Workshop Outbreak Investigation Mozambique

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global public health and development threat that caused nearly 5 million deaths in 2019. In 2021, the World Health Organisation has declared AMR as one of the top 10 global public health threats facing humanity. Furthermore, the rise in AMR disproportionately affects Sub-Saharan Africa and will be accompanied by a shift from community-acquired to healthcare-associated infections. One of the 5 pillars in the Global Action Plan, launched by WHO in 2015, is to reduce the incidence of healthcare-associated infections through effective Infection Prevention & Control (IPC) measures. One of the core components to support the implementation of IPC programs highlights the need for training and education in IPC.

In June 2022, the Instituto Nacional de Saúde (INS) of Mozambique and the Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM) organised an ‘Outbreak investigation workshop’ in the Hospital Geral de Mavalane (HGM), Maputo, Mozambique. Within the longstanding partnership between INS and ITM, a microbiological surveillance program has been established at HGM with reference testing done at INS, funded by the Flemish government through the BICMINS project. During the workshop, the participants were faced with a scenario of an outbreak on a neonatal intensive care unit. They were invited to analyse a surveillance database and visit a fictional neonatology ward. This fictional ward (a “skills lab”) was created at HGM, as a real-life replica of a neonatology ward in low-resource setting, containing many realistic IPC challenges. The participants were asked to investigate and look for clues regarding the source of the outbreak. The workshop was well received and the staff was encouraged to repeat this interesting and educational experience.

Here you can find a summary of the experience and the breakdown of the workshop.