TRAINING REPORT ON
EPIDEMIC CONTROL FOR
December 1 – 3, 2013 Vientiane, Lao-PDR
Communicable diseases continue to kill millions people every year throughout the world, mostly of
who are vulnerable populations in developing countries. To support the national societies whose
roles is to respond to save lives during an epidemic or any other health emergencies, International
Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) developed The Epidemic Control for Volunteer
(ECV) Toolkit was developed to reinforce the IFRC Community-based Health and First Aid
(CBHFA) Toolkit, a comprehensive training and resource package for volunteers in community
health development and health risk reduction programming. The toolkit ensures that volunteers have
the proper training and essential communication tools (among other materials) before they are
engaged in outbreak and epidemic response in their communities. It is designed as practical and
action-oriented, simple, and easy-to-follow tools considering that volunteers have limited time to
remember everything they have learned during trainings or to develop effective response materials
in the middle of an outbreak.
Southeast Asia Regional Delegation (SEARD) financially supported Lao Red Cross to review,
translate, adapt and print ECV manual and toolkit in Lao text - 100 units of training manuals and
toolkits. Again, with the financial and technical support of SEARD, IFRC, Bangkok, ECV training
was conducted by health department of Lao Red Cross.
The training was organized from 1 – 3 December, 2013 at Lao Red Cross – National Headquarter,
Vientiane, Lao- PDR. The total 17 participants1
from 15 different provinces and 2 from national
headquarter participated in the training. Representative of Lao-PDR ministry of health gave an
overview of disease outbreak situation and surveillance system of Lao-PDR.
To build and strengthen capacity of health focal persons from 15 different provinces, and enable
them to contribute in epidemic response and control in their communities.
The training as a whole focused on:
1. Build on existing CBHFA disease prevention and health promotion knowledge and skills by
focusing on understanding of common diseases that has a potential of an outbreak epidemics;
2. Selected health focal persons to use evidence-based actions and approaches to prevent the
spread of communicable diseases in the communities and provide appropriate care for the
sick and reduce the number of deaths;
3. Enhanced capacities of health focal persons to act quickly and effectively in the event of a
Annex 1: Participant List
Day to day Sessions
Agenda One: Opening Remark
The training was officially open at 8:30 a.m. on 1st
December, 2013 in Lao Red Cross (LRC)
Meeting Room, presided by Mr. Laoly Phaiphengyua, LRC President. Mr.Laoly started his opening
remark by announcing compensation leave for those who are attending the training as the training
started on Sunday due to some unavoidable conditions. He said this training will increase capacity of
technical officer at provincial level and in future this needed to be trickle down to volunteers. He
emphasized there are several diseases affecting Lao people and every year several cases of malaria,
Dengue and diarrhea, etc. are common for Lao people. If we can do timely prevention many disease
outbreaks can be prevented, even we cannot prevent an epidemic we can save many life with proper
response. He said it is important to develop good coordination with provincial health authorities and
other stakeholders. He appreciated International Federation for developing such tools for volunteers
and bringing it down to Lao Red Cross in their native language. At the end he requested everyone to
gain as much as possible during these three days.
Following the opening remark participants were requested to write down the expectation2
training. Dr.Bounma (head of health, LRC) then groups the expectations. He then introduced the
objective of the training and agenda3
to the participants. Ground rule was also set for the entire three
days of the training
Agenda Two: Presentation from Ministry of Health
Day one was fully occupied with a brief updated of current diseases and national surveillance
system from the Ministry followed by Module 1.
Ms. Viengsavanh Khittiphong, from Disease control division Ministry of Health gave an overview
of most common diseases in Lao-PDR. She informed currently there are only 17 diseases but next
year this list will be updated as there are many more diseases affecting Lao people than ever before.
She mainly emphasized on the surveillance system that Ministry of health, is doing to detect new
cases and report. She emphasized that a good partnership with provincial health authority and Red
Cross at provincial level will help to detect more cases so that adequate and timely response can be
She also highlighted disease trends in Lao for last five years. The analysis was quiet evident
showing increase number of cases in malaria, dengue, typhoid and diarrhea.
Agenda Three: Module 1: Introduction to the epidemics
The training started with an initial pre training test, which was reviewed by the facilitators straight
after it was completed. It helped the facilitators to understand the knowledge of participants in
regards to key contents of the course.
Annex 2: Summary list of expectation
Annex 3: Agenda
ECV module 1 as introduction to epidemic composed of some essential definitions, diseases that can
cause epidemic, special issues in epidemic. In the session more time was allocated for infection
cycle and the spread of disease as well as basic tips how we can prevent an epidemic by adopting
some healthy behaviors. Role play was introduced to make participant aware that how quickly an
infection can cause epidemic in presence of suitable environment, and host.
A special focus was given on dead bodies and epidemics. Participants were made aware of
precautions need to be taken before handling dead bodies. Some of the participants were surprised to
know that dead bodies are not the source of an epidemic and poses small risk to the public.
Agenda Four: Module 2: Principles of epidemic control
Day 2 started with recap of day one where one of the groups made the summary of day one and
presented to all other participants.
Module 2 as principle of epidemic control composes of understanding an epidemic, epidemic
response cycle, understanding risk, volunteer and epidemic control. In this session emphasis was
given on various stages of epidemic response cycle. The
participants were divided into groups and were asked to
come up question they think are needed for any
epidemic assessment. Later on the facilitators added
questions that were not highlighted by the participants.
