Nadine Zeitlmann1, Ariane Halm1, Silva Bino2
1 Robert Koch Institute, Berlin, Germany;
2 Institute of Public Health, Tirana, Albania.
Background: In 2016, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) and the Institute of Public Health of Albania (IHP) established a bilateral partnership in the scope of emergency preparedness under the project ‘’GETPrepaReD’’ (Global Emergency Training and support for Preparedness and Response to Disease Outbreaks).
Aims: GETPrepaReD aims to strengthen capacities and capabilities in the areas of infectious disease surveillance, preparedness, response and crisis management in Albania. These aims go along with supporting the implementation of the International Health Regulations’ core capacities in the country.
Methods: Inside the partnership’s work packages “indicator-based surveillance”, ‘event-based surveillance’’, ‘’risk assessment’’ and ‘’crisis management’’, GETPrepaReD conducted participatory and interactive workshops with participants from national and district levels, which aimed to develop country-specific guidelines and tools. To ensure standardization and adherence to international principles, GETPrepaReD’s workshops rely on existing frameworks of international organizations (such as WHO and ECDC).
Results: In 2016-2020, IPH and RKI collaboratively and successfully conducted ~15 workshops and trainings within GETPrepaReD. Resulting from these activities, IPH developed new case definitions following European Union directives, national guidelines for rapid risk assessment and SOPs for event-based surveillance in Albania. A weekly epidemiological teleconference fostering horizontal exchange on infectious disease events between epidemiologists in Albania was established through GETPrepaReD and is successfully running since 2017. Furthermore, the project initiated the development of an Albanian public health emergency operation center.
Conclusions: For the last 4 years, GETPrepaReD constituted a fruitful partnership between IPH and RKI. As next steps, implementation trainings of the newly developed structures will be conducted.
Keywords: Albania,GETPrepaReD, training, workshops.