GABOR0NE, Botswana - 28th October 2017: A comprehensive training of trainers on integrated disease surveillance and response (IDSR) was conducted over a four-day period. Participants included surveillance officers, laboratory staff, clinicians and public health specialists from both the National and District level in Botswana. This workshop follows the adaptation and development of the National IDSR training manual. Both activities were coordinated and implemented by the Ministry of Health with technical and financial support from the WHO Country office.
A total of 56 participants from 14 districts were trained on the seven modules of IDSR in interactive and hands-on practical and participatory sessions. The training objectives included developing comprehensive knowledge of the IDSR Guidelines, skills for applying the information in the IDSR guidelines, using surveillance data for action and for using the IHR (2005) decision instrument to report outbreaks.
At the end of the training, participants were given the opportunity to enrol and complete the recently launched WHO Online IDSR training course.
Participants described the training as having enhanced their understanding of how to detect, investigate and respond in a timely manner to potential outbreaks or unusual health events in their districts. They commended the Ministry of Health and WHO for organizing the training and promised to translate the training into action in their districts.
Ms Kentse Moakofhi, the WCO officer-In-Charge thanked the Ministry of Health and Wellness for organizing the training and reiterated WHO’s commitment towards building a strong and responsive disease surveillance system both in the Region and in Botswana. She congratulated the participants on the success noted at the end of the training by an assessment of the knowledge gained.
She urged the participants to share the knowledge with colleagues in the districts and to timely report on the nationally agreed upon list of IDSR priority diseases as well as any unusual health events. WHO will continue to provide further guidance and the support to the country to ensure improvement in IDSR and IHR reporting requirements, including good quality data for early detection and timely action.
Dr Omar Nesredin, the IDSR Unit team leader in the Ministry, thanked WHO Country Office as well as the Regional Office for supporting both the training and the development of the training guidelines. He encouraged the participants to apply the knowledge gained and make the disease surveillance system in the country one of the best in the African Region. Dr Nesredin highlighted that efforts will be made by his by unit to expand the training to the rest of the districts and monitoring the timeliness, completeness and accuracy of data reported.