Ethiopia Intensify Capacity Building Efforts for Risk Analysis

Training for risk analysis is a flagship program in Ethiopia under the One Health Workforce project. To date, …………have been trained in the country addressing a need that has been identified and expressed by the Government of Ethiopia. In this period, another set of in-service professionals, including academics were trained at Jimma University and Mekelle University to contribute to the growing pool of professionals competent in risk analysis.

Jimma University conducts Risk analysis training for professionals from different government institutions

Jimma University, Ethiopia conducted a risk analysis training workshop for twenty seven (27) public sector professionals. These included professionals from government sector departments and eight academic staff from Faculty of Public Health and School of Veterinary Medicine (four from each).

The workshop conducted December 22nd -26th  at Dololo Hotel, aimed at training people working in the university and government sector in One Health risk analysis. Risk Analysis is a tool used by intergovernmental organizations (such as WHO, OIE and FAO) to assess disease risk in a cost-effective manner.

The training was organised to ensure that academic staff and government sector professionals attending this training acquired the knowledge and tools in risk management and risk communication to be able to:

  1. Describe the concepts and framework of risk analysis applied to zoonotic diseases and food safety
  2. Identify the roles and interactions among the risk assessors, risk managers and stakeholders
  3. Apply risk prioritization tools to identify the priorities in zoonotic diseases and food safety in the country or region
  4. Apply rapid risk assessment tools for the importation of live animals, biological and agricultural products
  5. Design a surveillance and inspection program in zoonotic diseases and food safety in the country or region
  6. Communicate effectively risk analysis with the stakeholders

The beneficiary institutions included: Jimma University School of Veterinary Medicine, Jimma University Food Science and Postharvest Technology, Jimma University Crop Protection, Jimma University Natural Resource Management, Jimma University Animal Science, Jimma University Faculty of Public Health, Environment and Forestry and Climatic Change Center, Shenen Gibe Hospital, Jimma Town Food Security and Job Creation, Jimma Referral Hospital, Healthcare Institutions, Red Cross, Disaster Prevention and Preparedness, Livestock & Fishery Development from  Jimma zone.

In his opening remarks, Prof. Kifle Weldemichael, School of Public Health OHCEA Focal Person, emphasized the importance of connecting academia and sector offices in controlling outbreaks and risks. He therefore called on participants to participate fully and actively in the training so as to derive the maximum benefit from it and realize the training objectives.

Dr. Dechassa Tegegne briefly explained the one health concept and historical developments. He also took participants through the OHCEA vision and mission and partner countries and major activities conducted in Ethiopia.

Some of the participants mentioned that they were involved in the management of Anthrax, rabies and diarrheal disease outbreaks. The participants also mentioned that lack of integration and discipline-based complexity were the major challenges they faced during the management of one health risks.

A cross section of the participants during one of the sessions

Case scenarios were used as a training tool. Chicken market as source of zoonotic infection in Addis Ababa was one of them. Using this case scenario, participants were able to identify potential stakeholders and classify them based on their influence and importance.

Participants were also taken through risk management framework, risk management steps and risk prioritization in food safety and they were trained in how to prioritize risk and how to use risk prioritization tools (decision trees and decision matrix) to rank the pathogens in food.

One of the most interesting presentations demonstrated the use of risk ranger software in Microsoft excel. 

Some important tools for risk estimation and assessment currently in use for animal diseases and food safety were also discussed. Some highlights of this session are:

  • Use of WHO food borne tool
  • Risk prioritization in Zoonotic Diseases in Ethiopia
  • Steps of the Risk Assessment
  • Risk-based surveillance and inspection
  • Use of rapid tools for import-export

Risk communication issues in the context of OIE and FAO (food safety) were also addressed. 

Towards the end of the workshop, participants were briefly exposed to the concepts of collaboration and partnership. The presentation by Dr. Dechassa Tegegne (OHCEA Vet Medicine Focal Person) emphasized that the platform created in the workshop needs to be sustained in the future. Trainees identified priority project areas and drafted concept notes in the area of zoonotic diseases, food safety and environmental health.

Project I team on Zoonotic diseases selected the area of rabies cases and its impact in Jimma town. The team set out to; 1) identify prevalence of rabies in Jimma town, 2) assess socio-economic impact of rabies in Jimma town, 3) assess KAP of inhabitants towards rabies prevention and control in Jimma town, 4) prevent and control rabies based on research findings.

Teams discuss their projects in their respective groups

The Project II team on Food safety focused on assessment of bacteriological and chemical quality of major food items from farm to fork. This team set out to; 1) determine the bacteriological quality of major food items, 2) determine the chemical quality of major food items, 3) identify sources of food contamination, 4) propose appropriate intervention based on research findings.

The team working on Project III which is on Environmental Health, focused on integrated waste management for sustainable green city development, using the case of Jimma town. They set out to; 1) develop integrated solid waste management system for Jimma town, 2) develop composting plant, 3) enhance the capacity of microenterprises engaged in waste management in Jimma town, 4) apply waste conversion technologies such as biogas production, biochar, etc. 5) increase the awareness of inhabitants of Jimma town on waste management

All the participants were awarded certificates of attendance and participation.  

A group photo of the participants and their facilitators

Mekelle University Conducts Training in Risk Analysis for professionals in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia

Mekelle University provided a training on Risk Analysis from December 28/2017 to January 1/2018. Thirty seven (37) professionals from Mekelle University College of Health Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Tigray Agricultural and Rural Development Bureau, Tigray Health Bureau, Mekelle Zonal Health Office, Tigray Health Research Institute, Veterinary Drugs and Feed Control Authority, Tigray Science and Technology Bureau, Tigray Agricultural Research Institute, Abergele International Abattoir and Mekelle Zone Agriculture Bureau participated.  The Training was facilitated by faculty of Mekelle University namely   Dr. Yohannes Tekle (College of Veterinary medicine) and Dejen Yemane (College of Health Sciences) who participated in the Risk Analysis module development and Training of Trainers conducted earlier. From the training, participants gained knowledge and skill of one health, risk assessment, risk management and risk analysis principles and applications.

 Some of the trainees during the training session

Trainees pose for a group photo after the training


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