New regional training tool on sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

Andrija Štampar School of Public Health

STIs are a major global cause of acute illness, infertility, long-term disability and death, with severe medical and psychological consequences for millions of men, women and infants. The WHO Regional Office for Europe advocates and assists Member States in the promotion of evidence- and human-rights-based policies and practices for STI control and prevention and in the development of national capacities to implement such policies and practices.

An important contribution to these efforts is a new training tool, developed by the WHO Collaborating Centre in HIV/AIDS Surveillance, The Andrija Štampar School of Public Health at the University of Zagreb, Croatia, in collaboration with the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe and Headquarters, and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The tool module was presented on 25-27 August 2014 to the partners attending a meeting on global and regional Gonococcal Antimicrobial Surveillance Programme and STI surveillance, at WHO Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. 

While the main focus of the tool is on STI surveillance, it also covers STI control and prevention more broadly including laboratory diagnosis. The areas it addresses include:

  • principles and components of STI surveillance;
  • laboratory diagnostics of STIs;
  • STI data analysis, synthesis and dissemination; and
  • the use of surveillance data and other study designs to evaluate STI interventions.

The tool, which is available on line at www.whohub-zagreb.org, has practical exercises, including the development of a protocol for STI surveillance. It will be used for training sessions by The Andrija Štampar School of Public Health, as well as for in-country training workshops across the WHO European Region and potentially in other WHO Regions.

The expected final result is that it will contribute to further improve STI surveillance and strengthen STI control and prevention.