Today’s highly mobile, interdependent, and interconnected world provides unprecedented risk for the rapid spread of infectious diseases such as Ebola, arboviruses, cholera, multi-drug resistant salmonella. Recent outbreaks have led to an increased awareness of the impact of such outbreaks on global health (security). At the same time, outbreaks present unique opportunities for research to understand emergence and impact, as well as to test and evaluate the effectiveness of specific interventions to control current and future outbreaks, including prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and long-term impact. During the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the need for training on preparedness, outbreak investigation, outbreak research, and sustainable control became very clear.
This 3-week course is mainly for clinicians, health system and program managers, decision-makers, and researchers who are, or have been, involved in outbreak investigations and want to be able to identify and appraise research needs and opportunities and to develop and support research as part of the outbreak response.
The course aims to enhance the specific skills needed to design and implement multi- and interdisciplinary outbreak investigations with a particular focus on relevant research before, during, and after acute phases of outbreaks.
The course will integrate the expertise and points of view of an interdisciplinary ITM team involved in outbreak research, including clinicians, entomologists, epidemiologists, GIS specialists, health systems & health policy scientists, microbiologists, molecular biologists, and social scientists. A variety of case studies will be presented and discussed on different types of outbreaks. These will include a range of transmission routes (such as vector-borne, air-borne, food&water borne), rapid and slow outbreaks, rare and common diseases.
NOTE: The face-to-face teaching modality of this short course may change to an online format in case the COVID-19 epidemic situation does not allow international travel or when quarantine would be required.
Teaching & Learning Methods
Exchange of experience is essential in the learning process.
Teaching and learning methods consist of interactive lectures, group work on case studies, exercises to apply tools, lab demos, coached group work for the assignment, and presentations for the assignments. One session will be dedicated to introducing the course & the assignment and one session for the course evaluation and conclusions. Some sessions will require preparatory reading or self-study of common concepts and terminology. Links for further reading will also be provided.