Advancing Surveillance and Training to Enhance Recognition of Infectious Disease

Health workers have a critical role to play in the effort to curb disease transmission. Clear strategies and protocols for infection prevention and control are required to prevent health facilities from becoming a source for the spread of infectious disease. At the end of the project, we will have 300 health workers using infection prevention and control practices in health facilities, schools and communities across all 13 districts in Timor-Leste helping to reduce the spread of infectious disease.

ASTEROID will develop and deliver a program of training materials to strengthen infection prevention and control in health facilities in Timor-Leste. Initially, program partners worked together to undertake an assessment to ascertain current skill levels and identify gaps in infection prevention and control practices at three pilot sites.

The assessment was used to develop 16 face-to-face training modules to give health workers practical strategies to prevent infections in clinics and hospitals. Short-form versions of each of the modules and additional content has also been developed for the health workers involved in the training to use as a reference on a smartphone, using the Haroman app. This will ensure that course material is accessible for use outside the trainings.

ASTEROID will recruit, train and resource facilitators to deliver the 16 modules of training to more than 300 health workers in clinics across all districts of Timor-Leste. The modules will be delivered at health facilities that fill project criteria and are selected by the Timor-Leste Ministry of Health. The project will all provide supplies of equipment and consumables to those primary health facilities facing resource shortages.

With the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks, activities for ASTEROID have accelerated and training extended to cover COVID-19. The project has delivered remote trainings to health workers across all 13 districts of the country on how to triage individuals with potential COVID-19 infections and effectively quarantine in health facility settings. In addition, community-based training has been provided to prevent and control infections in workplaces and schools.