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Noncommunicable Disease Capacity Building through Field Epidemiology Training Programs

Noncommunicable diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and chronic respiratory diseases, are emerging as dominant worldwide public health emergencies. They are responsible for 35 million deaths each year, the majority in low- and middle-income countries where health systems are often not equipped to respond.

FETP trainees and physical activity professionals on work team for survey on factors related to NCDs in El Espinal, Colombia. June 2013.

FETP trainees and physical activity professionals on work team for survey on factors related to NCDs in El Espinal, Colombia. June 2013.

For over 30 years, CDC has supported capacity-building via Field Epidemiology Training Programs (FETPs) in low- and middle-income countries. Traditionally designed to help countries respond to infectious disease threats, this flagship program is expanding to include training on NCDs. FETP residents focused on NCDs will follow the same core curriculum as others in the program, but their field work, projects, and other opportunities will focus on NCD detection, analysis, and disease management approaches.

Residents will also receive mentoring from CDC experts in project design and implementation, with the goal of producing a new generation of experts in NCD prevention. Most graduates of FETPs continue in government service in their home countries and many become leaders within ministries of health as well as mentors to future groups of FETP residents. Some secure senior-level public health positions in other countries or in non-governmental or multilateral organizations. In this way, the FETP builds essential public health capacity on many levels within countries and across regions.

To strengthen NCD capacity globally, and to improve skills in NCD surveillance, prevention and control, CDC has developed a series of NCD Training Modules which can be downloaded and adapted by public health practitioners, health educators and others. The NCD training materials are comprised of 24 modules, designed to:

  • increase capacity in NCD epidemiology and program management;
  • provide a basic understanding of NCDs
  • complement FETP projects and mentorship; and
  • increase capacity for disease surveillance, prevention, management and control.
  • Page last reviewed: September 29, 2014
  • Page last updated: September 29, 2014
  • Content source: Global Health
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