Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Recruiting Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Mentors for an exciting project!

Welbodi Partnership is recruiting Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) mentors (1-3) for a very exciting project that will kick-off in February 2015 in many government hospitals in Sierra Leone. Join the Welbodi Partnership team and help us roll out this project in 3 hospitals in Freetown to improve infection control measures and ensure staff and patient safety. Please pass this on to others you know who may be interested. Here are some more details:

Position: Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Mentor
Location: Freetown, Sierra Leone
Start Date: January 1st 2015
Duration: 6-12 months

BACKGROUND: Welbodi Partnership (WP) is a UK-registered charitable organisation based at the Ola During Children’s Hospital (ODCH) in Freetown, Sierra Leone. For the past five years, Welbodi has worked towards improved paediatric care in the Western Area of Sierra Leone through hospital system development, infrastructural changes, staff training, provision of equipment and community engagement in partnership with ODCH staff, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOHS) and the Sierra Leone Institute of Child Health (SLICH).

Welbodi Partnership continues to support healthcare in Sierra Leone during the outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) by providing coordination support to the holding unit at the Children’s Hospital while at the same time strengthening the safe provision of ‘routine’ health services (non-Ebola care) to children in the hospital. WP is working with the MOHS and other partners to roll out a national programme to strengthen Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) in government hospitals and to ensure that hospitals have the water and sanitation infrastructure necessary to adhere to IPC. Welbodi will implement this programme in three hospitals in Freetown.

SCOPE OF WORK: Welbodi Partnership is looking to recruit Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Mentors to join the team in Freetown to work in collaboration with MOHS colleagues to improve IPC practices within government hospitals. The MOHS is establishing Patient Safety committees in each hospital with an appointed IPC focal person. The IPC Mentor will support this structure and provide mentorship to the committee and focal person.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the urgency, applications will be reviewed as they are received and suitable candidates contacted on an on-going basis. This position is for 6-12 months. At this time, WP can only accept applications from citizens or permanent residents of North America and Europe due to limitations in the complex evacuation process in case of emergency.

  • To work with the hospital patient safety committee to ensure implementation and strengthening of Infection prevention and control (IPC) practices within the hospital
  • To facilitate the safe provision of essential health services and support the protection of healthcare workers in the hospital by ensuring that screening and isolation of suspected EVD cases and necessary modifications of routine services are implemented according to the Standard Operating Procedure

  • To mentor and support the hospital Patient Safety Committee (PSC) and IPC Focal Person and ensure that regular meetings are established with appropriate reporting structures to district and national level
  • To support the PSC and IPC focal person with the implementation, including training, of the SOP for “Safe Provision of Hospital Services during an Ebola/Viral Haemorrhagic (Fever)” and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation’s “National Patient Safety Guidelines”
  • To support the PSC and IPC focal person with the monitoring of staff adherence to the SOP and broader infection prevention and control measures, including the performance of daily and weekly IPC assessments in the facility (e.g. hand hygiene, decontamination, disinfection, sterilization, screening of patients) and addressing incidents or barriers
  • To support the PSC and IPC focal person in setting up a system for identifying, reporting and investigating sources of infections (e.g. making departmental rounds, reviewing clinical reports, identifying at-risk patients) and healthcare acquired infections (HAIs) and taking appropriate actions.
  • To support the PSC and IPC focal person to systematically collect, analyze and interpret health data in order to plan, implement, evaluate and disseminate appropriate public health practices
  • To support the PSC and IPC focal point in planning and delivering ongoing training sessions and holding regular meetings with healthcare staff to disseminate information on infection control practices
  • To support the PSC and IPC focal point in ensuring that IPC supplies are available in the hospital and advocate for supplies through MOHS/Central Medical Stores (CMS)
  • To develop a report of IPC activities in the facility on a monthly basis for WP
  • To support the Project Manager in evaluating the impact of the programme
  • To perform any other duties deemed necessary to meet the needs of this project

  • A recognized qualification in nursing, medicine or epidemiology with additional qualifications or significant experience in infection prevention and control
  • A minimum of three years recent experience in a hospital setting
  • Excellent people skills and the ability to work collaboratively with people from diverse backgrounds
  • Ability to self-motivate and work autonomously within the scope of the role
  • Excellent computer skills particularly in Microsoft Word, Power Point and Excel
  • A good command of the English language (verbal and written) is required
  • Flexibility in roles and responsibility is essential

Highly desirable:
  • Certification in Infection Control (CIC) is preferred
  • A Masters in Public Health (MPH) is an asset
  • Experience of working and living in a developing country, preferably in Africa
  • Experience in IPC training/mentorship/programme development
  • Krio or other local language ability

SALARY/BENEFITS: Based on qualifications and experience, to be discussed with shortlisted candidates.

