100 UR final year students trained as responders to disease outbreaks

Background:

The course is a comprehensive holistic strategy to equip our final year students from different programs of the University of Rwanda with knowledge and skills on detection, prevention and response to infectious disease outbreaks. Discipline are not only limited to medical courses like Human Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and Nursing but also other non-medical courses like Business, agriculture, engineering, mechanization, botany, zoology, food science and technology etc.

 

This training is building on 2 previous year’s success where we pioneered this course and trained 300 final year students from the University of Rwanda. This time round, 100 final year students from the different disciplines were invited for the same training for one week at the University of Rwanda, Nyagatare Campus. The ultimate goal is to create a critical mass of professionals who have capacity to work in a multi-disciplinary manner with the one health concept in mind and able to effectively respond to infectious Disease outbreaks in the Country and globally. Therefore, since 2016, over 400 final year students have been equipped with knowledge and skills in infectious disease detection, prevention and response and ready to respond to outbreaks.

Overall objective:

To equip final year students, the basic principles of prevention, detection, and response to infectious disease outbreaks in the context of One Health

Specific objectives:

1. Explain the relationship between humans, animals and the environment in infectious disease transmission

2. Understand the role of surveillance in infectious disease management

3. Apply multi-disciplinary approaches to infectious disease investigation and response

The modules undertaken during the training included the following:

  1. Risk communication
  2. Disease Surveillance in Rwanda
  3. Fundamentals and preparedness
  4. Social, Cultural and Gender perspectives in disease outbreaks
  5. Systems thinking
  6. Introduction to One Health
  7. Leadership in one health

 

The team of 10 trainers comprised of faculty from the College of Agriculture and Animal Sciences and the College of Medicine and Health Sciences. They were from Veterinary Medicine, Nursing, Environmental Health and Agriculture.

It was a worthwhile opportunity provided to 100 prospective University graduates from 20 disciplines. The training was organized by OHCEA RWANDA in partnership with USAID, University of Rwanda, University of Minnesota\ and Tufts University. This training that was conducted at university of Rwanda, Nyagatare Campus started from 7th June to 11th June. “Advancing innovative one health approaches in prevention and control of infectious disease” was the main theme. It was officially opened by Dr Martin NTAWUBIZI the head of University of Rwanda Nyagatare Campus, in his welcoming note he recommended trainees to wholeheartedly focus on each and every activity, then he concluded by wishing them a fruitful training.

The main activities carried out include; awesome module presentations from different facilitators, role-plays by both facilitators and trainees, group discussions to boost teamwork sprit, helpful demonstrations on how to use personal protective equipment while controlling infectious diseases. Furthermore, both trainees and facilitators had a field visit which helped them to deeply understand all they learnt during the didactic sessions. Trainees contributed much to the smoothness of the training through asking questions and giving wonderful suggestions, facilitators reacted on all raised questions and some of suggestions from the trainees were taken into considerations.

The core competencies gained during the training were; teamwork, collaboration, leadership, Gender and ethics.

A group photo for the students and their facilitators

 

Award giving ceremony to best perfoming students

Part of the training was conducted in class sessions

Students during the field training

Students had time to interact with their mentors while at Nyagatare Campus

Visiting farmlands was part of the training