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Video: Field Training Programs Save Lives

CDC works with Ministries of Health and other partners to strengthen public health systems and build workforce capacity globally. Through its flagship FETPs, hundreds of residents continue to receive classroom-based instruction and hands-on mentored trainings in surveillance, outbreak investigation, laboratory management program evaluation and other aspects of epidemiology research.

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The Field Epidemiology Laboratory Training Programs -- sometimes referred to also as FELTPs -- are competence-based training programs in applied epidemiology modeled after the 60-year-old CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service, also known as EIS, that is responsible for training most of the public-health practitioners in the U.S.FELTP, just like the Epidemic Intelligence Service training, is composed of 25% class training and 75% field-based training.

Currently, there are 41 FELTPs in 57 countries. Since 2008 October, when the Nigerian FELTP program was initiated, we have been involved in response to a number of infectious and non-infectious disease outbreaks. As a graduate of the Kenyan FELTP, which I graduated in the year 2006, I remember that in my first three weeks of training,classes had to be suspended because there was a massive aflatoxicosis outbreak in the eastern part of the country. Aflatoxicosis is a condition caused by consumption of food that is contaminated by aflatoxins, usually caused by poor storage of grains, and we were deployed in the field to help solve this problem. Among the things that we did was identification of affected persons in hospitals and communities,confirmation of foods that were poisoned,as well as educating the communities on seeking treatment and prevention of this condition.

The Nigerian FELTP is funded by the President's Emergency Plans for AIDS Relief -- PEPFAR -- and the U.S. Agency for International Development -- USAID -- as well as the government of Nigeria. In the Ministries of Health and Ministries of Agriculture, we've been able to train 64 residents in the program and numerous short-course graduates. We've been able to respond to diseases, outbreak diseases of infectious nature and non-infectious nature, and therefore reducing illness,deaths, and disabilities from these diseases.

And I'm happy that we are achieving the goals of the program,which is to provide service as we build epidemiological capacity in Nigeria and in the region.

  • Page last reviewed: October 14, 2011
  • Page last updated: October 14, 2011
  • Content source: Global Health
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