IOM last week (6-8 July) organized a three-day training on Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) in Nairobi, Kenya.
The workshop, which brought together 35 health assessment physicians from across Africa, was designed to enhance participants’ knowledge and skills in effectively and efficiently preventing, detecting and responding to public health events occurring in health assessment settings.
The training is of critical importance for health workers. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there were 513 deaths out of 881 reported cases of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) among health workers in the recent unprecedented outbreak in West Africa. Health workers were up to 32 times more likely to be infected with EVD than the general population.
IOM Director of Migration Health Dr. Davide Mosca told participants: “Out of some 9,000 IOM staff deployed at field level, over 1,000 are involved in the implementation of health programmes in some 60 countries, including in crisis situations. This training has been designed to empower participants with the necessary knowledge and skills to efficiently respond to public health threats in the challenging environments in which they operate.”
The training is in line with current global health discourse in which IPC is a fundamental component of global health security. Proper IPC practices ensure effective responses to public health threats to protect health workers, migrants and the community from infectious diseases.
Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea are emerging from the grip of an EVD outbreak that devastated the population and weakened already fragile health services with the loss of numerous health workers, including doctors. IPC resources and infrastructure at hospitals were badly depleted.
IOM is capitalizing on its Sierra Leone experience in delivering IPC training to EVD care providers and making knowledge and skills available to all its staff. A second IPC training will take place in October 2016 targeting a similar number of migration health specialists.