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AFENET Supports Frontline Field Epidemiology Training for 110 Health Professionals of the Ethiopian Ministry of National Defense and Federal Police Commission

The African Field Epidemiology Network supported a training of 110 health professionals of the Ethiopian Ministry of National Defense and Federal Police Commission on Frontline Field Epidemiology Training.

The Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI) is collaborating with the Ethiopian Ministry of National Defense Forces (MoNDF) and Federal Police Commission (FPC) of Ethiopia to establish and strengthen the public health emergency management & surveillance systems in the health facilities and structures serving armed and police forces and their families. Critical in this process is a well trained workforce with skills to collect, analyze and interpret surveillance data and initiate timely public health response to diseases thereby reducing associated  morbidities and mortalities. In November 2018, the African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET) partnered with the US CRDF Global & Leidos to provide technical support to the EPHI, MoNDF, FPC and WHO to implement a frontline field epidemiology training for 114 health professionals, 55 from defense forces and 59 from police. The program is funded by the US government through the Defense Threat Reduction Agency of the Department of Defense. .

The four months in-service training commenced on December 8, 2018 with a total of 15 days in three classroom workshops. The remaining 14 weeks were spent at their jobs conducting job-relevant field projects to apply and reinforce what they learnt in class while providing services. Participants were equipped with skills to collect, analyze, interpret and report public health surveillance data as demonstrated through their presentations during the final workshop. In addition, they are able to conduct surveillance data quality audits to identify surveillance quality problems and conduct root cause analysis to identify critical causes to some of the quality problems so as to recommend actions for improvement. They were also introduced to outbreak investigation and response processes and can now ably conduct the descriptive phases of any disease outbreak and describe the time, place and person characteristics. It is envisaged that that once they return to their work stations, they will apply these skills in order to strengthen surveillance within the two institutions. 

The graduation ceremony was conducted on April 18, 2019 in Adama, Oromia, Ethiopia with 110 participants completing the training, 53 from defense & 57 from police. In attendance at the ceremony, was the US CDC Country Director, Dr Christine Ross, head of the Defense Health Main Department,  Ministry of Defense, General Yilma,  Comm. Dereje, Director, Health Directorate, FPC, Director, Public Health emergency at the Ethiopian Public Health Institute, Dr Feyea Regassa and AFENET Regional Technical Coordinator, Horn of Africa, Dr Tatek Bogale.  

Dr Herbert Brian Kazoora, Senior Epidemiologist at AFENET & technical representative for CRDF global & Leidos worked with Mr Tolcha Kebebew, WHO country office & Resident Advisor, Ethiopia Frontline FETP to successfully coordinate implementation of this program.