San Salvador, February 28, 2012 — The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) held a training workshop for facilitators on the “Modules of the Principles of Epidemiology for Disease Control,” or MOPECE, which trains health professionals to apply the epidemiological concepts, methods, and approach to disease control and health events in the population.
The workshop, targeting physicians and nurses in the Salvadoran Social Security Institute (ISSS), also provides the “common language” needed to develop local epidemiological information and communication networks, strengthen epidemic alert and response capacity in the local health system, and promote the development of analytical and problem-solving capabilities in epidemiological practice in local health management.
The facilitators trained will be responsible for replicating the experience among health professionals in local health teams at ISSS hospitals and health centers in the expectation that the epidemiological techniques taught will improve ISSS health services in terms of organizational capacities and timely, efficient response to epidemiological alerts.
In 2011, the Ministry of Health trained a group of facilitators who subsequently planned to replicate this process among ministry personnel in different health regions and departmental hospitals.
Participating in the workshop’s opening event were Dr. Carlos Ramón Menjívar, Deputy Health Director at ISSS; Dr. Rodolfo Peña, Adviser on Health Situation Analyses for PAHO in El Salvador; and Drs. Edwar Herrera and Genoveva Morales, heads of the ISSS Education Department and Epidemiology Department, respectively.
The PAHO instructors also attended: Dr. Gianira Chávez de Benítez, Local Development Consultant in Developing Human Resources for Health; Miguel Aragón, Adviser on Health Surveillance and Disease Prevention and Control; and Dr. Rafael Baltrons, Local Development Consultant for the Vaccines and Immunization Program.
This training initiative, which follows basic epidemiological principles, is being implemented as part of the technical cooperation provided by the PAHO/WHO Representative Office in El Salvador to organizations in the health sector. The workshop is sponsored by CIDA Canada.
About the Workshop
Implementation of MOPECE began in June 1979 under the aegis of PAHO, with the support of consultants from the countries of the Region of the Americas, since developing and strengthening epidemiological capacity in the public health workforce is a prerequisite for improving institutional capacity in health systems.
Date: 28 February to 24 April 2012
Duration: 60 hours, one 8-hour session per week
Facilitators: PAHO and Ministry of Health experts
Content/Modules: Conceptual framework, public health and disease, measuring public health and disease, public health surveillance, epidemiologic field study and disease control
Methodology: Constructivist approach and group activity, in-person and participatory, geared to the practical application of epidemiological principles in local health management