Offering the latest news in health care quality and safety, the ISQua blog also features guest posts from the best and brightest in the industry.

By ISQua Tuesday. Mar 24, 2020

Health System Recovery Lessons from the 2014 Ebola Outbreak in West Africa with Dr Edward Kelley Featured

In August 2016 we recorded a webinar with  Dr Edward Kelley, PhD, Director, Department of Service Delivery and Safety, WHO; Prof Benedetta Allegranzi, MD, DTM&H, Coordinator, a.i. Infection Prevention and Control Global Unit, Department of Safety Delivery and Service, WHO; and Dr Shams B. Syed, Coordinator, Universal Health Coverage and Quality Unit, Department of Service Delivery and Safety, WHO.


The West African Ebola outbreak in 2014 crippled the fragile health systems in the three-affected countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The need to strengthen health systems became acutely clear as the outbreak disrupted provision of essential health services, with the limited resources available reallocated to containing the outbreak.


Several factors including inadequate surveillance and information systems, insufficient health workforces and a siloed approach to service delivery, contributed to the late detection of the outbreak.


In the immediate phase of the response effort, it is critical to address key priority issues, including infection, prevention and control, to raise awareness for patient safety, and provide quality essential health services.


Community engagement and a people-centred approach to service delivery played a critical role in the response and early recovery effort. As the affected countries aim to build stronger and more resilient health systems, reflecting on lessons learned from the dynamics of the outbreak and the response to it, is of utmost importance, including making equity considerations and advancing universal health coverage.   


This webinar identified early recovery strategies applied in the three-affected countries to build back strong health systems; highlighted the successful infection, prevention and control strategies applied in the affected countries to improve quality of health services and patient safety; and shared lessons learned on the Ebola outbreak for use and application in other health emergency settings.


This recording is a key part of our Fellowship Programme under our Quality and Safety in Low‐Resource Settings track but we have made is freely available to all in the hope that it may be of help in our current crisis.


What our participants say
"This webinar was great. It provided some refresher points on issues of infection prevention and control. The presenters demonstrated a lot of mastery. It was good to know about the efforts being made, and the systems being implemented in the worst hit Ebola-affected countries in order to develop resilient health systems. The words of President Johnson Sirleaf provides a good road map and demonstrates commitment of leadership. No quality improvement and patient safety program is sustainable without leadership and political will and support! Kudos..." 

Elom Hilary Otchi
Quality Improvement Manager, Ghana




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