JSI RESOURCES: Journal article
Prior to the 2014–2015 Ebola outbreak, infection prevention and control (IPC) activities in Liberian healthcare facilities were basic. There was no national IPC guidance, nor dedicated staff at any level of government or healthcare facility (HCF) to ensure the implementation of best practices. Efforts to improve IPC early in the outbreak were ad hoc and messaging was inconsistent. In September 2014, at the height of the outbreak, the national IPC Task Force was established with a Ministry of Health (MoH) mandate to coordinate IPC response activities. A steering group of the Task Force, including representatives of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), supported MoH leadership in implementing standardized messaging and IPC training for the health workforce. This structure, and the activities implemented under this structure, played a crucial role in the implementation of IPC practices and successful containment of the outbreak. Moving forward, a nationwide culture of IPC needs to be maintained through this governance structure in Liberia’s health system to prevent and respond to future outbreaks.
Authors: Catherine Cooper, Dale Fisher, Neil Gupta, Rose MaCauley, and Carmem L. Pessoa-Silva