Appraisal of a Contact Tracing Training Program for COVID-19 in Greece Focusing on Vulnerable Populations

Elena Riza, Eleni Kakalou, Evangelia Nitsa, Ioannis Hodges-Mameletzis, Paraskevi Goggolidou, Agis Terzidis, Eleni Cardoso, Karl Philipp Puchner, Zisimos Solomos, Anastasia Pikouli, Eleni-Panagiota Stoupa, Christina Kakalou (+2 others)
<span title="2021-09-02">2021</span> <i title="MDPI AG"> <a target="_blank" rel="noopener" href="" style="color: black;">International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health</a> </i> &nbsp;
Contact tracing as an epidemiological strategy has repeatedly contributed to the containment of various past epidemics and succeeded in controlling the spread of disease in the community. Systematic training of contact tracers is crucial in ensuring the effectiveness of epidemic containment. Methods: An intensive training course was offered to 216 health and other professionals who work with vulnerable population groups, such as Roma, refugees, and migrants in Greece, by the scientific team of
more &raquo; ... he postgraduate programme "Global Health-Disaster Medicine" of the Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, with the support of the Swiss embassy in Greece. The course was delivered online due to the pandemic restriction measures and was comprised of 16 h over 2 days. The course curriculum was adapted in Greek using, upon agreement, a similar training course to what was developed by the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. Evaluation of the course was conducted in order to determine the short term satisfaction from participating in this training course. Results: A total of 70% of the course participants completed the evaluation questionnaires and all trainers gave feedback on the course. The training modules were ranked as extremely useful by the majority of the participants and over 50% of the participants specifically stated that the course content was directly related to their work with vulnerable groups. Content about the ethics of contact tracing and the effective communication skills presented were deemed most useful. Conclusion: The course was well organised and provided the required skills for effective contact tracing. Many course participants intend to use some components in their work with vulnerable populations groups. Contact tracing efforts work best in a systematic and coordinated way and the provision of systematic and organised training can greatly increase its effectiveness.
<span class="external-identifiers"> <a target="_blank" rel="external noopener noreferrer" href="">doi:10.3390/ijerph18179257</a> <a target="_blank" rel="external noopener" href="">pmid:34501844</a> <a target="_blank" rel="external noopener" href="">fatcat:pe45sql3sffebdw6ghlmkjm53q</a> </span>
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