Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity
Innovative Approach to Strengthening Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity
CDC South Africa established the South African Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program (SAFETP) in 2006 to train leaders in the provincial and national health systems and develop high-level epidemiology and surveillance capacity in-country.
FETP is an innovative two-year, full-time training and service program operating from the University of Pretoria where it is offered as a Master of Public Health within the School of Health Systems and Public Health. The program is based on the CDC’s two-year residency training program in applied epidemiology, which started in the 1950s. SAFETP accepts 10-15 South African participants per year and combines classroom instruction with field assignments. Of the 65 residents enrolled from the start of the program, a total of 47 have completed the program requirements. 83% (39/47) of the residents achieved a Master of Public Health or Diploma of Public Health degree from the University of Pretoria. Students conduct epidemiologic investigations and field surveys, evaluate surveillance systems, perform disease control and prevention measures, help to inform decision- and policy-makers, and train other health workers. The program is designed to train field epidemiology fellows for positions as national and provincial epidemiologists, surveillance officers or other relevant positions in the South African public health system.