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Chad health ministry hopeful the FETP will improve epidemiological surveillance

After listening to presentations from 18 graduating residents of the Chad frontline field epidemiology training program, officials from the health ministry believe the findings will significantly contribute to the body of evidence for informed decision-making on public health interventions in the country.

Officiating at the graduation ceremony of the country’s first cohort of the frontline FETP, the health ministry’s Deputy Director-General Secretary Dr. Mahamat Hamit emphasized the importance of the training saying it would ‘‘increase appreciation of the role of data in community health surveillance among public health workers, improve basic surveillance data collection and analysis, improve interpretation and communication, and improve the quality and use of surveillance data for disease detection and outbreaks, improve the sharing and dissemination of health information, and improve response to public health events, including case investigations and outbreak investigations.’’

Dr. Hamit observed that like in other sub-Saharan African countries, Chad is facing a health situation characterized by high morbidity and mortality due to epidemics of meningitis, measles, cholera, as well as other communicable and non-communicable diseases.

Stronger ties
Pledging unfettered support to the tripartite collaboration with AFENET and CDC, in the implementation of the frontline FETP, Dr Hamit said he was confident that this training would address short and long-term solutions to implementing the program's objectives. He thanked the CDC and AFENET for facilitating establishment of the program.

Representing the AFENET Director was Dr. Alain Magazani, the AFENET Regional Technical Coordinator for the Central Africa and Indian Ocean region who congratulated the graduates, program staff, public health and national solidarity ministry staff, as well as the CDC for making the training a success.

‘‘This is commendable, and it is my fervent hope that this effort will continue. The many public health challenges facing the world require nations to mobilize the resources necessary to train the public health workforce needed. We must work to ensure the sustainability of FETP in Chad,’’ he said.

Specifically to the graduates, Dr Magazani said : ‘‘The competency-based training you have undergone has given you the right knowledge, skills and attitude to provide a variety of public health services. Your country and the world expect nothing less than excellent service. I have no doubt that you will live up to that expectation.’’

Other officials who graced the ceremony were Dr Saada Daoud, Director General of Surveillance and Disease Control, Health Promotion and Nutrition ; Mr. Fali Djanserbe, Deputy Director-General, MoH ; Dr AbdelSadick Hidjab, Director of Surveillance and Disease Control and Mr Ali Abderamane Abdoulaye, Deputy Director of Surveillance and Disease Control. Also in attendance were FETP mentors and facilitators, who witnessed the awarding of certificates for the 18 participants.

Gratitude
Mr. Saleh Hassan Adiker, one of the graduates who is also a health worker in charge of analysis and epidemiological surveillance in Hadjer Lamis Province, expressed his gratitude saying the training would enable them to improve surveillance, investigation, and response to various diseases and health events. He thanked the Ministry of Public Health and National Solidarity of the Republic of Chad, AFENET, CDC Atlanta, the FETP, and especially the AFENET FETP Resident Advisor Dr Nestor Ndakala for all the technical, and administrative support given to them.