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Principal Investigators: Naoko Kozuki & Stacey Mearns, IRC

Purpose

The study aims to investigate the impact of integrating community engagement activities to an infection prevention and control (IPC) intervention package in health facilities, as part of Ebola preparedness and/or response in Uganda. Research will assess what additional impact community engagement has on IPC scores in health facilities as compared to standard IPC package implementation. The study will also assess the impact of the adapted community engagement model in community awareness of EVD, health care seeking behaviours and attitudes towards health workers in health facilities.

Naoko Kozuki

Principal Investigator

Community engagement is widely recognised as a crucial component of effective Ebola preparedness and response efforts. Lessons from North Kivu to date highlight the need to invest in continued learning and finding new ways and approaches to achieve effective community engagement across response components. This study will look at community engagement to support improvements in infection, prevention and control activities at health facilities.

Expected Outcomes

The study will contribute directly to improved IPC in health facilities in at-risk districts in Uganda. Interventions will improve community knowledge, early healthcare seeking and acceptance of IPC interventions at health facilities during response, with anticipated impact on EVD preparedness and response capacity. Findings will inform how IPC is implemented in Uganda, DRC and other at-risk countries. Findings will also inform national, regional and global guidelines for Ebola and other rapidly implemented IPC interventions for future infectious disease outbreaks

International Rescue Committee’s Dr. Slyvie Musema Ngimba washes her hands with chlorine and water at Case Du Salut health facility in Mabalako, North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo. Dr. Sylvie is the head medical doctor responsible for infection prevention and control at the IRC. This is the 5th outbreak

Research Methodology (brief summary)

The study will design and implement a Community Engagement intervention, including activities such as regular communication with communities, establishment of community-based focal points, partnering with local community-based organisations, and formation of community feedback mechanisms. Data collection will include 1) qualitative and quantitative data from community members on perceptions around EVD preparedness and 2) baseline and weekly IPC scores from health facilities with the IPC package only and from those with the IPC package + CE intervention for comparison.

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