Regional workshop to revise EPI prototype curricula for medical and nursing / midwifery schools in Africa

Abidjan, WHO - Cote d’Ivoire, May, 10th 2013 -- The World Health Organization (WHO), in collaboration with other immunization partners, is organizing, from 13 to 17 May 2013, in Grand-Bassam (Côte d’Ivoire), a workshop for EPI programmes managers and teachers of medical, nurses and midwifery training schools in the African region. For the next five working days, participants will revise and update the two prototype curricula on immunization which were developed in 2006 in Douala (Cameroon), and are now outdated.

As well known, all health systems must provide some basic functions to achieve their goals, whatever their organization. WHO has identified six pillars on which to build a strong health system, among them, the health workers.

For many years, there has been much concern about in-service training to enhance the skills of health workers in their workplaces. In the African Region, the available data show that the performance of health workers has considerably improved after the implementation of this strategy.

However, to ensure the sustainability of training and maintaining a high level of skills among health workers, it was necessary to take the contents of the in-service training and to revert it to the initial training to enable health personnel coming out of training schools to have the same level of training and information as those already on the ground.

It is in this context that in 2006, WHO and other partners have developed two EPI prototype curricula for medical schools and nursing/midwifery schools in the African Region. Both curricula are including five content topics: strategic references, vaccinology, the benefits of immunization services delivery including new vaccines, immunization program management and monitoring and vaccine preventable disease surveillance.

Between 2006 and 2013, there have been several changes in all topics of the content EPI prototype curricula. For example, for strategic references, globally and regionally, there is the adoption of the vision and strategy for global immunization (GIVS) 2006-2015. Guide to the "Reaching Every District" (RED strategy) for service delivery strategy was revised in 2008. The African Region of WHO has established a new regional Strategic Plan 2008 - 2013, and there was the adoption of a new global strategy is the Global Plan of Action for Vaccines (2011 - 2020).

On vaccinology topic, more than 12 new antigens were developed and immunological basis for immunization have evolved significantly over the past eight years.

On service delivery component, new vaccination strategies have been refined and implemented including periodic intensification of vaccination such as the African Vaccination Week, the Mothers – Child Days in developing countries, etc .. Moreover on the introduction of new vaccines, four novel antigens are being introduced since 2010. These are the vaccine against pneumococcal conjugate (PCV) vaccine against rotavirus diarrhea in (Rota), the vaccine against the human butterfly virus (HPV) and finally the vaccine against meningitis A (MenAfriVac A).

Concerning surveillance of vaccine preventable diseases, several new strategies and tools have been developed, especially for polio, measles, yellow fever and target diseases for new vaccine introduction. New diseases such as rubella are on the list of vaccine-preventable diseases to be monitored.

For all these reasons, this workshop is timely to update prototype curricula that have been developed since 2006.

The regional workshop in Grand-Bassam is targeting 27 African countries, namely: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia , Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

This workshop is jointly organized, financed and facilitated by WHO (AFRO and ISTs), UNICEF, USAID (MCHIP), NESI (Network for Education and support for immunization) and AMP (Alliance for Preventive Medicine).

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Pour plus d’information, prière contacter :

Contacts presse

M. Koné Souleymane, Chargé d’information,
contacts : 22517200 / 07148393
e-mail :kones [at] ci.afro.who.int
Contact technique

Dr N’Zué Kofi, Chargé de programme PEV,
contacts : 22517216 / 02502130,
email : nzuek [at] ci.afro.who.int