There are two aspects of training that relate to the national trachoma surveillance system; the training to undertake the screening, and the training to collect and enter good quality data. In relation to training of staff collecting the data, the general consensus from stakeholders was that staff in trachoma surveillance and control roles were generally appropriately trained. Some problems with training were encountered with staff from the local communities, where the interest levels and skills varied. It is important to engage local health services workers in screening for trachoma and consequently effective systems to engage and train staff local workers need to be designed and implemented. It is recognised that this task presents challenges particularly as health services staff in local communities are very mobile, but it is important that the training solution is systematic so that it functions independently of the people occupying roles at a point in time.

R22: It is recommended that the national trachoma surveillance system be enhanced through the development of training materials/packages (including web-based training modules) for training of local staff in trachoma screening and control activities.

The quality of the data is influenced by many factors including the quality of training and supervision of person who complete the surveillance forms, and the care exercised in data management. Computer-based forms with cross-checking of information yield more accurate results than paper-based systems with no controls. Data collection and entry are currently paper based, and there are inadequate systems for checking data quality. Computer-based data entry, if well designed, will contribute to resolving this problem.

R23: It is recommended that the quality of the national trachoma surveillance data be enhanced through the development of a training package or session with staff that collect and/or enter the data. The training package/session would involve being taught to use the Access database or its replacement as well as understanding the uses of the data at the national level. top of page