The Infectious Diseases Institute’s (IDI) Training Programme has consistently offered high-quality, evidence-based training to build the capacity of health workers to manage a range of infectious diseases. Although traditionally focused on HIV, Malaria and Tuberculosis, the Training Programme expanded its concentration in 2012 to conduct training in the management of diseases caused by especially dangerous pathogens (EDP).

The relevant and timely East Africa Clinician Training in Especially Dangerous Pathogens was developed and delivered in conjunction with the United States Defense Threat Reduction Agency - Cooperative Biological Engagement Program (DTRA-CBEP) through the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID). Throughout 2013, trainers from Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania participated in training workshops that focused on managing and containing outbreaks of highly fatal EDPs such as Ebola and Marburg. 

Prior interventions related to controlling EDPs had been targeted towards epidemiologists and public health specialists, leaving clinicians without the capacity to adequately handle the EDPs. In turn, clinicians were disproportionately affected when there was an EDP outbreak.

Through the East Africa Clinician Training in Especially Dangerous Pathogens, capacity to manage these EDPs was built via the training workshops and provision of onsite mentorship to clinicians. Clinicians were taught about spread, early detection, treatment, prevention, and reporting of these EDPs. Most importantly, they were taught how to observe infection control practices for their own self-protection while attending to patients suffering from these diseases.

With the most recent Ebola outbreak claiming thousands of lives, including those of clinicians, IDI is once again committing to help build the capacity of health workers. Continuing its partnership with DTRA-CBEP and USAMRIID, IDI – in collaboration with the Kenyan, Tanzanian, and Ugandan Ministries of Health – has identified 100 health workers to train over the course of the next 12 months. Organizations and health facilities wishing to sponsor their health workers to attend this training, and interested individual health workers are welcome to register with IDI. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further registration information.

To learn more about IDI’s current efforts, view the New Vision article displayed below.


Uganda to Train Ebola Experts for East Africa
Publish Date: 24 September, 2014
Authors: Innocent Anguyo, Juliet Waiswa and Nelson Kukundakwe

For the next 12 months Uganda, which has a history of containing Ebola outbreaks, will train 150 health workers from East Africa in detection and treatment of the haemorrhagic fever.

Ebola which is a severe illness with fatality rate of up to 90% is one of the world's most virulent diseases, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). It is transmitted by direct contact with the blood, body fluids and tissues of infected animals or people.

Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania will each present 50 health workers for the training to be conducted by the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) at Makerere University College of Health Science, in conjunction with the US Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases.

Dr Umaru Ssekabira of IDI said the training will start in October. The 150 will be identified by the Health Ministries in their respective countries. Ugandan health workers will be sourced from districts bordering Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where cases of Ebola have now doubled, with 31 new incidences reported by WHO between September 2 and 9, bringing the total number to 62. Some of the border districts are Bundibugyo, Kasese, Kabale Fort Portal and Kanungu. Ssekabira said districts that have witnessed outbreak of the disease in the past such as Gulu, Kiryandongo and Masindi will equally contribute personnel for the training.

The training will emphasize on infection prevention and control; but assimilation of veterinary medicine into the fight against Ebola will also be taught. Skills of detecting and treating various contagious diseases, effective reporting of Ebola cases and reinforcement of community linkages in the fight against the disease are other modules.

Ssekabira said the training would reduce death of medics to the haemorrhagic fever. Dr Mathew Lukwiya and Dr Samuel Muhumuza Mutoro are some senior Ugandan medics who have died of the disease.

At the end of the training, Ssekabira said the health workers will receive certificates.

This will be the second Ebola training for health workers in East Africa conducted by IDI. In the last one year, IDI trained 74 Ugandan health workers, 15 of whom were trainers of trainers. 62 Kenyan and 21 Tanzanian health workers were also trained.

Most of the medics thrown into the ring against Ebola before last year hadn't attained prior training in handling the disease, with many of them having to make do with training on the job.

Uganda recently sent 20 experts to Sierra Leone and Liberia to help curb the spread of the disease which has claimed over 2,200 lives there in the past nine months. Ebola was discovered in DRC, then Zaire, 38 years ago. 

Ssekabira made the remarks last week, at a debate on Ebola and other Zoonotic diseases held at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala.

Prof Ojok Lonzy of Makerere University said there was need to undertake research into Ebola vaccines and treatment suited to the African conditions. Dr. Clovice Kankya, of Makerere University department of Biosecurity, Eco-systems and Veterinary Public Health called for the formation of an authority to lead the fight against zoonosis.