May 3, 2017 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
Members of the West African College of Physicians (WACP) and the Royal College of Physicians, London (RCP) are in Freetown delivering an intensive clinical skills course, which supports existing efforts to build resilience against infectious disease outbreaks in the country.
A total of thirty-three (33) physicians, working at referral centres across the country are attending the course, which is ongoing at the Connaught Hospital, the country’s principal adult referral centre.
This would be the eighteenth and final course of the 3-year M-PACT programme; a West African College of Physicians / Royal College of Physicians collaboration aimed at combatting infectious diseases through increasing access to high-quality and up-to-date clinical training.
As with preceding M-PACT courses in Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal, the training would combine classroom-based teaching on advances in the management of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, malaria, Ebola and Lassa fever with workshops on medical leadership and practical sessions on the hospital’s wards. Teaching is split between members of the two Colleges and representatives from Sierra Leone’s national infectious disease control programmes.
Also, participants will benefit from several small revisions made to the curriculum as a result of previous participants’ feedback with one such revision being the addition of case presentations, during which participants discuss a recent, particularly challenging case of their own with the group.
Course convener and Hospital Care Manager at Connaught Hospital, Dr Gibrilla Deen, stated that the importance of projects such as M-PACT, which support the country in building resilience to combat future infectious disease outbreaks, cannot be overestimated.
President of the Royal College of Physicians in London, Professor Jane Dacre said: “I am delighted that we’re working in Freetown for the first time. To be able to reach an entirely new cohort of doctors, while supporting Sierra Leone’s efforts to building resilience seems a fitting conclusion to the M-PACT programme.”
The Millennium Development Goal 6 Partnership for African Clinical Training (M-PACT) is a three-year joint project by the West African College of Physicians and the Royal College of Physicians. Funded by the Ecobank Foundation, the project supports the focus of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 6 by increasing access to physicians with the requisite specialist clinical skills to manage and treat the diseases that comprise this goal.
More than 500 physicians from ten (10) West African countries have already attended an M-PACT training course in Ghana, Nigeria or Senegal.