4 August 2020
We would like to thank THET for giving us this opportunity to work together on what we hope to be another successful project. We are three people working together, two in Ethiopia – Dr Ashenafi Tazebew, Paediatrician and the Chief Executive Director, and Yalelet Fentaw Shiferaw, Senior Expert Nurse and Nutritionist – and one in the UK, Sandra Kemp, Lead Nurse.
Yalelet and Sandra have worked together on successful projects with THET in the past and have made exchange visits to each other’s country and hospital to work together and learn from each other. Our objective with the HWAF project is to enhance the knowledge and practical skills of staff involved in the care of COVID-19 patients at Gondar Hospital whilst providing and displaying materials to promote health and the avoidance of infections, particularly COVID-19.
Gondar is the second biggest city in Ethiopia and lies in the north west of the country serving a population of over 8 million people in the Amhara region. Gondar University Hospital is the largest referral hospital in the north of the country, with more than 1,000 beds and approximately 2,000 members of staff. It is 723km from Addis Ababa, the capital city, and stands at an elevation of 2,215 metres. The hospital has a large catchment area with varying climate and geographical distribution. Patients can spend many days getting to the hospital if they have limited transport.
In response to COVID-19, the hospital has established a 320-bedded coronavirus diagnostic and treatment center which serves Northwest Ethiopia. In addition to medical care, there is a separate site for delivery and surgical procedures in the center.
We plan to update and train our staff, regardless of position, on the importance of Hand Hygiene and the putting on and taking off Personal and Protective Equipment (PPE). They will have visual reminders of their training, which will be given out and posted around the hospital.
We will purchase the equipment we desperately need, including PPE and ingredients for Alcohol Based Hand Rub, which will be made on site. The staff training will take two days and will follow a plan, with day 1 giving an overview and focusing on epidemiology, surveillance and contract tracing as well as risk communication. Day 2 will follow with a focus on Infection Prevention and Control, including how to put on and take off PPE safely.
Gondar University, Ethiopia.