Ethiopia Conducts Risk Analysis Training of Trainers

Monday, 30 May 2016 - 1:23pm
OHCEA Network Country: 
Dr. Fernando Sampedro Facilitates One of the Sessions

Risk Analysis, a tool used by intergovernmental organizations (such as WHO, OIE and FAO) to assess disease risk in countries in a cost-effective manner was identified as a top priority need during the needs assessment conducted under Emerging Pandemic Threats (EPT 1) in Ethiopia. As a response to this need, OHCEA Ethiopia developed Risk Analysis training materials followed by training-of-trainers (TOT) for rolling out Risk Analysis training in the One Health Workforce in the country.  The training-workshop took place from May 6-10, 2016 at Addis Ababa, Harmony Hotel.

Public officials who attended the training from the various country offices acquired knowledge and tools in risk management and risk communication. The training was attended by 28 participants coming from government institutions and from Jimma and Mekelle Universities.

The training was facilitated by a team of experts including, Dr. Fernando Sampedro, Dr. Yohannes Tekle, Dr. Lelisa Seina, Dr. Said Tiku, Dr. Hailu Degefu and Mr. Dejen Yemane.

As part of this endeavor the program utilizes OHCEA Ethiopia network members (country coordinating committee members, Focal persons and faculty), P&R Risk Analysis Experts and US university partner faculty as program ‘mentors’ to strengthen 30 Risk Analysis “trainers” from government ministries to train a larger cohort of 100 participants from regions where Jimma and Mekelle Universities are located. 

The goals of the training were; 1) train the trainers for delivering risk analysis training to different government offices, 2) identify small projects for groups to work together on risk analysis based on the priorities for the country with mentorship from experts

Professor Kifle Weldemichael opened the training. He emphasized the need to ensure that cascading of the training gets implemented. He therefore called for active participation of the trainees in the training so as to derive maximum benefit from it and realize the training objectives.

Dr. Fernando Sampedro introduced the participants to the importance of connecting academia and government in controlling outbreaks and risks.

As part of the session on Risk Management Framework and Risk Management Steps, the participants developed a risk management plan for specific situations in Ethiopia.

The session on Risk prioritization in food safety equipped participants with knowledge and skills in how to prioritize risk and how to use risk prioritization tools (decision trees and decision matrix) to rank the pathogens in food. A hands-on activity enabled participants exercise the use of decision matrices to rank the chemicals in food and each group used foods highly consumed in Ethiopia and applied the decision matrix to identify the risk level (low, medium, high) for the chemicals.

Dr. Abebe Wosen made a presentation on the activities of USAID Preparedness and Response and Ebola Virus Disease risk assessment process in Ethiopia

The most important part of the training was project development in the areas of Food Safety, Trans Boundary Diseases and Zoonotic diseases. The main objective of this part of the training was to put into practice the theoretical knowledge participants acquired during the four days. The exercise also provided opportunity for multidisciplinary collaboration across the teams from different sectors.

As a result of this training, the groups identified priorities and specific research projects for the country as follow up to the training. Project identified included; 1) Reducing the risk of rabies in Jimma zone using sustainable mitigation strategies; 2) Improving food handling practices in public services of Jimma town; 3) Microbial load in beef at butcher houses in Addis Ababa; 4) Assessment of aflatoxin concentration in Injera processed in Addis Ababa; 5) Assessment of prevalence, associated risk factors and evaluation of control measures of rabies in human and animals in Tigray region, 6) Assessment of prevalence, associated risk factors and evaluation of control measures of Anthrax in humans and animals in Tigray region.