Strengthening An infection Prevention and Management in Sierra Leone and Ethiopia | Blogs

Specialists are working collectively to convey down charges of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in low- and middle-income international locations, which could be not less than 3 instances greater than these in high-income international locations. Healthcare professionals educated in an infection prevention and management (IPC) are crucial to scale back HAIs and enhance affected person and healthcare employee security, however many healthcare amenities in low- and middle-income international locations lack educated IPC professionals.

CDC and ICAP at Columbia College collaborated with companions in Sierra Leone and Ethiopia to develop and set up IPC coaching packages. These packages intention to equip IPC professionals with the data and abilities wanted to successfully implement IPC packages in quite a lot of healthcare settings.

Sierra Leone

One person helps another to put on personal protective equipment
Daniel Sesay, a graduate of the primary cohort of Sierra Leone’s Superior IPC Certificates Course, gives coaching to frontline employees on the onset of COVID-19 in Sierra Leone, March 2020. Photograph credit score: Tolu J. Bade, Envizage Ideas

Through the 2014–2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health (MoH) acknowledged the necessity for educated IPC personnel and appointed and educated healthcare professionals to turn into IPC employees in any respect district hospitals. Following the outbreak, the Sierra Leone MoH requested help from U.S. CDC to develop and implement a complete coaching program for IPC professionals.

This request led to CDC’s collaboration with ICAP, Sierra Leone MoH, the World Health Group, and An infection Management Africa Community in 2017 to develop Sierra Leone’s IPC coaching program, named the Sierra Leone Superior IPC Certificates Course.

“This initiative has revolutionized Sierra Leone’s method to an infection prevention and management,” mentioned Christiana Kallon, Nationwide IPC Coordinator. “By empowering and mentoring healthcare professionals, we’ve considerably bolstered our protection in opposition to infectious illnesses.”

ICAP led the event of the competency-based curriculum, a 6-month course that mixes classroom studying with hands-on coaching. Program members obtain mentorship from Sierra Leone MoH, CDC-Sierra Leone, ICAP and different native companions all through this system.

The course formally launched in 2019 and 60 healthcare suppliers have graduated throughout three cohorts (10 from the nationwide degree, 15 from districts, 35 from Health amenities). The vast majority of graduates (70%) proceed to work as IPC focal factors – healthcare employees answerable for implementing IPC measures – on the nationwide, district, or Health facility degree or maintain different IPC roles. These graduates have performed pivotal roles in implementing IPC actions throughout all Health system ranges together with:

  • Being actively concerned within the nationwide IPC program (88% of nationwide IPC unit personnel are coaching program graduates), which performs an important function in overseeing implementation of nationwide IPC tips to make sure healthcare security.
  • Educating lessons within the Superior IPC Certificates Course and offering one-on-one mentorship to new trainees in this system (30% of graduates have taught or mentored new program trainees).
  • Collaborating in emergency response groups to develop and implement efficient IPC methods throughout outbreaks reminiscent of Lassa fever and COVID-19.


A group of people poses for a photo holding in front of them an IPCAP graduation banner.
The primary cohort of IPCAP graduates in Ethiopia at their commencement ceremony, October 2023, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Utilizing data gained from Sierra Leone’s Superior IPC Certificates Course, CDC and ICAP started work in February 2023 with companions in Ethiopia, together with the Ethiopian MoH and Saint Paul’s Hospital Millennium Medical School, to implement a equally structured 6-month program generally known as the An infection Prevention and Management Superior Coaching Program or IPCAP.

The hands-on studying tasks have been tailored for Ethiopia’s present priorities, together with microbiology, injection security, and HAI surveillance. Members of the Nationwide IPC Program on the MoH, CDC-Ethiopia, and different IPC professionals in Ethiopia mentored the trainees all through their discipline work.

The primary cohort of 19 trainees in Ethiopia graduated in October 2023. The trainees have been IPC focal factors from 16 totally different healthcare amenities and three Regional Health Bureaus (RHBs). IPC focal factors from healthcare amenities with ongoing collaborations with the Nationwide IPC Unit have been prioritized for the primary coaching cohort. Though in early phases of implementation, the current graduates of IPCAP proceed to function IPC focal factors at healthcare amenities and RHBs the place they’re now main high quality enchancment tasks and implementation of HAI surveillance per the nationwide protocol.

Sustaining Success

The third cohort of Sierra Leone’s Superior IPC Certificates Course was delivered in partnership with Njala College. Sierra Leone MoH is now exploring the potential of increasing course supply to different native universities to satisfy demand and enhance sustainability. Ethiopia’s MoH can be figuring out alternatives to maintain the IPC coaching program.

Study extra about what CDC and companions are doing globally to monitor and prevent HAIs.



Lindsay Tompkins, PhD, MS is an epidemiologist on the Implementation Workforce within the Worldwide An infection Management Department within the Division of Healthcare High quality and Promotion on the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention in Atlanta.

Karen Wu, DVM, MSPH is an epidemiologist on the Implementation Workforce within the Worldwide An infection Management Department within the Division of Healthcare High quality and Promotion on the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention in Atlanta.

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