NOVEMBER 28, 2014 By Regina Pratt
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, World Health Organization (WHO) and Statistics Sierra Leone, yesterday concluded a two-day training for thirty-eight (38) Surveillance Officers and National Data Managers on the use of Global Positioning System (GPS) at Njala Venue, Lumley Beach Road.
UNFPA Assistant Country Representative, Ibrahim S. Kamara, said at the training that they are co-leaders of the Surveillance Pillar in the Ebola fight, alongside the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and WHO, and that they were requested to procure 150 GPS devices to strengthen surveillance effort nationwide.
He said the training has capacitated participants to be able to map evolving Ebola hotspots, adding that the National Surveillance Officers will be deployed in the provinces to conduct GPS training for District Surveillance Officers.
“This training will expedite better documentation of cases to enable partners guide their response. Your robust mapping of Ebola hotspots will be very critical in the fight against the disease,” he said.
Also speaking, Statistician-General, Mohamed King-Koroma, reminded participants that they are primary beneficiaries, adding: “As frontline commanders you must pay rapt attention to what you have been thought.”
He said Statistics Sierra Leone would collect and manage quality and timely data which would be used to produce results and make work easier.
“The result of your work will be very useful to stakeholders. Let me urge you to understand the system for informed decision-making to avoid failure,” he said.
On his part, Director of Censuses and Global Information System (GIS), Andrew Bob Johnny, explained that the GPS picks up satellite signals and can be used in various spheres, including agriculture, airlines and ships.