A first introductory course in participatory epidemiology (PE) was organized by the Participatory Epidemiology Network for Animal and Public Health (PENAPH) and the African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET) between 15 and 25 March 2010 in Arua, Uganda. The nineteen participants were second year students from the Ugandan Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Program (FELTP) and teaching staff from the School of Public Health, Makerere University.
The objectives of the course were as follows:
- To introduce the general principles of PE as well as specific tools;
- To promote community participation as part of field epidemiology;
- To promote the use of participatory disease surveillance as a component of comprehensive disease surveillance programs;
- To develop course materials that will serve as a reference handbook for trainees;
- To contribute to the sustainability of the AFENET – PENAPH collaboration by serving as an important public good outcome.
Two documents will result from the training materials developed: a training manual for trainers in PE and a module for the participants to have as a reference document. Once ready, the documents will be published online and shared with PE practitioners and trainers worldwide through the PENAPH community of practice.
As a follow up to the introductory course, the participants will conduct field work in small teams on a topic of their interest. A refresher course is scheduled for August 2010, during which the participants will present the findings of their field work and we will review some of the topics addressed during the introductory course.