Seventh EMPHNET regional conference concludes

[20-11-2021 12:56 PM]

Ammon News - The Seventh Regional Conference of the Eastern Mediterranean Public Health Network (EMPHNET)was concluded last night. The conference was held under the theme "Towards Resilient Health Systems in the Eastern Mediterranean: Breaking Barriers" with the participation of around 300 participants representing 15 countries from the Arab region and the world.

Dr. Yousef Al-Qa'aoud, Chairman of the Conference Scientific Committee, said that the conference included dozens of panel discussions and working papers presented by epidemiologists focused on how to develop scientific research in the health sector and reasons preventing research abundance in the Middle East. He added that the summary of the workshops found that scarcity of financial support, migration of competencies and low competences prevented the production of research, in addition to the lack of networking with international organizations and related entities. He also pointed out that the initial recommendations of the conference emphasized the need to strengthen health systems in the region and strengthen capacities to respond and deal with pandemics as well as cooperation between countries to exchange experiences and successes and learn about the most important challenges and how to address them.

President of the Conference and Executive Director of EMPHNET, Dr. Mohannad Al-Nsour, thanked representatives of participating countries for their cooperation with the Jordanian health sector in various fields. He added that the five-day conference discussed presentations from residents and graduates of the field epidemiology training programs (FETPs). As well, keynote speakers including the Honorary Regional Director of WHO, Director of the Health Department of UNRWA, Director of Preparedness and Emerging Diseases at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Director of Programs in theWHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, Head of Public Health Faculty, Medicine Imperial College London-UK, as well as researchers and specialists from Jordan shared their insights.

In view of the abundance of discussions, research papers and brainstorming sessions focused on COVID-19 epidemic, a committee of the participating countries has been formed to formulate recommendations that will be shared with countries of the region and international research centers. These recommendationswill include a summary of the latest ways in dealing with the epidemic and how to build partnerships between countries for training and outbreak investigation.

Dr. Rana Mohammed Safadar, Director General of the Health Sector at the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, said his country highly values the role of EMPHNET, which is managedby Jordanians, in providing all means of support and guidance to Pakistan in the area of health. He stressed that this support has contributed realistically to the fight against the COVID-19pandemic and the reduction of cases in addition to developing the capabilities of the health workforce.

Dr. Nissaf Ben Alya, professor of preventive medicine and director general of the National Observatory for Emerging Diseases of Tunisia, said the conference was a real opportunity to exchange experiences and opinions, especially with the presence of different and distinctive medical schools that were able to control the pandemic with high professionalism.

Established in 2009 in Jordan, the Eastern Mediterranean Public Health Network (EMPHNET)is the umbrella organization for Field Epidemiology Training Programs (FETPs) in the Eastern Mediterranean region. It also works on areas such as rapid response to disease outbreaks, polio, emergency awareness and other public health-related areas.

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