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On Wednesday, 5th November Immerse Learning hosted an event for Sierra Leonean Diaspora groups to review an innovative training programme designed to train health workers in the Ebola affected region on the correct protocol for prevention and control of the disease.

The initial module on how to use personal protective equipment is the world’s first animated training programme based on the new WHO guidelines announced this month. The module has been developed by Immerse Learning in collaboration with the MENTOR Initiative in Liberia, Dr Simon Mardel, global health adviser and expert on Ebola, Masanga Hospital in Sierra Leone and experts from the Leicester Royal Infirmary.

The product combines 3D graphics and 2D illustration to create an interactive experience to enhance learning and knowledge retention. The first module uses narration and gamification to guide the learner through the correct procedure for putting on and taking off PPE gear; a crucial step in preventing transmission of the virus. The primary aim of this initial module is to ensure that health workers understand the correct procedure and steps involved, and understand the consequences of not following this protocol. Initial training using Immerse Learning’s virtual learning solution is planned to start at Masanga Hospital in Sierra Leone.

The support and active engagement of Diaspora groups is essential to ensure that the training material is contextually accurate and easy to use. It is also important to build on the insights they have gained and networks they have put together. Three organisations were represented at the event: TOSHPA (The Organisation of Sierra Leone Health Professionals Abroad), Sierra Leonean Adventists Abroad and Masanga Hospital UK. Each of their involvement reflected the aim of the initiative to help build local capacity and leadership.

It is an initiative that H.E. Mr. Edward M. Turay, High Commissioner for Sierra Leone, has given his full support to, recognising the importance of giving people the information and skills they need to protect themselves – no matter where they live in the country – and especially with the growing difficulties of travel and concerns about reducing transmission of the disease that travel may cause.

Susan Banya-Legg from TOSHPA particularly welcomed the training initiative:
“It's animated and interactive so that you can learn faster, and as you work though it you begin to anticipate the next step, speeding up the learning process.”

Nana Kajue from TOSHPA saw the high visual approach as being very accessible, “as there is very little language and what there is, is very simple so it will be very good for widespread use, particularly amongst those people who might have difficulty reading English.”

Edward Vandi, Treasurer of Sierra Leonean Activists Abroad, commented on the efficacy of the approach: “It makes you go over your mistakes over and over again until you get it right before you go on to the next stage. That makes you concentrate and learn faster.”

Tom Symonds, CEO of Immerse Learning, announced that there are plans in the next few days to add a commentary in a range of local languages starting with Krio and Mende, further improving its accessibility.

Elizabeth Conteh, TOSHPA Chair, thought that the “Immerse approach is much more impactful. If you get a step wrong you are corrected immediately and have to do it again”.

The Masanga MENTOR Ebola Initiative plan to test the next version at pilot sites including Masanga Hospital in Sierra Leone and with the MENTOR Initiative in Bushrod Island and West Point, Liberia, home to some of the poorest communities in Monrovia. With support, it is intended that the PPE module is followed up with similar experiences based on decontamination, supportive care, advice on taking a sick person to an Ebola Treatment Centre and safe burial.

About Immerse Learning

Immerse Learning provides training on its award-winning immersive learning platform, using the latest 3D learning technology. By combining the fully interactive nature and graphic quality of gaming with first class teaching in real life situations, Immerse provides a unique and highly engaging learning platform.


For further information, please contact Lara Schlich-Davies at Immerse Learning:
Tel: +44 (0)20 7193 1904
Twitter: @ImmerseLearning
Address: Unit 9, Rosebery House, 70 Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4RR, UK


Nicholas Mellor, Masanga MENTOR Ebola Initiative:
Tel: +44 207 603 8958 Mob: +44 79 71 80 92 62

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