There are variations in existing capacities for surveillance and response in various countries of the World Health Organization-South East Asian Region (WHO-SEAR). However, in all these countries there is a need to strengthen core-capacities required for implementation International Health Regulations (2005) at various levels.
From experience, it was observed that it is not feasible for some countries of WHO-SEAR to dedicate time for medical officers to train in either the two-year or the three-month FETPs. Cognizant of this challenge, and based on lessons from other courses NICD with the support of WHO have reviewed and adapted a two-week competency-based training course. This course aims to develop essential skills of peripheral health workers in basic disease surveillance, epidemic preparedness and outbreak management. This course is an important step to accelerate the process of developing human capacity for successful implementation of IHR (2005) and enhance preparedness for management of outbreaks and epidemics.
The overall objective of the course is to strengthen the skills of peripheral health professionals/personnel in basic epidemiology and its application in disease surveillance and response. The faculty for this course includes apart from others, professionals who have earlier been trained in 3 months FETP course.
The training program broadly covers topics on basic epidemiology, disease surveillance, epidemic preparedness, outbreak investigation and response, designing field based studies, carrying out field-exercise, field exercises/surveys and institutional data analysis and report writing. The course contents are modified as per the needs and specific context of the country organizing the course.
The learning methodology includes one-week class-room learning and one-week field-assignment. In general it employs lecture-cum-discussions, group work and presentations, field exercises, i.e. “learning-by-doing”; and report writing and plenary presentation of field-work
The monitoring and evaluation of the course is carried out using pre- and post-training assessment tests. The feedback is utilized to further improve the tools and methodology. The course is being revised continuously based on lessons and feedback from the field.