The training was organized to equip finalist students of the University of Rwanda in the management of infectious diseases; detection, response and control. The July 7-day training was held at the Nyagatare Campus. One hundred and forty six (146) students attended the training.
The official opening was presided over by Dr. James Gashumba, the Coordinator of the University of Rwanda-Nyagatare campus. Also in attendance were the Dean and Deputy Dean of the School of Animal Sciences and Veterinary Medicine (Dr. Martin Ntawubizi and Dr. Mwabonimana Francoise respectively), Deputy Dean School of Medicine and Health Sciences (Dr. Manasse Nzayirambaho) and staff from Huye, Nyagatare, Nyarugenge and Nyamishaba Campuses who facilitated the IDM Training.
The goal of the training was to equip final year students with knowledge on causes and transmission of infectious diseases in order to be prepared for prevention and control through a multidisciplinary approach as future One Health workforce.
The training was divided into 6 modules and the main training approach was role plays, imitating the life cycle of some chosen infectious diseases to ensure that those without a biological background are aware of how diseases are transmitted and how these can be tackled through multidisciplinary collaboration.
The students were taken through systems thinking module to develop their capacities to think in a broader system interaction in solving infectious diseases and to provide practical strategies useful for field investigations of disease outbreaks.
In the Leadership and Management module, participants were trained and given skills, knowledge and behaviors needed to ensure they can effectively prepare, plan and manage resources when there is an infectious diseases event, that they can resolve challenges during and after the threat and that they can efficiently evaluate and monitor a situation in order to achieve good health outcomes for people, animals and the environment through a One Health approach.
The Foundation Module introduced to participants the basic principles of preventing, detecting, and responding to infectious disease outbreaks in the context of One Health. It examined various important infectious diseases of humans and animals to help students understand the fundamentals of infectious disease ecology and their impact on humans, animals and the environment.
In Risk Communication, participants were introduced to the requisite skills and abilities in communications, team building, and change management for effective risk communication and key messaging, executive summation, documentation and influence without causing public panic.
The Society and Gender module exposed participants to how the diverse social norms, values, gender roles and practices among individuals (male, female or youth) and community on the whole can affect and influence infectious disease management.
Participants were visited by staff from Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC) Epidemic Surveillance and Response Division; Dr. Leonard and Jose Nyamusore). Their presentations focused on what an outbreak management implies and how Rwanda conducts surveillance regarding infectious disease outbreaks.
For the practical aspects, participants were taken through the procedure of donning and putting off a PPE (below) while trying to contain an infectious disease like Ebola and other very fast-spreading infectious diseases.
A presentation on how to develop case studies was given and later students grouped into different teams, each given a disease that they had to develop through role plays in order to understand how disease outbreaks can be contained through a multidisciplinary collaboration while engaging various stakeholders.
Two students, Faustin Ntezimama from School of Nursing and Midwifery, Nyarugenge Campus and Devota Nyirantezimana from Nyarugenge campus in the School of Public Health in Nutrition Department scored the highest marks 97% and 90% respectively. The Focal Person of OHCEA-CAVM granted them a one-week trip to the Akagera National Park.
In his closing remarks, Dr. Gashumba reminded the participants that the IDM Training was an opportunity to learn and network as undergraduate students.