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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Assessment of the Angolan (CHERRT) Mobile Laboratory Curriculum for Disaster and Pandemic Response


Introduction: As of April 5, 2020, the World Health Organization reported over one million confirmed cases and more than 62,000 confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) deaths affecting 204 countries/ regions. The lack of COVID-19 testing capacity threatens the ability of both the United States (US) and low middle income countries (LMIC) to respond to this growing threat, The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness through participant self-assessment of a rapid response team (RRT) mobile laboratory curriculum

Methods: We conducted a pre and post survey for the purpose of a process improvement assessment in Angola, involving 32 individuals. The survey was performed before and after a 14-day training workshop held in Luanda, Angola, in December 2019. A paired t-test was used to identify any significant change on six 7-point Likert scale questions with α< 0.05 (95% confidence interval).

Results: All six of the questions –  1) “I feel confident managing a real laboratory sample test for Ebola or other highly contagious sample;” 2) “I feel safe working in the lab environment during a real scenario;” 3) “I feel as if I can appropriately manage a potentially highly contagious laboratory sample;” 4)“I feel that I can interpret a positive or negative sample during a suspected contagious outbreak;” 5) “I understand basic Biobubble/mobile laboratory concepts and procedures;” and 6) “I understand polymerase chain reaction (PCR) principles” – showed statistical significant change pre and post training. Additionally, the final two questions – “I can more effectively perform my role/position because of the training I received during this course;” and “This training was valuable”  – received high scores on the Likert scale.

Conclusion: This Angolan RRT mobile laboratory training curriculum provides the nation of Angola with the confidence to rapidly respond and test at the national level a highly infectious contagion in the region and perform on-scene diagnostics. This mobile RRT laboratory provides a mobile and rapid diagnostic resource when epidemic/pandemic resource allocation may need to be prioritized based on confirmed disease prevalence.

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