ORDER-HC: Organise Response to Disease Epidemics Maintaining Routine Health Care

Organise Response to Disease Epidemics Maintaining Routine Health Care

Short Description

Health crises such as the large Ebola Virus Disease epidemic in West Africa (2014-2016) require a rapid mobilisation of resources to manage the outbreak. When existing resources and measures are concentrated and re-allocated to cope with an outbreak, routine health care can be severely compromised. In addition, fear of infection among the population and health workers can reduce uptake and provision of health services. The consequences can include the undersupply of antenatal care and skilled birth attendance as well as gaps in prevention and treatment of other diseases such as malaria. In addition to the serious effects of the epidemic itself, these shortcomings can lead to additional morbidity and mortality. The experiences in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone showed that epidemics caused by high consequence infectious diseases have the potential to collapse an entire health system. During the COVID-19 pandemic, similar challenges have also been experienced by health systems considered robust and well-resourced.

Aims of the Project

Contribute to strengthening the resilience of health systems in West Africa in order to maintain routine health care during epidemics:

  • Contribute to recommendations for maintaining routine health care during epidemics of high consequence infectious diseases through joint studies with local partners in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone
  • Capacity strengthening of local partners in planning and conducting studies on health systems as well as data analysis and publication of scientific results
  • Contribute to recommendations for training curricula for health care professionals

Overview of Activities

  • Workshops on health systems research and scientific methods
  • Literature study on side effects of the Ebola epidemic on public health and health systems in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone
  • Joint implementation of studies:
  1. Study on health care utilisation in the post-Ebola phase, in comparison to the use before and during the epidemic
  2. Study on strategies to maintain routine health care during the Ebola epidemic, subsequent outbreaks of Lassa fever and the COVID-19 pandemic
  3. Study to assess health care worker awareness and risk perception of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19
  4. Study on COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among the general population and health care workers in West African countries

In Cooperation with

  • Institut de Recherche en Sciences de la Santé (IRSS/CNRST) – Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
  • Santé Plus, Guinea
  • University of Liberia – Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation Africa (UL-PIRE Africa), Liberia
  • Faculté de Médecine et d’Odontostomatologie (FMOS) & University Clinical Research Center (UCRC), Université des Sciences, des Techniques et des Technologies de Bamako (USTTB), Mali
  • Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar, Senegal
  • College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences (COMAHS), University of Sierra Leone, Sierra Leone

Last update: December 2022



01.01.2017 - 31.12.2020


ca. 252,000 EUR

Partner Countries

  • Guinea
  • Liberia
  • Sierra Leone


  • BMJ Open _ Faye_et_al__2022

    Factors influencing hesitancy towards adult and child COVID-19 vaccines in rural and urban West Africa: a cross- sectional study (PDF, 792 KB)

News from this project

Stakeholder Meetings in Sierra Leone on Health System Resilience

In November 2022, stakeholder meetings were held in Sierra Leone to present and discuss early fi...