GHD/EMPHNET Supports Training on Hospital-Based Surveillance of Meningococcal Meningitis in Iraq
The Iraq Ministry of Health (MoH), with support from GHD/EMPHNET, is conducting a study of the epidemiology of invasive meningococcal disease in the country. For this study, 18 hospitals were selected: 12 located in Baghdad and six in three other governorates: Karkouk, Karbala and Misan.
In many MENA countries, especially Iraq, meningococcal meningitis is a common cause of endemic and epidemic disease in infants and young children. A study of the epidemiology of the disease also serves to meet the need for updated data and help inform future vaccination strategies in the country.
For this purpose, the Iraq MoH and GHD/EMPHNET conducted a training on meningitis case detection and definition, specimen collection and transportation for public health doctors and laboratorians working as hospital focal points in the governorates of Baghdad, Karbala, Karkouk, and Misan. The training took place in Baghdad May 7-10, 2018.
During its sessions, participants learned about the epidemiology of Meningitis in Iraq and the region; Meningitis clinical signs and symptoms, case management and treatment; Meningitis case detection and definition; investigation of meningitis cases, investigation form, data collection and analysis; as well as Specimen collection, preservation, transportation and processing.
Apart from influencing vaccine strategies, this study also serves to facilitate the development of other appropriate interventions and public health strategies regarding meningococcal disease in Iraq.