2017 Volume 243 Issue 2 Pages 101-105
The rare and deadly Ebola virus disease (EVD) is caused by Ebola virus (EBOV) infection. The 2014-2015 EVD outbreak in West Africa was unprecedented. Person-to-person transmission of EBOV by direct contact with the body or bodily fluids of an infected person through broken skin or unprotected mucous membrane caused rapid outbreak in communities. Nosocomial infection was the cause of death of many health care workers (HCWs). This paper aims to reveal the importance and effect of intensive education of HCWs when combating an outbreak such as EVD. We compared the curricula of two educational programs and analyzed their effects by the trend of weekly new patients. In September 2014, a three-day training program on infection, prevention and control (IPC) was organized for nurses, but it was not sufficient to achieve good outcome. In December 2014, a newly established National Ebola Training Academy was set up to offer a platform of clinical training modules for frontline Ebola response workers. This academy addressed the training needs of clinicians and hygienists who were working or will work at Ebola treatment centers that were established after the onset of the 2014 outbreak. Increased intensive contents and simulated training at the academy improved HCWs’ understanding of EVD, IPC and patient care, which subsequently contributed to the survival of patients. The rapid settlement of the outbreak after introducing the Academy indicates that appropriate intensive education of HCWs is the key activity carried out to control the outbreak of EVD in Sierra Leone.