The introduction of new vaccines worldwide has highlighted the need for comprehensive training materials for healthcare workers who have been assigned the task of running immunisation sessions.
Three new vaccines currently being introduced into the African region are pneumococcal, rotavirus and HPV vaccines. A challenge is to train healthcare workers quickly and efficiently before the vaccines are in common use. To help achieve this, NESI, in collaboration with WHO, GAVI Alliance and ITEM Interactive developed an interactive video-based resource. The Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health of Zambia kindly agreed for the filming to take place in Zambia, and recommended Chongwe District for all shootings.
The content of the resource was developed from existing WHO and local training materials to ensure consistency with the current training curriculum. Twenty to thirty minutes of video for each vaccine explain the need for the new vaccine and demonstrate how to store the vials, prepare for an immunisation session, administer the vaccines safely, communicate with the caregivers and safely dispose of used syringes, needles and vials.
Shootings were done in Chongwe, Zambia. Scenes in controlled environments as the district hospital and rural health clinics include infants suffering from diarrheal disease and pneumonia and demonstrate the best technique for administering the vaccines. Scenes in villages of Chongwe show how to improve hygiene, how breastfeeding builds a baby's immunity and how to care for sick children at home. For HPV vaccine, the filming was done in the Chongwe basic school. During the filming, the team was supported by staff of the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health of Zambia.
Comprehensive questions and answers at the end of each chapter of video reinforce the information presented and ensure it has been understood by the student or the healthcare worker. Additional references, posters, manuals and a glossary of terms have also been included on the resource. The interactive resource can be used for both face-to-face training and self-paced learning; is developed in English and French, and will be distributed on USB flash drives or memory sticks throughout sub-Saharan Africa.
The interactive resource on new vaccines is ready for field testing in selected countries in the WHO African Region. The field testing will take place during the first 6 months of 2014, during the same time period and in the same countries as the testing of the EPI/IMCI interactive resource. Both tools are complementary and should be tested and distributed simultaneously.
Eventually, when proven to be appropriate, both resources will be passed on to health departments and training colleges in the African Region. The resources are not intended to take over the role of face-to-face teaching or to replace other training resources but to complement them. The great number of healthcare workers and the fast turnover of staff in the African Region make this type of resources a valuable addition to healthcare worker training methodology.