A two days surveillance and contact tracing training conducted by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) for over 40 health and medical workers in Choiseul province was successfully held last week in the provincial capital, Taro.
The training aimed to provide all frontline health workers with comprehensive knowledge on surveillance and contact tracing for COVID-19.
Following the training, participants were capacitated with knowledge and understanding of the revised COVID-19 surveillance case definition, enhanced surveillance case definition for influenza like illness, pneumonia and severe pneumonia as well as the ability to use the surveillance reporting tools for data collection and tool kit to conduct contact tracing.
Training also included practical sessions simulating different case scenarios for contact tracing such as within church, local market, etc. group work and role plays which involved interviews with family members of a positive COVID-19 case and persons who have come in contact with the positive case. Donning (Wearing) and doffing (Removal) of PPEs was also part of the practical components of the trainings to ensure participants can properly wear PPEs and safely remove them.
Choiseul Provincial Health Director, William Timba acknowledged the support received from MHMS stating that it will greatly enable Choiseul province health workers to effectively conduct COVID-19 surveillance and contact tracing. “With the COVID-19 threat just across the border, the training is vital for our health teams to instill and augment knowledge and skills to differentiate COVID-19 from other flu like illnesses thus swiftly detecting it and effectively follow up to curb any potential spread”, stated Mr. Timba.
He also highlighted that the training was also useful in identifying gaps and areas for improvements.
“The various components of the training from power point presentation, group participation and case scenarios have enabled our team to identify gaps and areas of improvements which we will work to address with the National Health Ministry and partners. Nevertheless this was a great start which we truly appreciate”, stated Timba.