Strengthening Relationships and Building Capacity
Interest in EIS International Night remains high. In 2013, 229 abstracts and 100 photographs from residents and graduates of Field Epidemiology Training Programs (FETPs) in 17 countries were submitted for consideration as oral and poster presentations and for the contest for photos that best illustrate FETPs in action.
In her International Night 2013 message, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius expressed appreciation to the FETP residents, graduates and advisors, saying, “FETP residents are our “boots on the ground” in the ongoing battle for global health security…They deserve our thanks, for their personal courage and commitment to saving and improving lives all across the globe.”
Through FETPs, CDC works with ministries of health and other partners to strengthen national and local public health systems and to address the severe shortage of skilled epidemiologists worldwide. FETPs build local, national and regional networks of public health professionals who have the necessary skills to rapidly respond to public health threats. With the continued threat and burden of infectious diseases, FETPs also play a significant role in assisting countries in meeting their core capacity requirements for surveillance and response under the International Health Regulations (IHR, 2005).
FETP residents are supported by FETP mentors, faculty, and staff committed to ensuring that these future public health leaders are given the best training in field and applied epidemiology. FETP faculty and mentors also ensure that residents acquire the necessary skills and experience to detect and respond to diseases effectively and prevent the spread of disease across borders.
The success of FETPs has advanced CDC’s strong relationships with ministries of health and other external partners in over 50 countries. By exchanging ideas and cultivating these relationships, FETPs have laid the foundation, and, in many cases, opened the door, for other CDC programs to establish important health initiatives in these countries and work toward the common goal of improving health outcomes. The success of International Night demonstrates that FETP residents and graduates are not only well- trained, but are continually applying what they have learned.
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