FETP: Disease Detectives in Action

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Field Epidemiology Training Program infographic - disease detectives in action


Field Epidemiology Training Program: Disease Detectives in Action

Did You Know

  • One of the first true disease detectives was John Snow, a 19th century doctor who traced the source of a cholera epidemic to a London water pump?
  • Disease detectives tackle some of the world’s most lethal public health threats, from HIV to SARS to Ebola?
  • Today, we are facing a severe worldwide shortage of skilled disease detectives?

How We Help

CDC’s Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) works with countries to train a global workforce of disease detectives who find and stop health threats close to the source, increasing our ability to detect and respond to events in a world where the next outbreak is only a plane ride away.

Where We Are

In 1980, Thailand became the first country to expand FETP outside of North America. Today, over 70 countries* participate in FETPs globally.

* Map indicates countries participating in FETPs. