There has been some success in the control of the outbreak, but with the loss of nearly 500 health workers’ lives, over 7,000 lives in communities and an even greater mortality indirectly through reduction in normal health service provision. Hotspots of infection and new cases are still being seen and other countries remain vulnerable. Haemorrhagic fever virus is endemic in the region, there is likely to be a long tail to this outbreak and fresh outbreaks will remain a threat especially as there is a return to using normal health services.
The customary reliance on the physical presence of expert trainers and traditional teaching techniques based on lectures and Powerpoint presentations are of variable quality, often difficult to scale and have their own risks bringing people together. As a consequence, we have embarked upon a timely and exciting project to create a catalyst for a pedagogic revolution in infection, prevention and control through innovative educational technology using distributed simulation, improving knowledge retention, confidence and ultimately competence – and to do that using the latest technologies that can be shared globally on a greater scale, quality and adaptability than has hereto been possible.
Masanga Mentor Ebola initiative (MMEI) is a partnership between the Masanga hospital in Sierra Leone, the Mentor Initiative operating in Liberia, and the Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry (“PUPSMD”).
The first Liberia pilot (run by the MENTOR Initiative and funded by OFDA) will target the training of community and healthcare workers in the use of PPE and will roll out in March 2015.