Muscat – The Ministry of Health (MoH), represented by the Directorate General of Disease Control and Surveillance, in collaboration with US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Eastern Mediterranean Public Health Network (EMPHNET), launched the Public Health Empowerment Programme – Basic Field Epidemiology on Sunday.
The Public Health Empowerment Programme aims to empower participants and build capacities in public health epidemiological surveillance and investigation, in addition to equipping them with the necessary skills to collect, analyse and present health data effectively and efficiently.
The launch ceremony was held under the auspices of H E Dr Fatima Mohammed al Ajmi, MoH’s Undersecretary for Administrative, Financial and Planning Affairs, in the presence of Dr Jean Jabbour, WHO Representative in Oman, Dr Saif al Abri, Director General of Directorate General of Disease Control and Surveillance, and senior MoH officials at City Seasons Hotel.
H E Dr Fatima affirmed that the ministry is continuing its efforts to control communicable diseases, which are an increasingly pressing concern for any community, and launched several programmes. According to Dr Abri, a well-qualified health workforce is a must to ensure the sustainability of such programmes. “Public Health Empowerment Programme – Basic Field Epidemiology is a programme that is set to increase capacity among public health workers in this field.”
Dr Abri informed that a weeklong training workshop to train and qualify local mentors of the programme at the governorate level will be held soon. He further pointed out that the Public Health Empowerment Programme – Basic Field Epidemiology is a three-level programme – Basic, Medium and Advanced.
“Preparation for the Basic level is initiated today, while it is hoped that the Medium level will start before the end of the year. Introduction of the Advanced level will be coordinated and planned within the next two years.”
Dr Faris al Lami, representative of EMPHNET, informed that over the next three months, participants of the programme will have the opportunity to strengthen their technical capacity to run and manage local public health surveillance systems, conduct outbreak investigation, and respond to common diseases in the sultanate.
Twenty-three governorate level health workers, responsible for surveillance and monitoring, are participating in the programme, in addition to 12 mentors who work in the area of public health surveillance and disease outbreak in the governorates.