In August 2016, EMPHNET implemented a Training of Trainers (ToT) workshop in Iraq for provincial-level managers of the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI). Funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the workshop was designed to generate trainers who can assist EPI focal persons working at the district level in developing updated micro-plans that help improve the country’s universal vaccination coverage.
Participants in the workshop were trained on course material based on modules developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and adapted to suit immunization challenges in Iraq.
Facilitated by representatives of the Iraqi Ministry of Health, EMPHNET, the WHO, and UNICEF, sessions of the workshop included issues specific to EPI microplanning such as the compiling, analyzing, mapping, and monitoring of data. Other sessions covered the planning process of EPI such as comprehensive multi-year strategic plans (cMYPs) and annual plans; and improving and maintaining immunization coverage. Participants were also updated on relevant topics such as EPI Coverage, adverse events following immunization (AEFI) surveillance, supportive supervision, and community mobilization.
By the end of the training, twenty-six trainers were available to support EPI services in Iraq and contribute to improving health indicators in the country.
Upon their completion of the ToT workshop, those EPI managers helped facilitate four workshops on microplanning for EPI staff deployed across a variety of districts in the northern, central, mid-Euphrates, and southern provinces of Iraq. Representatives of the Iraqi Ministry of Health, EMPHNET, and the WHO, also participated in facilitating the workshops’ sessions.