APPLICATION PROCESS: Interested candidates should email a copy of their CV, cover letter, and a list of three relevant references to as soon as possible. The job title should be included in the subject line. Your cover letter should include: your country of residence and nationality, your date of birth, dates you are able to commence and duration of availability. Only those applicants shortlisted for an interview will be notified.

Equality and Diversity Statement
The Welbodi Partnership confirms its commitment to a comprehensive policy of Equal Opportunities in volunteering and employment in which individuals are selected and treated on the basis of their relevant merits and abilities and are given Equal Opportunities within the organisation. It is the Welbodi Partnership’s policy as an employer to treat all people equally irrespective of race, ethnic origin, nationality, sex, marital or parental status, sexual orientation, creed, disability, age or political belief.
Applicants for this position should be aware that if successful, they will be requested to complete a Disclosure and Barring (DBS) check, or equivalent in countries other than the UK. The Welbodi Partnership complies fully with the DBS Code of Practice. The entirety of the Welbodi Equality and Diversity statement is available upon request.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the urgency, applications will be reviewed as they are received and suitable candidates contacted on an on-going basis. This position is for 6-12 months. At this time, WP can only accept applications from citizens or permanent residents of North America and Europe due to limitations in the complex evacuation process in case of emergency.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

News from the Welbodi Partnership's Ebola Response Team

In November, scientists and NGO leaders came together in New Orleans for the American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene meeting which is held each year in the US. This year’s hot topic was unsurprisingly Ebola and its impact on health care in affected regions. What might be surprising though is that the keynote speaker, Bill Gates, whose organisation has donated billions to research, saw it not just as a tragedy, but also as an opportunity to focus on health and improve systems that were revealed to be so drastically in need. While listing the top priorities of global health he pointed out that “We really should be investing in the primary health care systems of all countries. In Africa in particular and in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, those primary health care systems are not very good.”

Welbodi is working hard in Sierra Leone to strengthen the weakened systems by helping people regain trust in the Ola During hospital, medical workers and other health systems in country, a crucial step in rebuilding. After so much fear from Ebola, it isn’t an easy task but dedication to helping the people of Sierra Leone and hard work are overcoming the challenge. The current funds the Welbodi Partnership has for the emergency are not only being used to support the holding unit at Ola During Children’s Hospital, but also to ensure that as children are leaving the hospital they aren’t leaving empty handed. For safety, contaminated clothing must be burned. These are being replaced along with a toy to comfort the children. Other projects include connecting the holding unit to the generator giving it uninterrupted power, providing WASH facilities for staff and setting up a surveillance office to allow vital records to be recorded and managed. These projects are a glimpse into the diverse needs of the situation.

The next few months will be pivotal for Sierra Leone. As cases of Ebola are beginning to go down in Liberia, both Guinea and Sierra Leone continue to see rises. The health care systems are still straining to keep up and while personal protective equipment and beds continue to be shipped in, its funder flexibility that’s needed most. This makes response times quicker and more efficient and with that comes a more rapid end to the crisis. Organisations like MSF are calling for the same flexibility. 

Thanks to generous individuals and funders including Nyawa Funding Group, DIFID and Comic Relief, we've been able to support the emergency response as well as provide vital training to doctors and nurses. We are expanding this training, developing our community response and beginning a round of hospital investment that will address the most pressing needs of the staff, patients and hospital. These projects all fit into a long-term strategic plan to strengthen the healthcare system for years to come.

The Welbodi Partnership will continue to be proactively helping in Sierra Leone. We agree with Mr. Gates in that this crisis is an opportunity to renew our focus on the transformation of the lives of children and mothers in Sierra Leone, to continue to partner locally to create lasting change and to do it all to the highest standard possible.

This report was written by Welbodi's newest team member - Liz Hollenberg. Welcome!