The recently established Burundi Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) held a training of trainers (ToT) from 15 to 17 March 2022 followed by the first ever frontline FETP workshop held from 22 to 26 March 2022 at the National Institute of Public Health in Bujumbura.
The objective of the two training was to equip the participants with basic knowledge and skills in field epidemiology. For residents in particular, their workshop aimed at understanding how to do data quality audits; knowing how to use case definitions; equiping residents with knowledge on how to do data analysis and interpretation; and be acquainted with the knowledge to do data summary and brief surveillance summary reports.
The ToT training was graced by the presence of the Director-General of the National Institute of Public Health Professor Joseph Nyandwi who gave the opening remarks on behalf of the Minister of Health. He noted that the program would improve and strengthen the health system in Burundi.
Meanwhile, at the FETP workshop, Dr. Nyandwi congratulated participants upon their selection, further noting that after the training they were meant to identify challenges, solve them or suggest solutions by way of recommendations to the health ministry.
The AFENET Burundi Resident Advisor Dr. Munekayi Padingani thanked the partners for making the training a reality. He promised AFENET support to country to make informed decisions and cultivate a culture starting from the lower level.
Dr. Padingani also noted that the program would address some of the health weaknesses identified during the SWOT analysis.
“After the two training, we are currently in the field trying to assist the residents to use the threshold for malaria to be able to make decisions on the ground at local county facilities and district level. The tool has been available in the country but not in use,” he said. “With the new FETP program, we are helping the residents as well as other health workers to use the tool. That’s the advantage of the establishment of the FETP in Burundi.”
The Republic of Burundi is a landlocked country in East Africa, made of eighteen provinces and forty-eight districts. The people of Burundi are highly susceptible to a wide variety of diseases that are ravaging the country. The numbers of infection and mortality rates of treatable and preventable diseases (measles, cholera, malaria, COVID, among others) in Burundi show a need for redirection. Seeing this need, CDC/Atlanta operating through AFENET and in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and fight against AIDS in Burundi decided to strengthen health personnel capacity in epidemiological surveillance and response to epidemics and other public health events. This will be done through basic field epidemiology training. The program will train a total of sixty (60) health staff.
The facilitators included Dr. Munekayi Padingani (Resident Advisor), Mr Adolphe Ndoreraho (Burundi National Institute of Public Health), Dr Bernard Sawadogo (Burkina Faso FETP), and Prof Joseph Nyandwi (Burundi National Institute of Public Health).