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Global Health Programs: Field Epidemiology Training Program


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), throughthe Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP), works with ministries of health (MOHs) and other partners to strengthen national and local public health systems. The goal of an FETP is to address the severe shortage of skilled epidemiologists worldwide. Recognizing the importance of connecting epidemiology and laboratory practice, CDC also offers a specialized laboratory track within an FETP that complements the regular epidemiology track. The laboratory track helps establish functioning laboratory-based disease surveillance systems for priority diseases with an enhanced laboratory capacity to assist in outbreak response. The addition of a laboratory training component aims to foster collaboration and linkage between epidemiologists and laboratorians. It also helps strengthen the building of laboratory networks.

Where We Work

  • Brazil
  • Central Africa
  • Central Asia
  • China
  • Egypt
  • Ethiopia
  • Ghana
  • India
  • Iraq
  • Jordan
  • Kenya
  • Morocco
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Philippines
  • Rwanda
  • Saudi Arabia
  • South Africa
  • South Caucasus
  • Tanzania
  • Thailand
  • West Africa

Program Description

FETP is a two-year, full-time training and service program which involves classroom instruction and field assignments. FETP trainees take courses in epidemiology, communications, economics, and management. They also learn about quantitative- and behavior-based strategies. In addition, FETP trainees work in the field where they conduct epidemiologic investigations and field surveys, evaluate surveillance systems, perform disease control and prevention measures, report their findings to decision- and policy-makers, and train other health workers.

Public Health Impact

  • CDC has helped establish 35 self-sustaining programs that have produced more than 2,100 graduates from 51 countries.
  • More than 80% of graduates stay in their home countries and many obtain leadership positions within the public health system (e.g., program chiefs, national directors for epidemiology, heads of national and regional surveillance departments).
  • CDC currently supports 17 programs covering 33 countries, and has 20 resident advisors to help manage these programs in-country.
  • In 2009, the programs had 236 active residents who conducted 216 outbreak investigations, 96 planned investigations, and 239 surveillance evaluations and analyses.
  • In 2009, residents gave 251 international conference presentations and had 51 manuscripts accepted for publication.
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  • Page last reviewed: January 16, 2015
  • Page last updated: January 16, 2015
  • Content source: Global Health
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