Iraq Ministry of Health Launches Second Cohort of the Public Health Empowerment Program – Surveillance for Polio Officers (PHEP-SPO)
Supported by GHD/EMPHNET, the Iraq Ministry of Health (MoH) launched the second cohort of the Public Health Empowerment Program – Surveillance for Polio Officers (PHEP-SPO) to strengthen polio eradication and routine immunization efforts in the country.
A three-month, in-service training program, the PHEP-SPO aims to build the capacities of communicable disease officers at the district level from the governorates of Basrah, Thi Qar, Mesan and Wasit. The PHEP-SPO capitalizes on the expertise of these officers to meet the country’s need to expand the national public health workforce, especially at the district level.
Workshop one of the PHEP-SPO, Public Health Surveillance, took place between April 8 – 13, 2018 in Basrah. The purpose of the workshop was to introduce the principles of public health surveillance systems to the participants. More specifically, they learned about methods and tools for data collection; case definitions; line listing; analyzing the quality of surveillance data; biostatistics and the summarization of data. The workshop also covered methods and techniques for displaying data; interpreting surveillance data; and the monitoring and evaluation of public health surveillance.
Furthermore, the main findings and recommendations of the External Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP) Surveillance Review were highlighted. Other key topics of the AFP surveillance system were presented such as the AFP case definition, reporting process, active surveillance and monitoring, and AFP indicators at provincial and district levels.
The training workshop will be followed by four weeks of field work where participants return to their jobs. They will be guided and supported by mentors to conduct data quality audits and develop weekly surveillance reports.
A training for the mentors of the residents had taken place earlier that month between April 6 – 7, 2018. The aim of this training was to prepare the former in guiding the PHEP-SPO trainees through their field work. Mentors come from the Meesan, Wasit, Dhi Qar and Basrah governorates.