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Cablegate: Prt Salah Ad Din: Cdc Holds First Training

VZCZCXRO5377
RR RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #1517 1361531
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 151531Z MAY 08 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7393
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS BAGHDAD 001517

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL SOCI TBIO EAID IZ
SUBJECT: PRT SALAH AD DIN: CDC HOLDS FIRST TRAINING
COURSE IN IRAQ

1. (U) This is a PRT Salah ad Din reporting cable.

2. (U) SUMMARY: At the instigation of the Salah ad Din Provincial
Reconstruction Team (PRT), CDC has conducted its first training
course in Iraq, which was enthusiastically received by Iraqi medical
professionals. END SUMMARY.

3. (U) PRT Salah ad Din shared in the success of the first Field
Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) course offered by the U.S.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Iraq since
liberation. Drawing on its close ties to CDC, the PRT's Health
section had strongly encouraged CDC to sponsor this training in Iraq
in preparation for the upcoming cholera season.

4. (U) The eight-day course began on Tuesday, April 27 at the Al
Rasheed Hotel in Baghdad and was opened by the Minister of Health,
the WHO representative for Iraq, and the U.S. Embassy's Health
Attach. Forty-two of the 45 invited health professionals attended
- an outstanding level of turnout that reflected the great thirst
for learning within the Iraqi medical profession. The Director
General of Health for Salah ad Din province has quickly endorsed
this course, understanding its importance; he nominated eight health
professionals to attend - the largest number of participants from
any province besides Baghdad. Lectures and exercises were conducted
by faculty from the Iraq Ministry of Health, the U.S. Naval Medical
Research Unit (NAMRU), the World Health Organization, and CDC.

5. (U) CDC's FETP is designed to improve the skill sets of health
professionals in disease outbreak investigations and response
capabilities - ideally targeted at the local and provincial levels.
This training came at an opportune time as Iraq enters what is
normally a season when various diseases break out, including
cholera. Participants learned about disease surveillance systems,
data-collection, organization, and analysis, and presentation of
those findings. They also learned the process to identify the
potential source of an outbreak, the possible means of transmission,
and perhaps most importantly how to recommend measures to control
the outbreak.

6. (U) COMMENT: Overall the participants were very enthusiastic;
the Iraqis' thirst for new knowledge was exemplified by a 10:30 p.m.
visit from the Minister of Health to observe the teams working on an
exercise. The following day, the Minister returned with a large
group of media to attend the closing ceremony. The course also
provided an opportunity for discussion of establishing a sustainable
FETP in Iraq in the near future. As in other countries, a pyramidal
approach to establishing this program is planned, and will consist
of short courses such as the one just completed, more in-depth
courses of intermediate duration (several months) with more field
emphasis, and the classic 2-year FETP based on the concept of
"training through service." END COMMENT.

CROCKER

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