Worldwide, brucellosis is the most widespread zoonotic disease, and it is ranked as one of the seven most neglected diseases according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
In Jordan, there is not enough data regarding the epidemiological profile of brucellosis in the country. As such, EMPHNET is planning to implement a new laboratory-based surveillance for brucellosis in humans and animals across three areas in Jordan: East Amman, Karak and Mafraq. Funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), EMPHNET is collaborating with the Jordan Ministry of Health (MoH), the Jordan Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), and the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) in a project titled “Evaluating the impact of Enhanced Laboratory-Based Surveillance of Animal and Human Brucellosis in Jordan” to achieve this goal.
This project commenced in July 2018 and it is still in progress. It adopts the One Health approach by involving both the human and animal health sectors, and it aims to create a better understanding of the disease burden, mechanism of transmission between animals and humans, and its major risk factors. The project implements a set of activities directed towards knowledge sharing, capacity building, and communication. The project’s activities also aim to strengthen the capacity of Jordanian disease surveillance and enhance the identification of the risk factors which drive disease transmission between animals and from animals to humans.
So far, key achievements were made under the project, including thirteen refresher workshops conducted to train over 190 clinicians and technicians from comprehensive health care centers (CHCs), public health laboratories, and hospitals in East Amman and Karak. These clinicians and technicians were trained on brucellosis disease case definition, investigation form, specimen collection, storage and transportation and Rose Bengal testing.
Furthermore, refresher training workshops were conducted for over 30 veterinarians from East Amman and Karak on case definition, sample collection, storage, and transportation.
Three other training workshops focused on Fluorescent Polarization Assay (FPA) and were conducted in East Amman, Karak, and Mafraq for over 30 veterinarians. Another training was conducted focusing on Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) and targeted laboratory technicians working at the Royal Medical Services and the MoH in East Amman, Mafraq, and Karak.
In addition, testing kits and relevant equipment will be distributed to targeted laboratories within the afore-mentioned areas in Jordan. The kits will be for the following tests: Rose Bengal, ELISA, FPA, and PCR.
In the next coming months, EMPHNET will collaborate with the Jordan MoH and the CDC in conducting additional training workshops. Furthermore, EMPHNET will also work with the Jordan MoH and the CDC to manage data generated by the surveillance system in both the human and animal health sectors in the three afore-mentioned areas. This data will be shared with decision makers for better national planning of prevention and control measures of brucellosis in Jordan.