In the midst of the Ebola outbreak, it was imperative that the Liberian health system continue to provide basic health services even while addressing the Ebola epidemic.
Liberian health care workers (HCWs) and health facility staff needed be effectively informed and protected. Adequate supplies of personal protection equipment (PPE) had to be provided in conjunction with proper training on effective infection prevention and control (IPC) practices to help restore and maintain HCWs’ confidence. Health care professionals and facility support staff had to be trained to protect themselves from Ebola infection so that they could safely remain at, or return to, their posts and effectively care for patients.
The Liberian Healthcare Worker Personal Protection Equipment Rapid Response and Infection Control Training Plan was an eight-month project providing support to the Liberia Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW) to interrupt the ongoing transmission of the Ebola virus and to establish a culture of safety in all of Liberia’s 15 counties.
The two main objectives of the project were to: 1) Train HCWs in IPC who were operating in non-Ebola Training Units (non-ETUs); and 2) Ensure that needed IPC supplies and equipment were distributed in a process that met accepted standards.
- Training HCWs and health facility staff in non-ETUs on IPC (using the Keep Safe Keep Serving training package)
- Training county and district supervisors on IPC fundamentals
- Periodic supportive supervision of HCWs and facility staff on adherence to recommended IPC practices
- Training county pharmacists and county drug depot staff on IPC supply management
- Ensuring last-mile distribution of PPEs
- Construction of 10 incinerators for waste management
- Monitoring and evaluation
The IPC Activity was supported by USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA).
View a photo essay, "Last Mile Distribution: Challenges on the Road to Delivering Infection and Prevention and Control Supplies in Liberia", which chronicles the transportation obstacles faced in maintaining the supply chain within the Infection Prevention and Control Activity.
Watch "Keep Safe, Keep Serving–Strengthening Infection Prevention in Liberia," a short documentary film on how JSI staff are working through the IPC project to ensure that infection and prevention control practices are standardized throughout the country.
Read the blog post by Emily Dantzer on Reproductive health: The biggest casualty of the Ebola epidemic?
The International Office of Migration has also featured JSI's work in a September 1, 2015, blog post Training Health Workers to Build a Resilient Health System