Supported by GHD/EMPHNET, the Iraq Ministry of Health (MoH) recently launched the second cohort of the Public Health Empowerment Program- Basic Field Epidemiology (PHEP-BFE). The cohort comprises thirty-three health workers from Anbar, Erbil, Ninawa, and Salah Al-Din provinces.
The first training workshop for this cohort was conducted between December 14 and 23, 2018, in Erbil, Iraq. Titled “Basic Epidemiology and Surveillance,” the workshop was aimed at building the capacity of the public health workforce in the newly liberated governorates in Iraq, previously controlled by ISIS.
Furthermore, the workshop introduced fundamentals in epidemiology, public health, and biostatistics. It also addressed the importance of surveillance, surveillance data collection, analysis, interpretation, surveillance data quality assessment, monitoring and evaluation of surveillance, as well as responding to surveillance findings. Relevant computer and mentoring skills were also discussed.
Following this workshop, participants returned to their jobs where they analyzed recent surveillance data from their respective place of work. They then summarized their analysis in brief written reports, and conducted a data quality audit as well as feedback visits to selected reporting sites.
Prior to this workshop, a training for the mentors of the second cohort took place between December 14 and 15. Eleven mentors from the afore-mentioned governorates, were trained to support the fieldwork of the cohort’s participants.
The purpose of the training was to familiarize the selected mentors with the PHEP-BFE and its tools. The training has refreshed their mentoring skills as well. The training included an orientation on PHEP-BFE contents, tools, principles of mentoring, and roles and responsibilities of mentors in that program.