The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in coordination with Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Resources, the National Animal Diagnostic Health and Investigation Center, and the Ethiopian Public Health Institute conducted a three-day workshop on anthrax sample collection and transport from May 16-18 in Bishoftu, Oromia to improve sample collection and safety procedures to confirm suspected anthrax cases as part of the National Anthrax Prevention and Control Plan.
Participants learned techniques for surveillance, laboratory diagnostics, and safe collection and handling of samples from both human and animals suspected of having anthrax. The training was attended by public health officers, medical and veterinary professionals from the Southern Nations and Nationalities People Region (SNNPR), as well as officers from Ethiopian Public Health Institute, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Resources, and National Animal Health Diagnostic Investigation Center. Professionals from the SNNPR were chosen to attend due to the historically high number of suspected anthrax cases in the region. The trainers facilitated detailed discussions as well as practical hands-on training for safe sample collection and transportation to test suspected cases in both animals and humans.
Anthrax is common in Ethiopia. Typically, animals become infected first and then transmit the disease to humans who have close physical contact or consume meat or other products from infected animals. To address this threat, several Ethiopian Government ministries collaborated to develop a National Anthrax Prevention and Control Plan. This training is a critical step in implementing that strategy and helping Ethiopia to detect and prevent the spread of anthrax.