953 ENACTS Training Manuals for the East African Health Community

Tuesday, 24 January 2017
4E (Washington State Convention Center )
Aisha Sekelaga Owusu, International Research Institute for Climate and Society/Columbia University, Palisades, NY; and M. Thomson, P. Ceccato, T. Dinku, I. Khomanov, J. Del corral, and Y. Tesfamariam Tekeste

While health forecasts are possible using the latest seasonal climate prediction models, evidence of the utility and efficacy of seasonal forecasts at the local decision-making (i.e. district) scale remain elusive. The lack of access to local ground observations from national archives and monitoring systems has played a significant role in limiting the use of climate information in evidence-based health policymaking. Unable to access local quality controlled climate data, researchers have focused their efforts on the use of freely available global climate products often unaware of their substantial limitations for local level use.
In recent years however, significant advances have been made in some African countries in the development of locally-owned, quality controlled, climate information with national coverage that is suitable for analysis at the local level. Established through the Enhancing National Climate Services (ENACTS) initiative, the approach combines rigorously evaluated station observations from the entire national meteorological agency archive and operational system with globally available satellite and model reanalysis data. The resultant primary and derived products are then disseminated via ‘maprooms’ housed on the meteorological agency’s website or through direct transfer, and can be used for detailed research and local decision-making.
The health community has expressed the need for quality assured and locally relevant climate information and training as part of their surveillance activities. However, the complexity of the East African climate has made it difficult to (1) interpret the results of the data provided; (2) develop effective policy responses, (3) develop appropriate training materials.  It is only recently that improved methodologies have allowed the health community to use new tools and products, such as those within the ENACTS Maprooms, to access climate data and information with both national coverage, and local relevance.
Through the support of the UK Department for International Development (DFiD) WISER ENACTS, International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), in conjunction with the East African NMHS and public health partners, have begun fill the gaps existing in climate and health knowledge and practice, by developing core ENACTS training manuals. Currently these training manuals focus on specific ENACTS products within each countries’ Maprooms and subsequent Mapages to assist in the understanding the role that past and present climate and climate variability can have in sound public health decisions.
The training manuals are designed for those in the public health community with little to no prior knowledge of climate science. They are structured to (1) introduce users to the product, tool and/or concept; (2) explain the way the tool can and cannot be used for; (3) contextualize the tool via an interactive case study; (4) allow the user to test the tool via a country-specific exercise; and (5) assess understanding of the climate concept and tool via a short quiz and summary notes. Although the training manuals are best completed via the concurrent use of the Maprooms via strong internet connectivity, the physical manuals are also highly visual and images are provided in a step-by-step manner to mirror what would otherwise be generated.
Currently, the following training manuals have been created for the countries of Ethiopia, Tanzania, Ghana, Madagascar (also in French), and Rwanda. 
  • Introduction to ENACTS (Why ENACTS?)
  • Seasonality Climate Tool – Rainfall
  • El-Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Rainfall Probability
  • El-Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Temperature Probability
  • Climate Suitability Malaria Tool (CSMT
  • Weighted Anomaly Standardized Precipitation (WASP)
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