Outbreak Investigation Training for Cricket World Cup and Beyond

Outbreak investigation training
PAHO/WHO - Brenda Lashley

Bridgetown, Barbados, 26 April 2024 (PAHO). Environmental health officers and public health nurses converged for a week of training to enhance their outbreak investigation skills.

The training was developed to increase the capacity of the officers to respond to public health emergencies in general, whether during the Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup or beyond, based on risk assessment.

Dr. Amalia Del Riego, PAHO/WHO Representative for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Countries providing opening remarks

PAHO/WHO Representative for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Countries, Dr. Amalia Del Riego, stated that the training “serves as a crucial opportunity to enhance our skills, share knowledge, and collaborate in safeguarding the health and well-being of the people of Barbados and beyond. Together, through our commitment to excellence in outbreak investigation, we can contribute to a safer, healthier future for all.”

PAHO Consultant, Dr. Gladzdin Jean Denis was the facilitator for the training.

Each morning, examinations were hosted for the officers to assess their comprehension of the training.

The topics covered included identifying an outbreak and investigation steps; case studies; transmission cases; planning field investigation; epidemiological studies; healthcare associated infections; collection and handling of human and environmental samples; the role of vectors in disease transmission; control and response measures; safety, occupational health, and biosecurity in the field; and interacting with the media to familiarize officers with risk communication strategies and what is required of media spokespersons.

Ministry of Health and Wellness Epidemiologist, Maria Ingram, described the training as vital not only to sharpen officers’ skills for the upcoming Cricket World Cup, but to prepare them for any international event.

PAHO/WHO ECC Advisor for Health Surveillance, Disease Prevention and Control, Dr. Prabhjot Singh, is satisfied that the workshop’s objective was achieved. “Our aim was to increase the officers’ capacity to investigate a public health outbreak and we have done so.”

Fourteen people participated in the training and further training will soon be hosted.