In partnership with the Liberia College of Physicians and Surgeons, a graduate medical residency program, APC strengthened specialty care services for Ebola survivors by building capacity within the health workforce. Clinical specialists trained medical students, residents, and clinicians, while also providing specialized medical care in clinical areas that disproportionately affect the EVD survivor community. This program contributed to improved patient access to specialized care, decentralized service delivery, and increased health service utilization rates.
In November 2016, the ETP&SS program conducted a health facility assessment to understand the overall capacity of eight pre-identified health facilities. The assessment informed the development of a comprehensive facility activity plan, which captured service delivery, capacity building, and system strengthening activities. When implemented in a participatory manner, infrastructure interventions (physical, equipment, and water supply) can enhance government ownership of the decision-making process for quality of care.
This tool is designed to measure staff capacity, infrastructure capacity, and equipment capacity in a limited resources health facility. The results from the assessment inform the type and level of support an implementing partner might provide to health facilities. In this case, the aim of the support provided was to improve the quality of medical services for Ebola survivors. As such, priority was placed on improving areas most pertinent to survivor needs.
These tools are intended to supplement the above training and be used at health centers where EVD survivors are being treated. Tools include assessments for county or district health teams and clinicians, as well as a patient exit interview template and materials checklist.
On Thursday, June 28, 2018, the USAID-funded Advancing Partners & Communities (APC) project, through the Ebola Transmission Prevention and Survivor Services (ETP&SS) hosted a national learning conference for partners and stakeholders at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Monrovia.
Advancing Partners & Communities selected the Liberia College of Physicians and Surgeons, a graduate medical residency program that supports advanced training for physicians across a range of medical specialties, to independently manage the complex medical and surgical cases of Ebola survivors, as well as to offer specialty care to the general population.
Advancing Partners & Communities supported a post-basic mental health training program at the Phebe Paramedical Training Institute to reduce barriers to mental health care in Liberia. The program has trained 38 mental health clinicians to better understand, screen for, and provide mental health services.
William, a hospital worker in Monrovia, Liberia, contracted Ebola while helping patients during the outbreak three years ago. He was lucky to have survived. But a few months after he was declared Ebola-free, he started having trouble with his eyes. At first they would tear when he tried to read or write, then everything started getting dim. Soon, he could barely see.
The Ebola epidemic severely impacted Liberia’s public health system and left a large population of survivors, many of whom continue to have medical problems related to the virus. From 2016–2018, the USAID-funded Advancing Partners & Communities (APC) project, in collaboration with the Liberian Ministry of Health, strengthened specialty services, rehabilitated hospitals and health facilities, and enhanced health system capacity for managing Ebola survivor care. Health workers in four key counties are now better prepared to manage a future outbreak and to respond to the health conditions of survivors.