NCD Field Epidemiology Training

A field epidemiologist interviews a man in a Bangladeshi village. Field epidemiologists collect and analyze health data as well as assist during emergencies.

Responding to the NCD Epidemic

Many low- and middle-income countries do not have enough qualified healthcare professionals and epidemiologists to respond to the noncommunicable disease (NCD) epidemic. During emergencies, untreated NCDs can quickly become life threatening. Field epidemiologists with expertise in NCDs can ensure that NCDs are included in emergency responses and substantially reduce avoidable deaths and complications.

When not assisting in emergencies, NCD field epidemiologist collect and analyze data to help countries understand their NCD burden, develop effective interventions, and continually improve programs and policies.

Epidemiologists are public health professionals that study the spread or pattern of sickness in a group of people.


Field epidemiologists, sometimes called disease detectives, use epidemiology to guide interventions and reduce illness and death during urgent public health incidents.

Preparing NCD Disease Detectives

CDC works with ministries of health around the world to strengthen the NCD epidemiology workforce by integrating NCD training into Field Epidemiology Training Programs (FETPs). FETPs are country-owned training programs that increase participants’ skills in collecting, analyzing, and using data to respond to emergencies, prioritize health issues, and inform policy decisions. FETPs are modeled after the U.S. Epidemic Intelligence Service and are recognized worldwide as an effective way to build countries’ capacity in epidemiology, surveillance, and outbreak response.

To strengthen participants’ skills in NCD epidemiology and surveillance, CDC developed targeted training resources. FETP participants focusing on NCDs refine their skills through:

  • interactive case studies
  • technical workshops
  • specialized short courses
  • NCD data analysis
  • NCD field investigations
  • mentorship
  • expert technical guidance

NCD FETP graduates are equipped to investigate health threats, monitor health interventions, and use data to inform decision-making.

Featured Training
Epidemiologists interview a woman in rural Guatemala.

Download, customize, and learn from 24 modules of NCD training materials focused on developing the public health workforce in low- and middle-income countries.