Iraqi Fellows with HSP trainers
Health Security Partners (HSP) partnered with the University of Babylon to conduct a three-day Training Institute, 10-12 March 2019, in Baghdad, for 23 HSP Stewards Fellows from universities and research institutions across Iraq. A team of HSP trainers from the U.S., U.K., Jordan, and Iraq led the very productive training institute. The diverse group of Fellows were eager to learn, share their experience and recommendations, as well as work together to strengthen health security capacities in Iraq. The Fellows are also well placed in leadership positions to rollout new curriculum on health security topics, build institutional capacity, and advise policymakers; some of them recently supported Iraq’s Joint External Evaluation (JEE) process to review their progress in implementation of the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) International Health Regulations (IHR, 2005). The training institute was opened by Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MOHESR), Prof. Dr. Fouad Kassem Mohammed, who extended his support to the Fellows and HSP to bolster health security. He also expressed interest in working with HSP to strengthen the capacity of the university network and support responsible biological research that meets Iraqi health priorities. The training institute featured three days of intensive programming, including lectures, case studies, breakout group discussion and assignments, and a tabletop exercise. The Fellows are now tasked with developing a new curriculum and serving as champions of health security at their institutions and communities. The cohort will reconvene in April 2019 to participate in the 4th National Conference for CBRN Safety and Security in Baghdad, where they will present posters and talks on health security topics.