Building Public Health Workforce Capacity
Training future public health leaders in clinical, laboratory, public health science, program management, and leadership competencies.
CDC-Kenya shares its knowledge and expertise through development and support for training programs, collaborative consultations with the staff of the Ministries of Health and partner organizations, and support to training institutions within the country. Directly funding Ministries of Health through cooperative agreements for specific projects and defined capacity-building, providing them with direct technical assistance, and embedding personnel within their offices for peer-to-peer mentoring and knowledge transfer has been critical to success in increasing government performance, capacity development, country ownership, and public health impact.
Developing public health leaders is a key goal of CDC-Kenya’s health systems strengthening approach. The Kenya Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programs (K-FELTP), a two-year epidemiology and laboratory management training program, was established in 2004 as a collaboration between CDC-Kenya, the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation (MOPHS), and the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. The intense program provides residents with training and mentorship as they conduct in-service projects in outbreak response, disease surveillance, laboratory management, and public health research. Graduates of the program, who receive a Master’s degree in applied epidemiology and laboratory management, have quickly moved into leadership positions at the national and sub-national level. Since 2011, 66 residents have graduated from FELTP and most have taken key leadership positions within the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation or with the World Health Organization, Ministry of Agriculture, or Kenyan military.
Through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), CDC has supported a number of innovative strategies to address the health worker shortage and improve training for new and existing healthcare workers. Since 2008, CDC-Kenya’s Global HIV/AIDS program have supported trainings for over 800 faculty members, over 1800 medical, nursing, midwifery, and laboratory technology students, and over 2000 health workers. CDC-Kenya also provides training to the Ministries of Health and partners in effectively managing PEPFAR programs.