Lessons learnt from a three-year pilot field epidemiology training programme

Authors

  • Damian Hoy Pacific Community, Noumea, New Caledonia; University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
  • A Mark Durand Pacific Islands Health Officers’ Association, Honolulu, HI, USA
  • Thane Hancock United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, Guam
  • Haley L Cash Pacific Islands Health Officers’ Association, Honolulu, HI, USA
  • Kate Hardie University of Newcastle, Newcastle, Australia
  • Beverley Paterson University of Newcastle, Newcastle, Australia
  • Yvette Paulino University of Guam, Guam
  • Paul White Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity Program, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
  • Tony Merritt Hunter New England Health, Newcastle, Australia
  • Dawn Fitzgibbons Ministry of Health, Republic of Palau
  • Sameer Vali Gopalani Pacific Community, Noumea, New Caledonia
  • James Flint Hunter New England Health, Newcastle, Australia
  • Onofre Edwin A. Merilles Jr Pacific Community, Noumea, New Caledonia
  • Mina Kashiwabaram World Health Organization, Manila, Philippines
  • Viema Biaukula World Health Organization, Suva, Fiji
  • Christelle Lepers Pacific Community, Noumea, New Caledonia
  • Yvan Souares Pacific Community, Noumea, New Caledonia
  • Eric Nilles World Health Organization, Suva, Fiji
  • Anaseini Batikawai Fiji National University, Suva, Fiji
  • Sevil Huseynova World Health Organization, Honiara, Solomon Islands
  • Mahomed Patel Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
  • Salanieta T Saketa Pacific Community, Noumea, New Caledonia
  • David Durrheim University of Newcastle, Newcastle, Australia
  • Alden Henderson University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI, USA
  • Adam Roth Pacific Community, Noumea, New Caledonia; Department of Monitoring and Evaluation, Public Health Agency of Sweden, Solna, Sweden; Department of Translational Medicine, Lund University, Malmö, Sweden

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.5365/wpsar.2016.7.4.005

Abstract

Problem: The Pacific region has widely dispersed populations, limited financial and human resources and a high burden of disease. There is an urgent need to improve the availability, reliability and timeliness of useable health data.

Context: The purpose of this paper is to share lessons learnt from a three-year pilot field epidemiology training programme that was designed to respond to these Pacific health challenges. The pilot programme built on and further developed an existing field epidemiology training programme for Pacific health staff.

Action: The programme was delivered in country by epidemiologists working for Pacific Public Health Surveillance Network partners. The programme consisted of five courses: four one-week classroom-based courses and one field epidemiology project. Sessions were structured so that theoretical understanding was achieved through interaction and reinforced through practical hands-on group activities, case studies and other interactive practical learning methods.

Outcome: As of September 2016, 258 students had commenced the programme. Twenty-six course workshops were delivered and one cohort of students had completed the full five-course programme. The programme proved popular and gained a high level of student engagement.

Discussion: Face-to-face delivery, a low student-to-facilitator ratio, substantial group work and practical exercises were identified as key factors that contributed to the students developing skills and confidence. Close engagement of leaders and the need to quickly evaluate and adapt the curriculum were important lessons, and the collaboration between external partners was considered important for promoting a harmonized approach to health needs in the Pacific.

References

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Published

25-09-2017

How to Cite

Hoy, D., Durand, A. M., Hancock, T., Cash, H. L., Hardie, K., Paterson, B., Paulino, Y., White, P., Merritt, T., Fitzgibbons, D., Gopalani, S. V., Flint, J., Merilles Jr, O. E. A., Kashiwabaram, M., Biaukula, V., Lepers, C., Souares, Y., Nilles, E., Batikawai, A., Huseynova, S., Patel, M., Saketa, S. T., Durrheim, D., Henderson, A., & Roth, A. (2017). Lessons learnt from a three-year pilot field epidemiology training programme. Western Pacific Surveillance and Response, 8(3). https://doi.org/10.5365/wpsar.2016.7.4.005

Issue

Section

Lessons from the Field