute to decide where the training will be held. The venues are basic healthcare facilities or district and regional hospitals. About 100 establishments in Burkina Faso had been undergoing training.

Evaluation and supervision

After the training of healthcare facilities, a systematic supervision also in terms of basic hygiene was conducted. For example devices for hand washing were provided more frequently. A simulation exercise in Burkina Faso showed among other things that medical personnel combined several concepts of personal protective equipment. This can be highly problematic and should be discussed explicitly in trainings.

The first EFFO training course in late 2014

Following conceptual preparations by the international team, the three-day training programme was first run at the “Centre Médical St Camille” in Koupéla from 1/12 to 3/12/2014.

The programme’s strengths and weaknesses quickly became apparent: Elevated participant numbers is a problem, particularly when it comes to the practical exercises. The group had to be split. Normally this would not work, as it would require double the number of trainers. If improvisation is necessary, e.g. in the case of a power outage, it is good to be able to flexibly reorganise learning modules. Repetition exercises and interactive learning modules are particularly suitable for this sort of flexibility.

While knowledge of general hygiene measures and methods of disease transmission can be read up on and independently revised, this is not the case for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The EFFO project places great emphasis on ensuring the PPE module is only taught by trainers who have received particular training in this area. This concept was developed at the Robert Koch Institute, and is constantly being improved. The aim for the train-the-trainer courses is to always involve people who have had actual experience with Ebola patients.

Following the kick-off in Koupéla, the trainers evaluated the first run, and decided how to approach the next training sessions. One group held a course in the capital, Ouagadougou (CMACentre médical avec antenne chirurgicale Paul VI), and another in Bobo-Dioulasso (Centre Médical Farakan). The experiences gained were used to devise an initial “best practice” structure for the EFFO training.

Sine then, numerous trainings have been conducted by the local team in Burkina Faso in governmental and non-governmental healthcare facilities. Each training was evaluated by a theoretical pre- and post-test. The tests indicted an increased knowledge of all issues. Especially in the initial phase, the test results influenced the design of the training modules.

Date: 11.11.2019





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