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Strengthening Relationships and Building Capacity

Dr. William H. Foege, former CDC Director and current Senior Fellow, Global Health Program, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Dr. Karen Wheeler, The Tauri Group. Photo courtesy of Stacey Hoffman.

Dr. William H. Foege, former CDC Director and current Senior Fellow, Global Health Program, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Dr. Karen Wheeler, The Tauri Group. Photo courtesy of Stacey Hoffman.

Our end goal is to create a cadre of well-trained field epidemiologists with the necessary skills to collect, analyze and interpret epidemiological data and contribute to evidence-based decisions for rapid and effect response to health threats. Working with ministries of health and other partners we have been successful in improving public health systems and building in-country capacity. Many of our FETP graduates now hold leadership positions within ministries of health, the World Health Organization and many other public health organizations.

Each year, the quality and number of abstracts and photos submitted for FETP International Night improves and the interest in International Night remains high. In 2014, 261 abstracts and 130 photographs illustrating the scientific work of FETP residents and graduates were submitted for consideration.  These abstracts and photos are examples of the type of work that is being done through FETPs around the world, and the impact FETPs are making in many areas of public health.

In his 2014 International Night message, CDC’s Director, Dr. Tom Frieden said, “ Field Epidemiology Training Programs (FETPs) – in the tradition of CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Services – may be the single most important thing CDC does in global health. These programs support public health surveillance, field epidemiology, and response capacity within ministries of health. FETPs build the pool of public health professionals able to use science and data to effectively prevent, detect, and respond to infectious diseases of human and animal origin, environmental threats, and non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. FETP advisors, residents and graduates are essential to creating human and institutional capacity and improving global health security.”

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.

Dr. Reina Turcois-Ruiz, Resident Advisor of Central America Regional FETP shares a moment with CDC Director, Dr. Tom Frieden enroute to the International Night 2014 oral presentations. Photo courtesy of Lauren Hoffman.

Dr. Reina Turcois-Ruiz, Resident Advisor of Central America Regional FETP shares a moment with CDC Director, Dr. Tom Frieden enroute to the International Night 2014 oral presentations. Photo courtesy of Lauren Hoffman.

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.

To see additional photos click here.

 
  • Page last reviewed: January 8, 2015
  • Page last updated: January 8, 2015
  • Content source: Global Health
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