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ICAP began working in Sierra Leone in 2014, partnering with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOHS) to conduct an assessment of the community care centers established as part of the nation’s Ebola outbreak response. ICAP is now expanding on this work by supporting efforts to strengthen key health systems to enable a more effective response to current and future disease outbreaks.
Expanding Efforts and Strategies to Protect and Improve Public Health Globally
ICAP is partnering with Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOHS) to strengthen health systems in the wake of the 2014–15 Ebola epidemic. This includes:
- Providing technical assistance to the MOHS on monitoring and evaluation
- Supporting the development of quality assurance and quality improvement (QI) capacity in Sierra Leone, including providing QI training and support for 16 QI projects at four hospitals
- Conducting program evaluations of infection prevention and control and malaria initiatives
- Supporting the roll-out of a national initiative to prevent malaria in infants and children via intermittent preventive treatment of infants (IPTi), including provision of technical assistance and development of the national IPTi training curriculum
These activities are aligned with the Global Health Security Agenda and will support medium- and long-term health systems strengthening to more actively prevent, detect, respond to, and control infectious disease health threats. (funded by CDC)
Global Technical Assistance in Sierra Leone (funded by PEPFAR through CDC)
- Quality Improvement for HIV and TB – In 2017, ICAP will expand its support for QI activities by working with the MOHS to launch two multi-site QI collaboratives designed to build QI capacity and enhance program performance. ICAP will also design and implement a workshop series aimed at building capacity to use HIV and TB data for decision-making, and will host a workshop on innovations in HIV testing services.
- Quality Improvement for Infection Prevention and Control – Building on ICAP’s support for the National Infection Prevention and Control Unit (NIPCU) within the MOHS, ICAP will continue to support infection prevention and control-related QI projects.
Resilient and Responsive Health Systems Initiative
The Resilient and Responsive Health Systems (RRHS) initiative will address gaps and challenges in Sierra Leone’s health system to ensure it has the human resources for health (HRH) capacity to deliver high-quality health care. Adopting a consortium approach, the project will work in partnership with key stakeholders, including the MOHS, Ministry of Education, nursing and midwifery schools and boards, community partners, and other stakeholders, to: 1) directly strengthen health workforce capacity in quantity and quality to deliver facility- and community-based care, and 2) strengthen the systems that support sustainable HRH capacity and performance, including enhancing quality and use of HRH information, improving planning and leadership capacity, and creating an enabling fiscal environment. Through the RRHS initiative, the health workforce in Sierra Leone will increasingly be present in the right place, at the right time, and functioning in the right way. These investments are expected to lead to a more resilient and self-sustaining health system that is able to meet population health needs, address HIV/AIDS, and ensure the control of disease outbreaks and other major health events. (funded by HRSA)
Action for Effective Ebola Response in Sierra Leone: Rapid Evaluation of Community Care Centers (2014–2015)
ICAP conducted a rapid assessment of 11 Ebola community care centers across six districts—Bo, Bombali, Kambia, Koinadugu, Port Loko, and Western Area—to assess the safety, e ectiveness, acceptability, and operational feasibility of the centers, where patients with symptoms suggestive of Ebola received care and support as they awaited diagnosis and transfer to Ebola treatment units or referral for other medical services. The results were published in The Lancet Global Health in July 2015 and can be found here. (funded by UK Department for International Development)