Tunisia Field Epidemiology Training Program Conducts Fourth Workshop
In Tunis, between April 16 and 21, 2018, the Tunisia Field Epidemiology Training Program (T-FETP) conducted its fourth workshop titled, Complex Emergencies Situations (CES) and Biosecurity. This workshop was conducted for the T-FETP’s first cohort. Supported by GHD/EMPHNET, it was designed to provide participants with the epidemiological and management tools used in assessing the extent to which crises affect population health.
The module was adapted to local the context and was based on field experience gained by various stakeholders during the previous public health threats. This module enabled participants to understand the health threats caused by Chemical Biological, and Radio Nuclear (CBRN) agents and Complex Emergency Situations (CES). Case studies were presented on the Ebola outbreak, CBRN, and mass gathering surveillance. Furthermore, sessions were dedicated to lessons learned from the influx of Libyan refugees into Tunisia, the Ministry’s of Health (MoH) hazards and flood preparedness plans, the monitoring of CES in Tunisia, and multi-coordination during CES in Tunisia.
This workshop will be followed by ten weeks of field work.
Using problem-based learning, sessions also covered topics related to rapid risk assessment in CES; biosafety and biosecurity principles; emergency preparedness and response; and risk communication. This workshop will be followed by six weeks of field work where participants return to their respective units in various regions of Tunisia to put theory into practice.
On the first day of the workshop, 12 health regional directors attended sessions where they discussed work achieved by the T-FETP participants from the regions and areas needed to be improved to fit the needs of each participant’s region.
Prior to this workshop, a Training of Trainers (ToT) took place between April 12 and 13 which focused on orienting the workshop’s facilitators on the T-FETP curriculum and learning methods and the specific material and case studied to be presented during the workshop.
The T-FETP is a one-year program. Its residents enroll in five modules that focus on surveillance of public health, epidemics investigation, priority diseases, complex emergencies and biosecurity issues, and research methodology. Each module is followed by a field training, and as a requirement of the program, each participant is expected to complete a research project. The first cohort of this program comprises 14 physicians and one veterinarian working in priority regional surveillance units designated by the MoH.