THET will shortly be announcing a grant stream specifically aimed at improving Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) measures in health facilities where UK-based Health Partnerships are currently active.
Photo: Martine Perret/UN
Ebola has served as a devastating reminder of the important task of building resilience into health systems for the longer term; building preventative capacity and ensuring that countries have a health workforce that is skilled and supported.
There are, at long last, encouraging signs that the current outbreak, the largest and most complex since the virus was first discovered in 1976, is finally abating. While still not at zero, new cases have been steadily declining in the most severely affected countries, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone for several months. This is good news, of course, but much work remains to be done in terms of improving the resilience of health institutions to cope with infection prevention and control.
In consultation with DFID and WHO, THET will shortly be announcing a grant stream specifically aimed at improving Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) measures in health facilities where UK-based Health Partnerships are currently active. This grant stream, and the application and implementation process, will be a little different to those currently supported under the Health Partnership Scheme. The aim is for projects to address the implementation of standard precautions in IPC in a consistent and standardised way, using guidelines and a syllabus structure developed in conjunction with WHO.
Can your Partnership Help?
We recognise that the majority of Health Partnerships are not currently implementing projects with IPC as a core activity. However, for this grant stream, we would like to encourage Health Partnerships in the UK to engage with IPC teams in their own hospitals or health facilities to see if the Partnership activities might be extended to develop this important activity in conjunction with your overseas partner. It is possible that you will already be aware of the quality of IPC measures in your partner institution, and clearly your overseas partner will play a pivotal role in what might be developed following a needs assessment, if they believe this to be an important area for intervention.
We anticipate grants would start in September or October this year, and run for a maximum of eighteen months. Grant values are likely to be between £10,000 and £50,000 each. Further details will be made available in the next few weeks, and we will be running an interactive webinar for those who might be interested in exploring this important issue further.
We would be pleased if you could register your interest in this new opportunity, with no obligation to proceed, by sending a brief email to firstname.lastname@example.org
 There have been a total of 26 044 reported confirmed, probable, and suspected cases of EVD in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, with 10 808 reported deaths (outcomes for many cases are unknown). A total of 21 new confirmed cases were reported in Guinea, 0 in Liberia, and 12 in Sierra Leone in the 7 days to 19 April. (WHO, Ebola Situation Report 22 April 2015: http://apps.who.int/ebola/current-situation/ebola-situation-report-22-april-2015-0)