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School and Program Updates

School and Program Updates

Columbia’s ICAP to Lead Rapid Evaluation of Ebola Community Care Centers in Sierra Leone

ICAP at Columbia University will conduct a rapid, real-time evaluation of Ebola community care centers in Sierra Leone with funding support from UK Department of International Development (DFID).

To support efforts to prevent further spread of Ebola and to scale up the provision of care to individuals with suspected Ebola disease, DFID is supporting the establishment of community care centers (CCCs). Such centers have the potential to also enable communities to engage in confronting the Ebola outbreak and offer the opportunity to enhance infection prevention and control methods that are critical to control of transmission.

In close consultation with DFID’s Sierra Leone Ebola Response Team, ICAP will develop evaluation tools and conduct quantitative and qualitative assessments of eight centers in four districts in Sierra Leone — Port Loko, Bombali, Western Area, Koinadagu — to evaluate their safety, effectiveness, and operational feasibility. The evaluation will focus on worker knowledge and practices, CCC utilization, availability of infection and prevention control supplies and supportive supplies for patients, and acceptability of the centers by patients and other stakeholders.

“It is critically important to determine whether this innovative approach works,” said Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, director of ICAP and Mailman School professor of epidemiology and medicine. “Rapid feedback from the planned evaluation will contribute to shaping the current CCCs and help inform the design and implementation of future centers to be established in Sierra Leone.”

Following the planned rapid assessment, ICAP will share key recommendations with key stakeholders including Ministry of Health, National Ebola Response Centre, and DFID, among others.