A regional workshop to revise the EPI prototype curricula for medical and nursing/midwifery schools in the African Region was organized by WHO/AFRO in collaboration with the Ministry of Health of Ivory Coast, GAVI Alliance, UNICEF, MCHIP/USAID, AMP and NESI/UA, in Grand-Bassam, Ivory Coast, from 13 to 17 May 2013.
The evaluation of the introduction of the 2006 EPI prototype curricula into African health training institutions conducted in 2011 within 9 countries pointed out that: (1) there is still a bottleneck between EPI pre- and in-service training; (2) the EPI content covered is not always updated and does not include new content related to the Decade of Vaccines/Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) and current new vaccines; (3) EPI content was either not outlined in the curricula or was incomplete; (4) updated reference materials and demonstration equipment were lacking; and (5) lecturers and tutors lacked modern EPI training.
To address these issues, a bilingual regional workshop was organized in Ivory Coast to revise and update the EPI prototype curricula for medical and nursing/midwifery schools.
The objectives of the workshop included:
- To update participants on the actual immunization policy and strategies, including GIVS and GVAP.
- To get a consensus on the content of the EPI prototype curricula to be revised for both medical and nursing/midwifery school in the African Region.
- To make recommendation for the implementation of the EPI curricula revision process within the African health pre-service training institutions.
A total of 69 participants and facilitators attended the workshop. Participants came from the following 26 countries: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroun, Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinee-Conakry, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Liberia, Uganda, RDC, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo and Zimbabwe. Among the participants were 32 lecturers from medical and nursing/midwifery schools. The workshop was facilitated by WHO, UNICEF, USAID, AMP and NESI. Four translators ensured the correct translation between English and French.
The first session covered plenary lectures to update participants on the new policies and guidelines and current new vaccines; to refresh participants on the content of the current EPI prototype curricula; to share with participants the results of the 2011 evaluation of the introduction of the EPI curricula in health training institutions; and to share country experiences regarding EPI curriculum introduction. Following the plenary session, participants were then divided into 4 groups to get a consensus on the EPI content to be revised and to make recommendations for the implementation of the EPI curricula revision process at African health training institutions: Medical schools in Anglophone countries; Medical schools in Francophone countries; Nursing schools in Anglophone countries; Nursing schools in Francophone countries. The meeting concluded with a plenary session compiling the feedback and recommendations from the 4 working groups and to set a timeline for completing the EPI prototype curriculum revision process and starting the introduction of the revised curricula in African health training institutions.
The workshop was highly appreciated by the participants and the overall evaluation was above the 70% satisfaction threshold: content (86%); facilitation (88%); and participation (78%).