Training of Territorial Authorities in Prevention and Response to Public Health Emergencies

Saturday, 2 September 2017 - 9:20am
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Due to zoonotic diseases threats, several initiatives and strategies are in the process of being implemented. Amongst these strategies is that of ‘One Health’ which encourages the multi-sectoral collaboration and multi-disciplinary approach to resolve issues of health, the application of the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005) and the health security program in the world (Global Health Security Agenda - GHSA).

In this context, there is need for seasoned, competent, legally-recognised territorial staff to apply the principles of prevention and control of emerging and re-emerging diseases. The training of the territorial staff aimed to strengthen their capabilities in the application of the principles of prevention, early detection and management of public health emergencies that threaten the country. This training enables the territorial authorities of the Decentralized Entities to acquire the necessary capabilities to work in multi-disciplinary teams in the prevention and response to epidemics, epizootic diseases and natural disasters.

It is hoped that at the end of this training, the trainees will be able to contribute effectively to the prevention and response to emerging and re-emerging diseases (Ebola and other zoonotic diseases) and disasters.

The training of the territorial staff was built around three modules subdivided into units. These modules cover the concepts of leadership, organization and operation of the territorial units and Emergency Management.

Module 1 gave the trainees a succinct and clear idea about the concept of leadership in the One Health approach. It develops the One Health approach based on the skills expected of the territorial authorities now expected to work in a team to better communicate the information and to exercise better leadership to prevent and respond to outbreaks, contagious diseases and disasters. This module is divided into two units covering respectively the theoretical concepts and key skills of leadership, including the team dynamics, the common vision, change management and communication.

Module 2 aimed to strengthen the understanding and knowledge of the trainees in relation to the new territorial organization and administrative areas of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Territorial administrators have a mission to administer the entities, to ensure the application of laws, regulations and guidelines and to ensure the safety of persons and their property and to promote their well-being. This module defines their roles and tasks in light of the different health and socio-economic situations that arise in their jurisdiction. This module is divided into two units, namely: the current configuration of the territorial and the missions of the territorial authority.

Module 3, entitled "Management of Public Health Emergencies", addresses issues related to analysis of risks, the mobilization and the assessment of the needs of the community as well as the operations of emergencies. It has the aim of preparing the territorial authorities to acquire the necessary skills that will enable them to be competent in the management of public health emergencies occurring in their jurisdictions. This module is composed of four units, namely: the analysis of risks, the organization and the operation of an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) as well as social mobilization and the assessment of community needs.

For the first intake, twenty (20) territorial administrators, including sector heads, chief medical officers of health divisions and general administrators were trained. They came from the two territories of the Kongo Central province (Kasangulu and Madimba).

In the second batch, a total of thirty seven (37) were trained, coming the three territories of the province of Kongo Central (Kimvula Mbanza-Ngungu, and Songololo).