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Malaria Epidemic Pushes WHO To Train Data Managers 

By Lindi Bi Nabain — The recent malaria epidemic that claimed over 1000 lives in the Far North Region has caused the World Health Organisation, WHO, to train data managers to collect, analyse and transmit data pertaining to health issues.

Though the officials deny that the training was motivated by the recent malaria crisis in the Region, they agreed that if data managers and the communication department had done their work well, the situation would not have magnified. Data managers were thus advised to shun information that could lead to pandemics in the Region.

This warning was sounded by the Coordinator of WHO Mobile Emergency team in Maroua, Etienne Mevoula Onana Dava, during a two-day workshop. The workshop aimed to reinforce the capacities of managers of data in the health system, on Monday, November 4, in Mokolo. According to Mevoula, data collection, analysis and timely transmission are very important for concrete action to be taken.

According to information from WHO office in Cameroon, the Far North is the only region where some 500 telephones were provided to health centres, to ease communication flow at all levels. However, according to Mevoula, communication is still lacking. He said if information had circulated on time, hierarchy would have known what was happening and would have taken dispositions to avert the crisis and even saved lives.

Dr. Flaubert Danbe, Regional Focal Point for Nutrition, on his part, said the main object of the workshop was to reinforce the abilities of data managers to acquire the techniques of data collection, analysis and diffusion of health information so that hierarchy can take good decisions that will reduce and curb diseases and eventual epidemics in the region. At the end of the workshop, participants; taken from the 28 different health districts in the Region, were expected to produce quality data, ameliorate the indicators of data collection and transmission, update database in laboratories and to circulate health information.

They received lectures on such themes as importance of data analysis, epidemiology and health statistics, technical analysis of data, amongst others. The mission of the WHO Cameroon Country Office is to promote the attainment of the highest sustainable level of health by all people living in Cameroon through collaboration with the Government, and other partners in health development and the provision of technical and logistic support to country programmes.

First published in The Post print edition no 01478

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