Sierra Leone FETP graduates, trainees at the front of fighting COVID-19 pandemic

After the historic catastrophic Ebola outbreak in West Africa, including Sierra Leone, AFENET has been supporting Sierra Leone to build the public health workforce capacity of the country. In collaboration with the US CDC and Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOHS), AFENET has trained more than 201 field epidemiologists, which the country lacked during the Ebola period.

As part of Sierra Leone COVID-19 response, the field epidemiologists have played critical role in COVID-19 case detection, notification, and investigation and they are working at various levels of the healthcare system: national, district, and sub-district levels.

Currently, this cadre of FETP graduates and trainees are at the frontline fighting the pandemic, breaking the transmission chain, and saving the lives of their communities. The epidemiological picture of the outbreak is also analysed to ensure that interventions are data driven.

Early detection, investigation, and isolation of cases, alerts, and contact identification which are the main strategies to stop the transmission of the virus are the core activities of the frontline responders. They have traced the source of infection for more than 56% of the cases, which is the first time in the history of Sierra Leone, and also identified their contacts and removed them from the community before they spread the virus further.

A field epidemiology graduate and laboratory technician collecting COVID-19 at Western Area Rural community
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AFENET Communications