Updates from Zimbabwe
The Zimbawe FETP held a field supervisors'' meeting on 11 June 2009, for the part time programme at the Department of Community Medicine, University of Zimbabwe. A total of six field supervisors for the part time programme and eight faculty members attended the meeting. An overview on the academic regulations for the part time FETP, field work expectations, roles and responsibilities and other administrative issues were discussed and field supervisors concerns addressed during this meeting.
The Zimbabwe FETP received a field vehicle last week at the WHO country offices. Present at the handover ceremony were the WHO representative, Permanent Secretary for Health, the Vice Chancellor - University of Zimbabwe, FETP Director (Dr Gerald Shambira) and other guests. The vehicle is intended for outbreak investigation and field supervisory visits to FETP trainees on attachments.
The Zimbabwe Assistant Field coordinators, Mr. N Ndlovu and Mr. N Gombe attended a one day planning workshop for the H1N1 influenza preparedness response. The objective of the meeting was to revise the Avian Influenza plans to incorporate the H1N1 Influenza A. A draft document was produced.
Updates from Ghana
Last week the Ghana FELTP held an Advisory committee meeting. It was attended among others by Dr George Amofa - the Deputy Director General Ghana Health Services, Dr Lawson Ahadzie - Deputy Director in charge of surveillance, Dr Yeboa - Ministry of Agriculture, Dr Wurapa - Program Director & Chair AFENET Board of Directors, and Dr Chima- the new GFELTP resident advisor. The focus of the meeting was strengthening the field component and the involvement of Ghana Health Services (GHS) and Veterinary services in the FELTP. Outputs of the meeting were: appointment of designated officers at the GHS and Vet services to serve as field coordinators for the GFELTP, develop and sign a MOU between the GFELTP key stakeholders i.e. GHS, AFENET, Vet services and the Ghana School of Public health, establish the GFELTP Resident Advisor''s office at the GHS, department of surveillance, and the Resident advisor to make a previsit to the field sites and meet with field supervisors in the coming 2 weeks before trainees go to the field.
On 22 June 2009, the maiden course on Improvement in Management of Public Health Interventions (IMPHI) was launched at the Ghana School of Public Health. There are a total of 22 participants including: 19 Ghanaians and 3 regional participants from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. This is a 4 week course with a 3 months post-course field component. Four modules will be covered namely: Leadership networking and Advocacy, Program planning and management, Operational Management and Monitoring and Evaluation of health programs, and monitoring and evaluation. The course is held.
The Ghana FELTP had very fruitful advocacy meetings in the last few weeks including meeting the WHO Representative who is also an FELTP Alumni from Canada hence committed to the FETP mission, and the CDC-GAP-PEPFAR team who are just setting up in Ghana with great prospects for high-level collaboration.
It has been agreed to commence GFELTP Grand-Rounds at the Ghana Health Services with completion of the upcoming field posting for the cohort-II residents to create room for feedback to the entire disease control and surveillance team with opportunities for knowledge and information sharing.
Dr. Joseph Amankwa - the Director of Public Health at Ghana Health Services, along with his deputies: Dr. Kyie Faried and Dr. Ahadzie made fresh commitments to strengthen the Ghana FELTP especially the field component. They allocated office space for the program Resident Advisor and discussions are under way to provide some transportation support to the program from the Ghana Health Services pool.
The Director of Veterinary Services, Dr. Koney is fully committed to the GFELTP and has already established a budget line for the veterinary residents.
Updates from Rwanda
Two meetings have been held to work on the FELTP curriculum for submission to the University Senate this month. Another meeting is scheduled for this Saturday to finalize the curriculum.
The program has been reviewing the Letter of Agreement (initially termed Memorandum of Agreement) that details the roles of the various partners in the implementation of FELTP in Rwanda.
Dr. Simon Antara has been working with participants of the first short course on outbreak investigation and response to complete their projects. Course participants are expected to make presentations based on their projects on 13 July 2009.
Preparations are underway for the second short course scheduled to take place from 14 – 24 July 2009.
Two abstracts based on the first short course have been submitted to the upcoming AFENET-TEPHINET Conference in Mombasa- Kenya.
The Rwanda FELTP received nine abstracts to review for the Mombasa AFENET-TEPHINET Conference and six have so far been reviewed.
The program has been working on establishing the FELTP office in Rwanda and has successfully identified office space and classrooms for residents. They have identified possible field sites where residents will be placed for field exercises. These field sites will be visited in August to assess their suitability.
The Director in charge of Epidemic Infectious Disease Unit has been appointed as the Coordinator of the program in Rwanda.
The program has been providing technical support for the national preparedness plan for H1N1.
