In collaboration with the Iraq Ministry of Health (MoH), GHD/EMPHNET conducted a training workshop between January 7 and 10, 2019, aimed at increasing the capacity of the health professionals in Iraq and specifically their use of the Epi Info software.
The training targeted 12 public health professionals from Baghdad, Karbala, Kirkuk, and Maysan health directorates as well as participants from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (Iraq CDC) and the Central Public Health Laboratory (CPHL) in Baghdad.
The training’s participants included focal points for a joint project between the Iraq MoH and GHD/EMPHNET. This project is implemented to conduct a hospital-based surveillance of Meningococcal meningitis in the country. This project is executed in four governorates: Baghdad (Russafa, Karkh), Karbala, Kirkuk, and Maysan.
Facilitated by GHD/EMPHNET and specialists from the Iraq MoH/Iraq CDC, and the training dedicated four days to theoretical sessions, interactive discussions, and practical sessions on computers.
Sessions focused on creating and viewing questions via the software, entering data collected from hospitals, and basic knowledge on data analysis as well as report generation. One of the aims of the training was to provide participants with the skills they need to enter data on the meningitis investigation form, clean as well as save the collected data, and to transport data to MoH, Iraq CDC, and GHD/EMPHNET.
Following this workshop, participants returned to their jobs where they will enter all data received from hospitals via the Epi Info Meningitis investigation form. After the data collection and entry phases are completed, participants will then transport data to MOH/ Iraq CDC and GHD / EMPHNET for further analysis and report writing.
The Meningitis project aims to determine the mean annual incidence of the disease in the country, identify commonly circulating serogroups of N. meningitidis, and characterize risk groups. This in turn can help define future vaccination strategies in Iraq.