Updates from Nigeria
Residents traveled to the universities for cluster 1 exams during the second week of May.
Cluster 2 training has begun. The following courses will be covered: research methodology, public health scientific communication, laboratory and veterinary specific courses and an introductory course in GPS/GIS.
The GPS/GIS course has already taken place and it was attended by the residents, collaborating universities and officials from the Ministry of health
Nigeria will be represented by a 10-person team at the West Africa FELTP meeting which will take place in Accra-Ghana from 27-29 May 2009. The team comprises of veterinarians, epidemiologists, and academicians across the animal and human health sectors.
The program is finalizing about 12 abstracts for submission to the upcoming Regional TEPHINET/AFENET conference that will be held in Mombasa. Target is have the abstracts submitted before 1st June 2009
Updates from Rwanda
During the week of 17-23 May 2009, Dr. Antara Simon- Rwanda Resident Advisor was involved in the following activities:
- He met Prof. Kakoma to discuss the submission of the curriculum.
- He also had a meeting with Prof Kramer to discuss the work plan. Prof Kramer informed him that he had identified office accommodation outside TRAC Plus and that this will be available from July.
- He was joined by Dr. Nicholas Ayebazibwe from the secretariat and they jointly supervised the short course participants working on their projects.
- He offered technical support for the development of Rwanda’s preparedness plan for Influenza A H1N1. The process also involved developing a document on case finding, contact tracing and monitoring, isolation, quarantining and social distancing.
Updates from Southern Sudan
Last week, AFENET completed its registration in Southern Sudan. The registration process was spearheaded by Mr Kenneth Eyatu (Transport and protocol officer-AFENET secretariat) and Dr. Allan Mpairwe (AFENET’s Medical Epidemiologist in Southern Sudan). Registration involved obtaining a certificate from the Southern Sudan Relief & Rehabilitation Commission, and another certificate from the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) Ministry of Legal Affairs & Constitutional Development. The former is responsible for the security of NGOs operating in Southern Sudan.
A retreat was held with support of WHO at Juba Bridge Hotel from 29 April – 2May 2009. The objective of this retreat was to revise IDSR training modules. Participants included all FELTP residents, Director General -Preventive Medicine, GoSS and WHO EARWN team.
In the week of 12 May 2009, FELTP residents participated in the response and management activities of a Cholera outbreak in Warrap State and Northern Baharelgazel states. The residents spent a week in the field.
Training in Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR) was conducted from 21- 24 May 2009 at Juba Beijing Hotel in Juba County. Participants included Payam surveillance focal points, and surveillance officers from the state and county. The GoSS ministry of health plans to roll out the training in the remaining 78 counties.
For the past 1 month, Dr. Allan Mpairwe together with the FELTP residents were involved in the preparation of a preparedness plan and work plan for Influenza A, H1N1. Other participants included WHO and the Directorate of Preventive Medicine
Five thousand (5000) copies of Surveillance Case Definition booklets were printed and delivered to Goss last week. This is part of AFENET’s support to GoSS to improve surveillance in Southern Sudan.
Updates from Uganda
On 13 May 2009, The Ministry of Health (MOH) Epidemiological Surveillance Division made a presentation on Influenza A H1N1 pandemic during the Wednesday lunch time seminar at Makerere University School of Public Health. The audience included academic staff and trainees, and the session was chaired by Prof Fred Wabwire- a well renowned epidemiologist. The MOH officials shared with the audience the planned surveillance activities. The presentation generated a lot of discussion on the best screening and surveillance approach which the country should implement.
Last week on Wednesday 20 and Thursday 21 May 2009, 6 trainees defended their dissertations.
Examinations for Year 1 and Year 2 trainees are still going on.
Two alumni of the program are part of the team that is currently involved in Influenza A, H1N1 surveillance data management.
Updates from Tanzania
The trainees are still taking their course 3 studies (i.e. Advanced Epidemiology & Lab Methods) which started on 18th May 2009. Dr Sheba Gitta was in Tanzania last week where she gave a lecture on stratified analysis of case-control studies on Tuesday, 19 May 2009.
The trainees are preparing for their thesis defense which will take place next week at Muhimbili University.
US Senate members who sit on the committee that is responsible for funding health efforts will be visiting the TFELTP on 28th May 2009. The purpose of this visit is to enable the US government get a better understanding of the impact that its investments has had on improving health in Tanzania.
Updates from Zimbabwe
Last week 12 trainees returned to Harare from their field attachments to attend the Excellence in Scientific Writing Course. The course was held from 18-22 May, 2009 at the Department of Community Medicine and was facilitated by Dr. Shambira, Mr. Gombe, Mr. Chadambuka and Mr. Ndlovu.
Updates from Ghana
This week, Ghana will be hosting the West Africa FELTP workshop at the African Regent Hotel in Accra. The workshop will run from 27 – 29 May 2009. At total of 44 participants are expected to attend; including officials from USAID, CDC-Atlanta, FAO, Dakar Vet School, Influenza regional centre, government officials, AFENET and West Africa FE(L)TPs.
The objectives of this workshop are to:
- Provide a forum for all AFENET stakeholders to report on activities to date, share information, and introduce new important members who should be part of the network.
- Finalize work plans which address gaps and are aligned with core competencies and critical capacities needed to strengthen surveillance, control and prevention of diseases which threaten public health in Africa.
- Assess current long and short-term trainings and work together toward a curriculum that can provide a basic framework which can be adapted to specific country needs while ensuring essential requirements for core competencies are met.
- Strengthen AFENET’s capability to not only address ‘traditional’ capacity building, but also enable an environment in which African institutions and governments are committed and responsible to continue investments in leadership development in public health.
- To agree on a strategy to guide FELTPs and their key stakeholders in future response to zoonotic and other epidemic disease outbreaks.
Updates from Secretariat
On 15 May 2009, AFENET organized a half day media sensitization workshop on Influenza A H1N1 at the Serena Hotel in Kampala. The objective of this workshop was to enlighten the media about the Influenza H1N1 pandemic to ensure that they disseminate accurate information to the public. The workshop was attended by over 30 journalists from various media houses in Uganda.
Presentations included: An overview of influenza viruses (by Dr. Bazeyo – Deputy dean Makerere University School of Public Health), The current international and local status of Influenza A H1N1 pandemic (by Dr. Yoti - WHO country office), Interventions by the Ministry of Health (by Dr. Wamala- MOH), Media engagement by the Ministry of Health (by Dr. Kaggwa - MOH) and the Role of the media in the Influenza A H1N1 national efforts (by Dr. Musenero - AFENET). The sessions were moderated by Dr. Gitta – the Uganda AIZIP National focal person. Mr. Mukanga – AFENET’s Executive Director gave the closing remarks which focused on the critical role of the media in fighting outbreaks.
Mr. David Mukanga, Dr. Monica Musenero, Dr. Nicholas Ayebazibwe and Ms. Lindsey Mwoga are currently in Accra-Ghana attending the West Africa FELTP workshop. David and Monica will make presentations during this meeting.