The WHO-led Epidemic Intelligence from Open Sources (EIOS) coaching program equips public well being specialists to strengthen Botswana’s public well being infrastructure. Within the ever-evolving panorama of public well being, well timed and correct well being emergency monitoring is a crucial useful resource to trace and reply to outbreaks.
Between 18 and 20 September 2023, in partnership with CDC Botswana, US Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) WHO facilitated a three-day workshop with 34 specialists from human, animal, and environmental well being sectors in Botswana.
The Epidemic Intelligence from Open Sources platform is a cutting-edge method to epidemiological surveillance that harnesses the huge wealth of knowledge out there by means of open-source channels equivalent to information studies, social media, and different publicly out there information. EIOS permits public well being specialists to proactively monitor, detect, and reply to potential well being threats in actual time offering a vital benefit within the race in opposition to infectious illnesses. The initiative goals to arrange public well being specialists with the information and expertise required to navigate the huge data out there on-line successfully and extract helpful intelligence that may inform public well being decision-making.
“EIOS goals to strengthen public well being intelligence by making a unified All-Hazards, One Well being method to early detection, verification, evaluation, and communication of public well being threats.” WHO Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence coaching officer Stefany Ildefonso defined in the course of the coaching.
As WHO Regional Workplace for Africa continues with the growth of the EIOS initiative and system throughout the area, Botswana turns into the twenty ninth nation to embrace this initiative aligning with WHO’s broader effort of strengthening and remodeling surveillance techniques within the African area.
Members within the coaching realized the way to navigate a fancy digital panorama and extract related data from numerous sources. They have been skilled to sift by means of huge quantities of knowledge, confirm its accuracy, and analyze it to establish potential outbreaks or well being crises of their communities. By this coaching, contributors gained helpful expertise that empowered them to contribute successfully to their nation’s well being safety, enhancing job satisfaction and profession growth.
“The EIOS is a helpful system for public well being specialists like me. The Ministry of Well being will use this method to bolster our surveillance and response techniques throughout our districts in Botswana. I can even educate my fellow colleagues, what I’ve realized throughout this workshop” Dr Reinar Mosimanegape mentioned after finishing the EIOS coaching.
The coaching additionally emphasised the significance of collaboration and data sharing amongst international locations and organizations. Epidemics don’t acknowledge borders, and a well timed response typically relies on the speedy trade of knowledge amongst international locations. The coaching is not going to solely profit the folks of Botswana however can even contribute to international well being safety by making certain that no well being disaster goes undetected or unaddressed. Because the world continues to grapple with evolving well being challenges, Botswana’s method of introducing EIOS as an incentive to proceed working in the direction of regional and international well being collaborations.
Following the coaching session, Botswana established the EIOS point of interest workforce aiming to reinforce the nation’s public well being surveillance efforts. Throughout a gathering on 26 October, the workforce efficiently recognized key public well being alerts to intently monitor and make sure the early detection of potential well being threats. To streamline their surveillance actions, the workforce additionally created EIOS boards devoted to human, animal, plant, and environmental well being, thus broadening the scope of their monitoring. Moreover, the workforce developed Botswana’s EIOS weekly monitoring plan, outlining the systematic method they may make use of to proactively deal with rising well being considerations and safeguard the well-being of the folks in Botswana.