Updates from Uganda
On 18 June 2009, the Uganda program had a meeting with Ministry of Health (MOH) officials at the MOH headquarters in Kampala-|Uganda. The program was represented by Prof. D. Serwadda-the Dean Makerere University School of Public Health (MUSPH), Dr. W. Bazeyo-the Deputy Dean-MUSPH, Dr. G. Pariyo- the Program Director, Dr. S. Baine -the academic coordinator, Dr. Olico, Dr. C.Nalwadda -Field Coordinator and Dr. S. Gitta – national focal person for Uganda. The MOH officials included: Ms. Nanono Mary –the Permanent Secretary, Ms. Prisca Boonabantu – the undersecretary, Dr. I. Makumbi –Assistant Commissioner Epidemiology and Surveillance Division and Dr. Kenya Mugisha-Director Clinical and community Health. The agenda for the meeting was to: update the MOH officials on the Uganda program, seek ways in which MOH can strengthen its role in the program especially the field component, and to inform the MOH about the Global TEPHINET scientific conference that is scheduled to take place in Uganda in 2010.
Year 1 trainees are currently undertaking their third field attachment which begun on 29 May and will end on 1 August 2009. During this attachment, trainees are expected to conduct and write up 2 field reports and develop 3 concepts for their dissertation
Year 1 and 2 end of year examinations are being marked by faculty. An examination board meeting to discuss these results is scheduled for 25 June 2009 at MUSPH.
Updates from Tanzania
Last week the residents were in the second week of the communication course which started on the 8th June 2009 to 19th June 2009. Dr. Pascale Krumm from CDC Atlanta was the facilitator for this course. She taught the following modules: Communicating Scientific Information, Crafting Persuasive Presentations, Conducting Journal Searches, Designing Effective Visuals, Delivering Effective Presentations, Writing effectively, Writing scientific Manuscript for Publications, Writing Abstract & Ancillary Materials, Designing Effective Visuals, Scientific communication (Presenting scientific data effectively)
During the past two weeks, the program staff were able to visit various regions to identify field sites for the residents. The regions visited included Mwanza, Arusha, Lindi, Kagera, Mbeya and Dodoma. With great cooperation from the Regional Medical Officers (RMO), the visits were very much appreciated and the regions promised to provide opportunities for Tanzania FELTP residents to be used as field sites in August. There are plans to visit more regions soon.
Last week we had two guests from CDC Atlanta. Michelle Evering Watley who was doing evaluation of the communication course and Italia Rolle who was helping the residents with their thesis development.
The residents presented their thesis topics and defended them. This was done at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS). The presentations were attended by university lecturers, program staff, residents’ supervisors and the residents. It was organized by TFELTP and Muhimbili University.
Updates from Secretariat
The following 4 officials from the secretariat: Dr. Olivia Namusisi, Dr. Monica Musenero, Mr. William Kabasa and Dr. Sheba Gitta, participated in a 3 day leadership course from 11-13 June 2009 at Protea Hotel, in Kampala-Uganda. The course was conducted by LEAD, an organisation based in South Africa. The main objective of the course was to improve participants’ leadership skills. A follow up course is planned for August 2009 during which time participants will get feedback on their assignments.
The TEPHINET-AFENET conference preparations are under way. A total 160 abstracts was received through the online system. All abstracts were distributed to the reviewers by 16 June 2009. Abstracts will be assigned into either oral or poster presentation based on the scores awarded by reviewers. We expect to have about 45 to 50 oral presentation (ranging from 5 to 8 presentations per track) and about 80 to 90 posters in total.
The AIZIP project at the secretariat organized a one day meeting for plague stakeholders in Uganda. The meeting was held at the Ministry of Health offices in Kampala on the 19 June 2009, with an objective of bringing together different stakeholders to develop an intervention plan that will avert an anticipated plague outbreak in the affected districts of Arua and Nebbi this year. The meeting was attended by 20 people who included representatives from WHO country office, CDC/Uganda Virus Institute Plague Project in Arua, Ministry of Health, AFENET secretariat and the Uganda AIZIP team members. Presentations were made by each of these institutions plus a presentation by Architect Jukko, an AIZIP team member on a proposed hut that is ‘rat and flea proof’. This was followed by group discussions. At the end of the meeting, it was agreed that: MOH together with AFENET should spearhead drafting a plague intervention plan; a multidisciplinary team should visit Arua and Nebbi districts in the next 2 weeks to assess feasibility of the proposed interventions and to get buy-in from the district leaders and target community. Dr. Monica Musenero on behalf of AFENET pledged to facilitate the multi-disciplinary team which will travel to the affected districts.
Health systems specialist needed- Duty station Burkina Faso: Link to the job advertisement: