A two-week workshop was held at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire in Bouaké from 15 to 28 June 2019 in collaboration with Prof. Chantal Akoua-Koffi to improve the quality of data on bacterial identification and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) as well as the general epidemiological collection and analysis of data. The training was aimed at study team members from ANDEMIA and the BMG funded GHPP project ARGOS. Various members of the Cote d’Ivoire study team participated in the workshop as well as two participants from Burkina Faso and the Democratic Republic of Congo who travelled to take part in the meeting. Two participants from RKI, Germany also helped to facilitate the workshop, which was sponsored by funds from the Global Health Protection Programme of the German Ministry of Health.

Bacteriology and AMR testing SOPs were reviewed together in detail, revised and harmonised according to international standards and laboratory practice in each of the study countries. A laboratory risk evaluation was conducted and the results were used to create a quality control plan with concrete objectives, timing and criteria. A training was given on WHONET and a template was practically developed to record and analyse ongoing results of the quality control activities. Lastly, a plan was made for next steps in the following six months to improve the exchange on results of bacteriology and AMR testing in the network.

To improve overall quality of epidemiological data collection, a new reporting process was discussed with all countries including a validation process of all past data and ongoing weekly data management reports to more effectively detect and correct errors in data collection and management. Future possibilities for regular  teleconferences or online training were also discussed.