The Institute for Lassa Fever Research and Control (ILFRC) at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital (ISTH) in Irrua, Nigeria, is one of the two focal partner institutes of the European Mobile Laboratory Consortium in Africa. The EMLab unit placed at the ILFRC at ISTH was put into readiness since February 2014 and staff was trained on the set up and use. The unit was deployed for the diagnostics of Ebola Virus disease in August this year in Nigeria.
With an aim to extend the pool of scientists and technicians able to operate the EMLab unit and to keep up operational readiness, as part of outbreak response preparations in Nigeria, a training session was planned and conducted in Irrua, by staff or ILFRC/ISTH, from 11th to 14th of November 2014.
The objectives of the workshop where to train the 16 participants in the packaging and set up of the lab, refresh knowledge about biosafety and infection control, and to introduce to the participants the workflow of the lab. The workshop started with a pretest to evaluate the participants knowledge about molecular diagnostics. The use of personal protective equipment was demonstrated and six participants (working in groups of three) received hands on training with the lab equipment.
The workshop concluded with a post test to evaluate knowledge acquisition. Some problematic areas where identified, this being power outages and equipment failure, where the teams could successfully work around.