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Teaching case-studies in field epidemiology in the Eastern Mediterranean Region

Teaching case-studies in field epidemiology in the Eastern Mediterranean Region

Mohannad Al Nsour1,&


1Global Health Development, Eastern Mediterranean Public Health Network, Amman, Jordan



&Corresponding author
Mohannad Al Nsour, Global Health Development, Eastern Mediterranean Public Health Network, Amman, Jordan



Editorial    Down

In a rapidly changing world especially in health sector, marked by frequent turnover and unexpected changes, the need to provide continuous education for public health practitioners remains a priority. In many low and middle-income countries, keeping educated health professionals in-country is challenging. GHD/EMPHNET is working continuously in improving health status in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) by building national and regional capacities in several priority public health areas through Field Epidemiology Training Programs (FETPs) which are competency based leaning programs with a learning model focusing on problem-based learning exercises and targeting mainly public health workers in different EMR countries.

GHD/EMPHNET uses a variety of effective teaching strategies to train public health professionals and FETPS´ residents in the region including case-study method. case studies is powerful student-centered teaching strategy that shows the application of a theory or concept to real and an effective tool for simulating real-life public health functions and services in public health training programs. Case studies are effective teaching strategies that promote active learning, encourage the development of critical thinking skills, provide student-centered instruction, help with problem solving, analysis, and problem identification [1], and support decision making in complex situations and coping with ambiguities [2]. Case studies allow students and trainees to “experience” real client situations that they may not have access to in the class room or the field.

GHD/EMPHNET has supported the development of new and diverse teaching case studies in Field Epidemiology and various public health disciplines that are tailored to EMR context and supported FETPs in the region to use them in teaching FETPs´ residents. GHD/EMPHNET keeps providing technical support to facilitators and experts to develop new case studies in EMR based on the local context and country-specific data. These case studies are published in scientific journals in a form of supplements or special issues to be available for use by public health trainers in Ministries of Health and Academic institutions. The previous supplement, published in May 2019, included 17 case studies addressing various public health problems and issues.

The current supplement includes 17 new teaching case studies that are developed based on real events in EMR. These case studies were developed by experienced FETPs´ technical advisers and graduates and other experts in various areas of public health. This supplement includes case studies from Iraq, Morocco, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt, Sudan and Yemen. These case studies are focused on major outbreaks occurred in the countries such as Dengue Fever outbreak in Yemen, Diphtheria outbreak in Sudan, MERS-COV in Saudi Arabia and Hepatitis E in Pakistan. Other health problems and issues are covered in this supplement such as COVID-19 pandemic, Mass Gatherings in Iraq, and hemorrhagic diseases in Sudan.

The case studies were developed in the same format, with open-ended questions to be answered by the trainees including questions about possible solutions for specific health issues. These case will help to build trainees´ competencies in outbreak investigations, designing epidemiological studies, data collection, data analysis and interpretation, using software such as Epi Info™, strengthening and evaluation public health surveillance, risk communication, collaboration and teamworking, and making decisions on containing public health threats. These case studies stimulate the trainees to consolidate their knowledge and improve their public health practices to detect, timely response to major health events and control/prevent them. Moreover, the case studies are expected to improve trainees´ research skills, organizational and time management skills and increase their proficiency in writing and oral communication.



Competing interests    Down

The author declares no competing interests.



References Up    Down

  1. Popil I. Promotion of critical thinking by using case studies as teaching method. Nurse Educ Today. 2011 Feb;31(2):204-7. PubMed | Google Scholar

  2. Boston University. Center for Teaching and Learning. Using Case Studies to Teach. 2020.