IANPHI Support for Cameroon Ebola Outbreak Training

Public Health Preparedness Training, Cameroon

The Department of Disease Control, Epidemics, and Pandemics (DLMEP) is the Ministry’s focal point for disease surveillance and outbreak response and the country’s designated data center to facilitate evidence-based public health decision making.

In response to a request from the Minister of Public Health, IANPHI provided support to DLMEP to fulfill its mission of collecting and interpreting the country’s disease surveillance data and providing rapid, effective, and well-coordinated outbreak detection, investigation, and response. In the wake of the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, support was also provided for emergency training in response to and management of a potential or actual Ebola virus outbreak.

Funding was provided to support development of an Emergency Operations and Data Center (EODC), which was conceived as a single point of coordination for strategic management of data and public health response. During the Ebola outbreak, additional funding was provided to support EODC staff 24/7 and to create and train rapid response teams in each of the three highest priority regions.

Funding was provided for up to five outbreak responses in order to enhance capacity to conduct rapid and effective outbreak investigations. Availability of these funds allowed DLMEP to act quickly in response to reports of suspected Ebola cases, to deploy investigation teams with little delay, and to conduct needed emergency training in the field.

As part of the preparation for a response to a potential Ebola outbreak in Cameroon, DLMEP conducted a workshop to prepare a cadre of trainers in the skills and competencies required for management of an Ebola outbreak. Funding was provided to train staff from the Ministry and fellows from the Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program (FELTP) to function as the core cadre of trainers available to train staff at the regional and district levels.

Staff from DLMEP and FELTP trained district health officers in each of Cameroon’s regions, as well as military and national security personnel in response to and management of a potential or actual Ebola outbreak.