The Iraq Ministry of Health (MoH) is implementing the Public Health Empowerment Program -Basic Field Epidemiology (PHEP – BFE), which is a three-month, in-service training program designed to strengthen the MoH epidemiologic capacity by improving knowledge and skills of health workers in the fundamentals of surveillance, outbreak investigation, and emergency response.
Implemented in collaboration with GHD/EMPHNET, the PHEP-BFE training curriculum consists of three workshops and two periods of field work. The first of the program’s workshops, titled Basic Epidemiology and Surveillance, was conducted in Al-Najaf from July 16 to July 27, 2017, for the 25 residents of the first cohort.
In sessions facilitated by the MoH team members, the residents were trained on the basic skills needed to conduct effective public health surveillance. Sessions addressed topics such as basic epidemiology, basic statistics, and public health surveillance. Case studies and group exercises were also discussed to apply such concepts.
Following this training, participants will immediately commence field projects for which each was assigned a mentor who will take on an advisory role.
In the context of Iraq’s complex emergency situation, the PHEP-BFE equips the national health workforce with the fundamental skills needed to conduct disease surveillance and outbreak investigations and contributes to expanding the health workforce and addressing the country’s urgent health problems.