Two Successfully Complete U.S. Sponsored e-Health Training in Thailand

U.S. Embassy Port Moresby: U.S. Embassy Port Moresby is happy to announce that two trainees from the National Department of Health of have successfully completed the recent e-Health Knowledge and Skills (GEEKS) program in Thailand.

HIV/AIDS National Surveillance Officer, Joe Parak and IT Systems Analyst Pius Kalambe were among 150 participants from two other countries (Thailand and Guyana) who successfully completed an introduction to Public Health Informatics.

GEEKS training uses case and project-based learning to enable participants to immediately apply information presented during training program to real world scenarios. Mr. Parak and Mr. Kalambe will use their new skills to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of health service delivery in Papua New Guinea.

Launched and funded by the U.S. Government’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in collaboration with Mahidol University and the Thailand Ministry of Public Health the Tier 1 training was held from August 21st to 25th in Bangkok, Thailand.

U.S. Embassy Port Moresby’s CDC Health Informatics Advisor, Dr. Poruan Temu was one of a team of seven CDC staff who designed, implemented and facilitated the training which is the first public health informatics training offered by the CDC outside of the United States.

The GEEKS training is an important capacity building opportunity for Papua New Guinea, as currently there are no university institutions that offer Health Informatics training in-country. With a growing emphasis on e-Health initiatives and the need for innovative information communication technology strategies, CDC PNG is proud to offer this unique training opportunity to bright young Papua New Guineans passionate about combining technology and healthcare to improve the lives of their fellow countrymen and women.

Trainees were introduced to important concepts such as the information value cycle, problem solving for data storage and retrieval processes (informatics) and the boundary spanning nature of informatics work. They used innovative technologies in two structured case study labs that were designed to teach participants data warehousing, data mining and geospatial visualization techniques to recreate real-life public health emergency scenarios.

In preparation for Tier 2 training, which involves work on a 9 to 12 month informatics project, trainees took part in project presentations which saw over 30 teams present and receive feedback on their proposed projects. Team PNG’s project to decentralize the HIV Surveillance System in Papua New Guinea was very well received and the expected public health impact was highlighted as a strength of the proposal.