The Inclusive Eye Health (IEH) Project in the Context of COVID-19 has kicked off effective implementation with the organization of workshops to capacitate health care providers to ensure optimal achievement of project objectives. To this end, the IEH Project organized a 4-day workshop from August 4-9, 2021 at the Baptist Center Nkwen in Bamenda for over 70 health personnel drawn from 10 health facilities in the Northwest Region.
The workshop had as objective to build capacities on Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) as well as ensuring inclusive health care delivery to everyone especially persons with disabilities. The workshop held in two sessions to ensure proper understanding of the modules.
IPC Supervisor of the CBC Health Services, Mr. Kongnyu Emmanuel said, given that eye care procedures such as screening, surgeries, and treatment in general are done using the hands, health care providers need to understand COVID-19 prevention measures to ensure that patients and screeners are prevented from being infected. He disclosed that the project is currently carrying out a survey on IPC practices in some selected health facilities in the Northwest with the result at the moment indicating less than 15% of IPC practices in place. “The training, thus, is to ensure that IPC practices in the selected facilities is improved to 50% and more,” he concluded.
On his part, the Associate Chief Medical Officer of Nkwen Baptist Health Center and one of the facilitators, Dr. Eldred Chongwain noted that the concept of inclusive health care cannot be over-emphasized given the number of persons with disabilities that access health care. Inclusion should thus be the basis in designing infrastructures and management plans as well as services delivery, he noted. Dr. Chongwain called on participants to intentionally put in place individual strategies to facilitate access to health care in their different facilities. “I will love to see health care facility with good IPE practice plan and inclusive care strategies,” the medic amplified.
Participants of the workshop expressed gratitude to the IEH Project for the well-selected modules which fall in place given the present context of COVID-19 and insecurity. During the work sessions, they expressed challenges like limited IPC materials which exposes them to COVID-19 infection, insufficient knowledge on COVID-19 as health care providers, and insecurity in most communities amongst others.
In response, the Coordinator of IEH Project, Mr. Tamon James noted that in addition to the training, IPC materials will be given to the selected pilot facilities to ensure the prevention of COVID-19 for clients and health care providers. He called on participants to put in place an action plan as they return to their facilities to ensure effective implementation.
Participants at the training were drawn from Finkwi Baptist Health Center, District Hospital Santa, Abi Specialist Polyclinic, Bamenda Regional Hospital, Banso Baptist Hospital, Ndu Baptist Health Center, Nkwen Baptist Health Center, Mbingo Baptist Hospital, District Hospital Tubah, and Jikijem Baptist Health Center.
Inclusive Eye Health Project activities are funded by CBM.