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13 Sep 2016

WHO in Geneva calls on Doherty Institute influenza epidemiologists

Researchers from the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory (VIDRL) and the WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza at the Doherty Institute recently returned from a meeting at WHO in Geneva focused on estimating the burden of influenza.

Dr James Fielding and Ms Vivian Leung attended the Consultation on National, Regional and Global Estimates of the Burden of Influenza Disease with 108 other participants from 53 countries.

“We reviewed influenza burden estimates from a number of countries and regions. These estimates will be used to inform decisions about national influenza prevention and control programs,” Ms Leung said.

“The meeting also aimed to identify any gaps in national studies. We also discussed methods for generating national estimates and agreed on steps to be taken to improve the accuracy of national estimates.”

Ms Leung attended the workshop as a technical expert, and was co-author on a poster with the Cambodia Ministry of Health, which looked at the preliminary estimates of seasonal influenza burden in Cambodia from 2012 to 2014.

The second half of the meeting involved a scientific writing workshop run by Dr Fielding, which focused on presentation of influenza burden estimates in scientific journal articles.

“The workshop was comprised of interactive lectures for participants describing approaches to structuring and writing manuscripts, and one-on-one sessions with mentors to help participants identify the next steps for analysis and writing up their manuscripts,” Dr Fielding said.

Both Ms Leung and Dr Fielding served as mentors to a researcher from Mongolia.