The World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa (WHO/AFRO) and the Rwandan Ministry of Health hosted the Regional capacity building workshop on the Expanded Programme on Immunization/Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (EPI/IMCI) Interactive training and resource tool from 29 May – 2 June 2017 in Kigali, Rwanda. The tool was developed in collaboration between WHO/AFRO, NESI, and ITEM Interactive.
A total of 52 participants, including 36 Ministry of Health officials, WHO country representatives, and medical and nursing school staff from 6 countries – Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Sao Tome & Principe, and Sierra Leone – were in attendance at the workshop, along with 16 facilitators from NESI, WHO Headquarters, WHO/AFRO, all three WHO/AFRO Inter-Country Support Teams (IST-ESA, IST-CA and IST-WA), WHO Zambia, WHO Congo, and the USAID Maternal & Child Survival Program (MCSP). Participants reviewed the current status of EPI and IMCI programming in the African region, conducted group work on integration of EPI and IMCI activities, and completed the EPI/IMCI training in order to understand its layout and potential uses in their home countries.
The Rwandan Ministry of Health also organized field visits to three health clinics in the neighborhoods of Kabuga, Gikondo, and Kicukiro. Workshop participants observed clinic staff providing immunisations and performing the “assess, classify, and treat” steps of the IMCI guidelines. They also reviewed clinic records, cold chain capacity, and other primary care services offered at each clinic.
The workshop was a training-of-trainers (TOT), and all workshop participants successfully earned certificates of completion. They have returned back to their countries not only as “master trainers,” but also advocates to promote adoption of the tool into their national training programmes. The primary target audience for the tool includes frontline healthcare workers, as well as pre-service trainees in medical and nursing schools. It is a comprehensive training package including: video chapters with narrations in three languages (English, French and Portuguese); question and answer sessions before and after each chapter to reinforce key messages; references; glossary; transcript of the video chapters; and a certificate after completion of the programme. The interactive resource is supplemented by a pocket guide as well as a copy of the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness Computerized Adaptation and Training Tool (ICATT), which is an additional tool for comprehensive training in IMCI.
The tool was pre-tested in three countries – Congo Brazzaville, Sao Tome & Principe and Zambia – before finalization. Workshop participants are now making plans to introduce the tool into their training programmes.