Preparedness against Ebola and Other Emerging Infectious Diseases in Sierra Leone and Guinea
KIT Royal Tropical Institutes Health Department leads the consortium that realizes a two-year programme aiming to increase the resilience and preparedness of Ebola Virus and other emerging infectious diseases in Sierra Leone and Guinea through three integrated work packages.
Work package one: communities
The first work package is coordinated by Wageningen University. The work package aims to develop an innovative system for prevention, preparedness and resilience of EVD (Ebola Virus Disease) and other emerging infectious diseases by enabling communities to play a central role in detecting and organizing a quick response to emerging outbreaks. Elaboration of these community surveillance systems is done in close collaboration with a wide range of NGOs and CSOs who have been active during the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. Experiences of community practices are documented in Sierra Leone and in Guinea. At Njala University in Sierra Leone an Ebola Museum and Archive is established, where relative information is stored and shared with the public. In addition, the team works directly with partners in the field on a One Health program, addressing community engagement and disease surveillance from an integrated animal and human health perspective.
Work package two: laboratories
The second work package is implemented with the technical expertise from Noguchi Memorial Medical Research Institute and KIT-Health. It entails the strengthening of laboratory services including their quality assurance systems for improved preparedness and resilience of EVD and other emerging infectious diseases. The focus will be on an improving laboratory system for rapid and safe sample testing and management, including rapid results communication; availability and capacity development for quick testing possibilities; and feed back to health facilities and authorities on the results. For this purpose the laboratory at Njala University will be renovated. This laboratory will be used by the veterinarian and community health department of Njala University to deliver integrated services for animal health and population health. In this way the project contributes to the One Health Initiative, “the collaborative effort of various disciplines to attain optimal health for people, animals and the environment”
Work package three: health services
The third work package relates to the need to strengthen the interface between the health services and the community. One of the reasons that the outbreak was so widespread in three West African Countries is due to poorly developed systems at all levels and sectors: neither the community nor service systems are equipped to foresee and handle these emerging outbreaks. One promising avenue to improve service delivery is through Result Based Financing (RBF). RBF changes the financing of the health services from input-based financing (through ex ante budgets) to results based (ex post) financing. The RBF model will be adapted by including activities, related to prevention of outbreak of emerging diseases (RBF+). This work package will be implemented in Guinea.