Impact of Kenya's frontline epidemiology training program on outbreak detection and surveillance reporting: a geographical assessment, 2014-2017

Daniel Macharia, Yuka Jinnai, Mitsuaki Hirai, Tura Galgalo, Sara A Lowther, Chinyere O Ekechi, Marc-Alain Widdowson, Reina Turcios-Ruiz, Seymour G Williams, Henry Kip C Baggett, Rebecca E Bunnell, Elvis Oyugi, Daniel Langat, Lyndah Makayotto, Zeinab Gura, Cynthia H Cassell

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-article

Abstract

Rapid detection and response to infectious disease outbreaks requires a robust surveillance system with a sufficient number of trained public health workforce personnel. The Frontline Field Epidemiology Training Program (Frontline) is a focused 3-month program targeting local ministries of health to strengthen local disease surveillance and reporting capacities. Limited literature exists on the impact of Frontline graduates on disease surveillance completeness and timeliness reporting. Using routinely collected Ministry of Health data, we mapped the distribution of graduates between 2014 and 2017 across 47 Kenyan counties. Completeness was defined as the proportion of complete reports received from health facilities in a county compared with the total number of health facilities in that county. Timeliness was defined as the proportion of health facilities submitting surveillance reports on time to the county. Using a panel analysis and controlling for county-fixed effects, we evaluated the relationship between the number of Frontline graduates and priority disease reporting of measles. We found that Frontline training was correlated with improved completeness and timeliness of weekly reporting for priority diseases. The number of Frontline graduates increased by 700%, from 57 graduates in 2014 to 456 graduates in 2017. The annual average rates of reporting completeness increased from 0.8% in 2014 to 55.1% in 2017. The annual average timeliness reporting rates increased from 0.1% in 2014 to 40.5% in 2017. These findings demonstrate how global health security implementation progress in workforce development may influence surveillance and disease reporting.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHealth Security
Volume19
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)243-253
Number of pages11
ISSN2326-5094
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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