Ebola Case Management Training and Preparedness
While providing direct treatment for Ebola patients in five facilities in Sierra Leone and Liberia, International Medical Corps developed a training program known as the Multi-Agency Training Collaborative (MATCO) that harmonized best practices from Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), the World Health Organization, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Guinea-Bissau, we organize and conduct the week-long trainings for clinical staff and other relevant professionals. The program covers Ebola case management, safe patient transport, infection prevention and control, proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE), and psychosocial support. We also created a mock Ebola Treatment Unit on the grounds of the National Public Health Institute in the capital, Bissau for an opportunity for professionals to practice what they learn in the classroom.
Rapid Response Team
International Medical Corps is working to form five Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) in five regions of Guinea-Bissau that can quickly and safely act to any suspected Ebola cases. Composed of doctors, nurses, hygienists, and social workers, the RRTs are trained to investigate reports of potential Ebola cases, set up isolation facilities, and, if needed, provide referrals for testing and treatment. For Guinea-Bissau, this capacity is vital for staying prepared for a suspected or confirmed outbreak of Ebola and can also be applied to identifying and managing other infectious diseases with epidemic potential, such as cholera. In Gabu and Tombali, regions along the border with Guinea, International Medical Corps also trained staff from 37 health care facilities in recognizing symptoms of Ebola and equipping them with the knowledge to handle and refer any potential cases of Ebola they encounter.
Infection Prevention Control
International Medical Corps is also supporting the National Public Health Institute in implementing IPC protocols nationwide. The program uses training-of-trainers format to reach health staff in five regions: Gabu, Tombali, Bafata, Bijagos, and Bissau. Thirty government health workers from these regions receive training on learner-centered training methods and technical aspects of IPC protocols. Once trained, they act as IPC mentors in training staff of health facilities in their regions to use proper IPC measures in their day-to-day routines.