The IHR Strengthening Project alongside Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI) and Ohio State University organized and provided influenza sample collection training to Influenza-Like Illness (ILI) and Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) surveillance sites in Ethiopia.

These laboratories must be proactive in ensuring that the samples they  receive meet all of the requirements for producing accurate test results  and  that they  help  ensure good quality samples by providing clear collection information to the sample collectors; the quality of the laboratory result is only as good as the quality of the samples it uses for testing.

Influenza sample collection training was organized by EPHI alongside the IHR Ethiopia lab team and Ohio State University from January 12th to 14th.  and provided training to 33 influenza sample collectors and surveillance officers who came from sever acute respiratory infection (SARI) and influenza like illness (ILI) surveillance sites. The training covered an overview of SARI/ILI and Surveillance systems, biosafety precautions in influenza sample collection and handling, demonstration of swab sample collection, handling and packaging of samples, the Influenza specimen referral system and the roles and responsibilities of the involved parties. .

The participants were very happy to be part of this training and said that they felt more competent in collecting and handling influenza samples. The IHR strengthening project continues to support these capacity building activities to influenza surveillance sites and testing laboratory.