A group exercise was followed to whom they would ask
their questions in an emergency. The participants came
up with target groups, which were practically done by
giving the groups a scenario. It was also discussed with
the participants what can increase and decrease the risk
of an epidemic outbreak.
Participants were also made aware how to develop and deliver health promotion messages.
Participants were divided in groups and were asked to come up with innovative ideas to deliver
health messages on Malaria, Diarrhea and Measles. Two groups came up with song on malaria and
hand washing and one group a poster on measles campaign.
The later part of the session focused on the work of volunteers in such emergencies. Participants
also brainstorm on the advantages of having skilled local volunteers in the communities.
Agenda Five: Module 3: Actions in epidemic control
Module 3 as the actions in epidemic control highlights key action to be taken before, during and
after epidemic including alert phase. It was made very clear by the facilitator that developing proper
plan, capacity building and prepositioning materials, and equipment are key activities during before
epidemic phase. It was also discussed that the country varies immensely from north to south hence
having a provincial or district level plan can be more helpful for epidemic management.
Participants also identified that partnership and coordination are very important before, during and
after an epidemic. Coordination during an epidemic
draws the attention of many participants and was
recognized as an area to focus in future planning. It
was emphasized the large volunteer network of Red
Cross can play vital role in case identification, health
promotion, etc. during an epidemic.
Participants in their group identified various
activities that can be done as a Red Cross in various
stages of epidemic response. In addition, facilitator
also supplemented the list of activities presented by the participants.
Agenda six: Module 4:
Day 3 started with recap of day two where one of the groups made the summary of day two and
presented to all other participants.
Module 4 which is all about using the epidemic control toolkits emphasizing on the introduction and
practical usage of the toolkits such as disease tool, action tool and community message tool. All the
participants were given a set of toolkit.
In this session the facilitators explained the different tools and later the participants were divided in
different groups and were given a particular scenario to work on using the different tools from the
toolkit. At the end of the group discussion participants presented the epidemic response as role play
using the toolkit.
Some minor adjustments were made from the original session plan to maximize learning:
Provide more time for the delivery of Module 1 to ensure participants understand the basic
concepts. An exercise was also conducted at the start of session 1 to realize the fact how
quickly an epidemic can spread even when one person in the community is affected.
Fitting all participants coming from different background/experiences, and translation to
local language, it take some more time for Modules 2, 3 and 4 for an attempt to deliver the
topics in a bit slower way. In particularly for a scenario-based group exercise to consolidate
their learning during the 3-day training and to allow them more time to practice as on the job
training, focused on the community assessment, the assembly and use of disease, action, and
community messages tools.
Surveillance portion was omitted as it was presented by representative from ministry of
Pre and Post finding
Table 1: finding from pre & post-test
Contents Very good Good Fair Poor
Pre-test 0% 18.75% 62.25% 18.75%
Post-test 5.88% 88.23% 5.88% 0
Remark for range of score:
Very good: 9-10
Summarizing daily evaluation, over 90% of participants found the sessions very useful and they also
appreciated the participatory methodology applied by the facilitator with minimum PowerPoint
presentations and more time for group work, role play, plenary sessions, etc.
LRC headquarter to distribute the ECV training manual and its toolkits to all provinces in
Lao-PDR, for the continuation for volunteer training at branch and community levels.
Provide technical support from NHQ and IFRC to branches as needed
Find local/international partners for resource mobilization to trickle down the training at
Further strengthening the capacities of branches in epidemic response and preparedness by
addressing cross cutting issues like psychosocial support, etc.
Training ran smoothly according to the set agenda and managed to reach the expectation of the
participants. The epidemic control for volunteers manual and toolkit proved to be very easy to
follow and provided the participants with tools to prepare their volunteers adequately for future
epidemics. The manual and toolkit is self-explanatory enough for volunteers to refresh their
knowledge on an ongoing basis or upon the alert of an epidemic.
Summarizing of daily evaluation, the participants regarded the training as very useful. They also
expressed that with the translated ECV materials, they will be able to re-echo their learning to their
provinces, districts, and communities. Facilitator’s team do felt that the training was well organized
through the collective efforts of Lao Red Cross health department team, selected experience branch
staff, IFRC representatives from regional delegation in Bangkok, Thailand and enthusiastic
participants. The finding of pre and posttest had shown that knowledge; capacities of majority of
participants improved and are able to disseminate their knowledge to their colleagues and volunteers
Facilitators and participants agreed even though training has lot of positive aspects, there were some
difficulties in planning and delivering the training as well as planning for further roll out in
Close direction from LRC President/LRC leadership
Availability of manuals and curriculum from IFRC (translated into Lao).
Facilitators’ were well prepared and have experience.
Technical officers from 15 provinces, responsible for health promotion from and
central level participated in the training.
All participants were active, enthusiastic in study, discussion, group work; and strictly
follow training regulation.
Financial and technical support from IFRC SEA, Bangkok.
LRC lacks experience on this work as this was the 1st
time for LRC.
Facilitator’s face to face preparation with translator was short due to limited time.
Training time is short and no time for field stimulation.
No concrete financial commitment to roll out at provincial level
Organize ECV training at provincial level as there is a need to trickle down such training to
benefit more volunteers and staffs of the provinces.
Enhancing partnership with government for epidemic detection and control
Develop epidemic preparedness plan for some high risk provinces in Lao-PDR
Mainstreaming epidemic preparedness with other health programs
Enhancing capacity of Lao red Cross Staff and volunteer on Psychosocial support