As part of its project to prevent and control brucellosis- a zoonotic disease endemic to Jordan, EMPHNET is enhancing the capacity of health professionals in Mafraq especially in their diagnosis of human and animal brucellosis, an area where only simple tests are used to detect the disease.
Targeting military hospitals in the second phase of the project, EMPHNET conducted two training workshops at the King Talal Military Hospital in Mafraq for clinicians and laboratory technicians on the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), an advanced serological test used to detect infection with Brucella.
The first workshop was a refresher training conducted in late April 2017 for clinicians working at the hospital. Twenty clinicians were updated on issues specific to the diagnosis of brucellosis, including case definition, clinical signs, and treatment. The clinicians were also trained on using the official investigation form to report cases; referring suspected cases for further testing; and collecting, preserving, and transporting samples from the hospital to the Central Public Health Laboratory in Amman.
The sessions were facilitated by Head of Communicable Diseases Department in Mafraq Dr. Mohamad Abu Khudair, Internal Medicine Specialist at Al-Basheer Hospital Dr. Abbas Mansour, and EMPHNET staff members.
The second workshop was conducted on May 2 and 4, 2017, and it targeted eight laboratory technicians working at the King Talal Military Hospital. This was a hands-on training where participants were trained on how to handle the ELISA kits to test positive and negative samples, and then read, document, and interpret lab results. These technicians were also trained on the principles of another serological test, the Rose Bengal Test, and on how to collect, preserve, and transport samples to the Central Public Health Laboratory in Amman.
The facilitators were from EMPHNET and MedLabs Group.
On June 11, 2017, another training workshop on data entry for Brucellosis cases using Epi Info was conducted for three laboratory technicians from the hospital. Participants were trained on how to use the mobile version of the software to fill the investigation form for human cases, determine their location, describe the correlation between human cases and whether they are in contact with animals, and analyze data to provide recommendations for controlling the disease.
These training workshops are part of the second phase of EMPHNET’s project Strengthening Brucellosis Surveillance, Diagnosis, and Control in Jordan. The project’s objectives in Mafraq- which is home to a dense, food-producing animal population of sheep and goats-include establishing ELISA as the confirmatory test at public health laboratories and the King Talal Military Hospital in Mafraq and a specimen collection, management and transport system, with the overall goal of supporting surveillance of the disease to inform policy makers and assist with the development of targeted control strategies.