IOM, USAID Support Strengthening of Sierra Leone Healthcare System

Posted: 
05/25/18
Themes: 
Capacity Building, Migration Health

Freetown – IOM, the UN Migration Agency in Sierra Leone, together with the US Agency for International Development (USAID), last week presided over the graduation ceremony of the Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) course designed by the Infection Control Africa Network (ICAN) and funded by USAID.

The objective of this first university-level IPC course in West Africa is to ensure that clinical students receive a government-approved course before they embark on their practical experience. The need for such training was widely acknowledged as a significant constraint when combating the Ebola virus.

From 2014 to 2016, the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak weakened the healthcare system in Sierra Leone. As a result of exposure to this disease, 436 of the 3,956 EVD fatalities were healthcare workers, a significant blow to the country’s struggling healthcare workforce while battling other diseases such as malaria, cholera, typhoid, STIs/HIV/AIDS, respiratory tract infections, Lassa fever, maternal and child mortality, and multi-drug resistant tuberculosis.

“I strongly encourage this first class of clinical graduates to multiply what you have learned in this course and use it in your everyday work and in all aspects of community life,” said Sanusi Savage, IOM Sierra Leone Head of Office.

As part of the USD 3 million contribution by the US to help strengthen Sierra Leone’s healthcare system, US Ambassador Maria E. Brewer said at the graduation ceremony that her government has contributed to “strengthening the healthcare system and supporting the people of Sierra Leone to protect them from any disease outbreak through preventative measures such as IPC.”

Brewer congratulated the 130 alumni and encouraged them to use this training “to promote simple, but lifesaving health practices” for themselves, their patients and their communities.

“This training has given me the confidence and authority to be an ambassador of infection prevention and control, not only in my community but all of Africa,” declared alumnus Kumba Moiwo.

For more information please contact Florence Kim, IOM Regional Office for West and Central Africa, Tel: +221 78 620 62 13, Email: fkim@iom.int

  • 130 clinical students at the graduation ceremony of the first infection prevention and control course in West Africa. Photo: IOM

  • 130 clinical students at the graduation ceremony of the first infection prevention and control course in West Africa. Photo: IOM