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Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) Fact Sheet

Header: Division of Global Health Protection, Field Epidemiology Training Program: Disease Detectives in Action

“Our collaboration with CDC and FETP has been indispensable in tracing and stopping disease outbreaks.” —James Swan,
Former U.S. Ambassador to Democratic Republic of the Congo

An FETP resident investigates a suspected foodborne illness outbreak among 35 monks at a Buddhist temple in Cambodia.

An FETP resident investigates a suspected foodborne illness outbreak among 35 monks at a Buddhist temple in Cambodia.

Building a Global Health Workforce

By The Numbers

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More than 65 countries have participated in CDC-supported FETPs


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More than 3,300 investigations of outbreaks and public health emergencies since 2005i


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More than 10,000 FETP graduates around the world trained in disease detection and response since 1982


A proven approach. In 1980, CDC established the first Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) to train field epidemiologists in developing countries. Graduates of these programs have the skills to collect, analyze, and interpret disease information, using evidence to take quick action and save lives.

Learning by doing. Program residents spend 20-25 percent of their time in the classroom and 75-80 percent in the field. By training disease detectives in their own countries, FETP helps meet the global health security goal of establishing a trained public health workforce.

Meeting country needs. FETP is modeled after CDC’s successful Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) program, and individual countries and ministries of health own the program. Programs are tailored to meet the needs of each country, recognizing differences in disease burdens, cultures, priorities, partners, capacities, and public health systems.

Boots on the Ground

FETP residents and graduates are our “boots on the ground” in the ongoing battle against infectious diseases, public health emergencies, and chronic diseases. FETP graduates have responded to health threats including:

  • Anthrax in East Africa
  • Ebola virus disease in West Africa
  • MERS-CoV transmission in the Middle East, South Korea, and the Philippines
  • Polio in Pakistan and Nigeria
  • Nipah virus in Bangladesh
  • Acute encephalitis in India
  • Hurricane recovery in Haiti

Learn more about how we protect health and save lives around the world.

iRoutine reporting for outbreaks and public health emergencies began in 2005