Eastern Mediterranean Region

EMPHNET: East Mediterranean Public Heatlh Network

Network Established in 2009

Activities From the Field - Eastern Mediterranean

by Dr. Fawaz Ahmad Shehab
Within TEPHINET’s eastern Mediterranean region, the first nation to develop a field epidemiology training program was Saudi Arabia in 1989. Egypt followed suit in 1993, as did Jordan in 1999.

Approximately 20 trainees are expected to graduate from these programs in 2005.
Program trainees have served on teams that have responded to outbreaks, where the interventions have thwarted epidemics. Improvements in policies and practices are adopted as a direct result of recommendations following these interventions, to prevent recurrence. Recent examples include recommendations which were made as a result of the following investigations:
  • Trainees of the Jordanian field epidemiology training program
    • conducted an investigation into food poisoning outbreak among Chinese workers in northern Jordan (2004)
    • undertook a national survey on iron deficiency anemia and vitamin A deficiency, Jordan (2002)
  • trainees of the Egyptian field epidemiology training program carried out an investigation of an outbreak of typhoid in Naga Abo-Hussien, Gerga, Sohag, Egypt (2001)
Research and investigations conducted by FETP trainees contribute to the general understanding of the epidemiology of certain diseases and conditions, methods of combating epidemics and so forth. Recent examples include knowledge gained from the following studies and investigations:
  • trainees of the Egyptian field epidemiology training program
    • identified risk factors for brucellosis in Alexandria Governate, Egypt (1999 – 2000)
    • investigated an outbreak of mumps among school children at Dayrout, Assiut, Egypt (2003)
    • identified risk factors for brucellosis in Alexandria Governate, Egypt (2000)
    • described the mental health profile among a group of secondary school students, in selected governates of Egypt (2004)
  • Trainees of the Jordanian field epidemiology training program
    • Performed a study of the use & knowledge of iodized salt in a mountain area in Jordan (2004)
    • Undertook a descriptive study of children with surgery for developmental dysplasia of the hip, in an orthopaedic dept of a public hospital in Jordan (2001)
    • Studied the characteristics of hospitalized stroke patients in Jordan (2003)
  • Trainees of the Saudi Arabian field epidemiology training program carried out a study of actual practices, knowledge and attitudes of nurses in intensive care units and renal dialysis units of hospitals in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (2003)
Program trainees have contributed a great deal to the improvement of surveillance systems within their countries. Recent examples include improvements resulting from the following studies and investigations:
  • Trainees of the Jordanian field epidemiology training program have conducted evaluations of
    • A leishmaniasis surveillance system in Jordan (2004)
    • A brucellosis surveillance system in Jordan (2002)
Dr. Fawaz Ahmad Shehab 

 

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