Malian health centres will get support to optimize the management of any eventual cases of the Ebola virus in their facilities through the Mali Healthcare Professionnals Training Support Project. This initiative, otherwise known as DÉCLIC, is implemented by a consortium made up of CCISD, University of Sherbrooke and Cégep de Saint-Jérôme.
Since Mali is facing its first cases of the disease, the DÉCLIC programme will join the ongoing prevention and response efforts through various workshops for the medical and paramedical staff of five university community health centres (centres de santé communautaires universitaires, or CSCom-U).
At the end of this new DÉCLIC initiative, doctors, nurses and caregivers will have been trained on hygiene and sanitation (hand washing techniques, facilities and equipment sanitization), on protocols for the identification, referral and control of affected patients and their contacts, as well as on community awareness raising.
''Those centres will not be Ebola treatment centres but, as first-line facilities, they will most likely be giving care to potential cases'', said Dr. Mahamane Maïga, DÉCLIC’s technical director.
In order to limit the transmission of this deadly virus, the healthcare providers must be able to identify cases accurately, transfer them safely to adapted care centres, and initiate procedures for conducting contacts follow-up and monitoring. Most importantly, they must be able to protect themselves since they will continue to provide basic healthcare to other patients.
Protecting healthcare workers
''An assessment of the contamination cases among medical and paramedical staff reveals that the biggest risk in Ebola protection is protective equipment removal. The slightest error can be fatal so mastering the sequence for putting on and removing gear is critical'', explains the technical director.
For this reason, DÉCLIC is currently seeking funding to support 200 training sessions on the procedures for donning and doffing personal protective equipment. The total cost of these workshops is estimated at CA$ 25 000.
All in all, by mastering the sequence, healthcare providers will not only have the knowledge, but also the confidence they will need to safely care for any Ebola case that might come their way.
This support provided by the DÉCLIC project is in line with its mission, which is to contribute to strengthening the health system’s first-line services by training the doctors and paramedical staff of community health centres.
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OF THIS INITIATIVE UNDERTAKEN WITH THE FINANCIAL SUPPORT OF THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA PROVIDED THROUGH THE DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, TRADE AND DEVELOPMENT (DFATD).