In resource-constrained settings such as Ethiopia, hospital-acquired infections are common among patients and health care workers.
A top priority of Ethiopia's Federal Ministry of Health (MOH), infection prevention and control (IPC) measures protect patients and health care workers from infections occurring inside a clinical setting. Injection safety (IS), an important component of IPC, prevents the medical transmission of HIV and other bloodborne pathogens by reducing unsafe and unnecessary injections.
With field support funding from USAID/Ethiopia, AIDSTAR-One/Ethiopia has been providing technical assistance to the Government of Ethiopia, U.S. Government teams, and local partners (including other PEPFAR projects) to strengthen the sustainability of IPC and IS in four regions and in major urban areas of Ethiopia.
AIDSTAR-One/Ethiopia provides technical assistance in the areas of:
- Training and capacity building: AIDSTAR-One/Ethiopia trains health care workers at both public and private health facilities in IPC, IS, and health care waste management (HCWM). AIDSTAR-One also trains health regulatory officials as well as regional- and district-level supervisors in supportive supervision and new infection prevention standards. To build capacity and train even greater numbers of health care workers, waste handlers, and other support staff in IPC and IS, AIDSTAR-One/Ethiopia has adopted a train-the-trainer model. Training materials are up-to-date and include participatory methodologies, audiovisual training aids, and evaluation tools. To ensure that individuals entering the health care workforce are already trained in injection safety, AIDSTAR-One/Ethiopia works with university faculties to incorporate IPC and IS into the pre-service education curricula, and also trains university-based tutors in state-of-the-art training methodologies.
- Commodity management: In addition to IPC and IS material support, AIDSTAR-One provides technical assistance to the MOH for IP material quantification, and trains logisticians at the health centers to improve forecasting, financing, procurement, and distribution of IS supplies and waste management commodities at all levels. The project also provides technical support to local manufactures to strengthen local production of IPC and IS commodities.
- Health care waste management (HCWM): AIDSTAR-One/Ethiopia provides support to health centers with existing waste incinerators by providing technical assistance in incinerator maintenance, waste handler training, personal protective equipment (PPE), and helping secure designated HCWM areas.
- Advocacy and behavior change communication (BCC): AIDSTAR-One/Ethiopia produces and distributes BCC materials in IPC and IS to health facilities and conducts workshops to educate journalists on IS and HCWM issues. The goal is to reach communities through media outlets with accurate information about injection safety to help reduce demand for unnecessary injections.
- Policy environment: AIDSTAR-One is closely working with Ethiopia's Federal Ministry of Health and the national IPC Working Group to create an enabling policy framework by providing technical support to develop HCWM guidelines and the IPC reference manual, as well as to support adoption of the national IPC training package.
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