An effective training strategy for communicable disease control nurses

Speare, R., Durrheim, D. N., Ogunbanjo, G. A., Edginton, M. E., and Harris, B. N. (2003) An effective training strategy for communicable disease control nurses. Africa Journal of Nursing and Midwifery, 5 (1). pp. 50-55.

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Communicable diseases remain the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in sub-Saharan Africa. Delivery of programmes to control priority infectious diseases is implemented at provincial and district level. This challenging task requires both technical and management skills. However, few, if any, structured programmes for training staff responsible for providing leadership in communicable disease control currently exist. A novel accredited training programme was developed in Mpurnalanga province in rural South Africa, as a partnership between provincial government and universities in South Africa and Australia. This venture focused on providing an applied knowledge-base and the skills necessary to function effectively within a challenging environment. Over a four-year period two seperate capacity-building programmes were designed, implemented and formally assessed. The first focused on technical aspects of disease control, while the second sought to provide applied management skills. A combination of intensive one-week residential blocks, coupled with monthly one-day training sessions and workplace application within the province was used. The programme is described and the results of an evaluation presented. The impact of the model on the control of diseases, containment of outbreaks and execution of operational research has been documented in peer-reviewed publications. For the nurses involved, the programme positively impacted on their confidence, camaraderie and professional competence, while expanding their professional horizons. The district health system appears to haven been enhanced, both within and beyond the communicable disease control area. Links to web-based training materials are provided for potential adaptation and application in other developing settings. This model provided a cost-effective approach to training nurses responsible for communicable disease control programmes without disrupting service delivery.

Item ID: 5706
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1682-5055
Keywords: Africa; southern; communicable diseases; disease control; disease surveillance; infectious diseases; nursing education; outbreak control; training and development; outbreak control; management
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2009 00:24
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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