Located about 19 kilometres from the city of Butembo, Musienene is one of the eight health zones in the large Ebola control coordination in Butembo, Democratic Republic of Congo. Since the beginning of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in August 2018, the zone has recorded five confirmed cases, the latest of which was on 11 December 2018.
Under the leadership of Dr. Thérèse Ntanga, a volunteer healthcare worker, Africa CDC has been working with the government and other partners in the investigation sub-committee set up to strengthen surveillance and investigation of suspected cases of Ebola in the zone.
On 18 December 2018, the sub-committee held a training for doctors and nurses working in health facilities within the zone to strengthen their capacity in epidemiological surveillance of EVD.
“This training is to enable doctors and nurses in the Musienene Health Zone to carry out epidemiological surveillance activities during an EVD outbreak,” said Dr. Thérèse Ntanga.
The focus of the training was on epidemiological surveillance during Ebola epidemics, particularly case definition, the importance of an investigation during an outbreak, alert reporting, how to conduct investigations, use of surveillance tools including the Ebola alert case investigation form, research, and contact tracing and follow-up. Simulation exercises were conducted to help participants understand what to do in a real live situation.
“Having recorded confirmed cases of Ebola, health workers in Musienene Health Zone should have the ability to detect suspected cases early in order to cut the transmission chain,” said Dr Albert Tshomba, an Africa CDC volunteer.
Following the training, participants were integrated into the Musienene under-coordination surveillance commission. They will work as frontline providers reporting alerts, conducting investigations around suspected cases, and ensuring that contacts of confirmed cases are tracked and adequately followed up.
“I’m happy to have participated in this training, I now feel able to more easily detect a suspected case of Ebola, investigate, search, list and follow-up contacts of confirmed cases,” said Mrs. Kadhenge, a nurse at the Nduko Hospital Centre.
“This training has just made me one of the best investigators in this health zone,” said Dr. Kighoma from the Musienene General Hospital.
Until date, Africa CDC has trained 48 healthcare providers in Musienene on epidemiological surveillance during an EVD outbreak.