264584 Sustained capacity building of Local Health Workers in detecting and responding to Avian Influenza and Emerging Infectious Diseases : Achievements and challenges

Monday, October 29, 2012

Nga Le, MD, MPH , Avian Pandemic Infuenza Initiative, Abt Associates, Hanoi, Vietnam
Truong Bui , Avian Pandemic Infuenza Initiative, Abt Associates, Hanoi, Vietnam
Lara Hensley, MPH , International Health, Abt Associates, Bethesda
Jens Peter Dalsgaard, PhD, MBA , Abt Associates Inc., Hanoi, Vietnam
Duc Nguyen , Asian Management and Development Institute, Hanoi, Vietnam
Manh Nguyen , Asian Management and Development Institute, Hanoi, Vietnam
USAID's Avian and Pandemic Influenza Initiative in Vietnam aims to improve public and private sector capacity to prevent, detect and control highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) and enhance surveillance of HPAI and emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) at community level. The project has trained trainers and supported diffusion courses for village level animal and human health workers and communicators (e.g. commune cultural officers, Women's Union staff) across five provinces in Vietnam to enhance local competency and performance in recognizing and addressing EIDs. In 2011, the project conducted a post-training assessment to evaluate the effectiveness of the capacity building effort through self-administered questionnaires on health worker knowledge, attitudes and practices combined with focus group discussions and in-depth interviews for 1316 trainees, 220 trainers, and 59 local Animal and Human Health officers. While the assessment identified a high level of knowledge and positive attitudes in all groups six months to a year after the training courses, important challenges remain in sustaining changes and improvements. Key barriers at institutional and individual levels include: a lack of regular incentives (e.g. salary or allowances) for public animal health workers; shortage of resources, standardized tools and frameworks for follow-up, coaching and continued on-site training and learning; and high turnover rates of animal health workers. To address these shortcomings the project continues to work with local counterparts and partners on localized follow-up/coaching mechanisms while advocating with government counterparts for the formal establishment, recognition and funding of local animal health workers and networks.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control

Learning Objectives:
Describe the challenges to sustaining capacity building of local health workers in avian influenza and emerging infectious diseases detection and response. Design strategies to build sustainable capacity for infectious disease detection and response.

Keywords: Community Preventive Services, Infectious Diseases

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I supported the development of the methodology and analysis of the results of this program assessment.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.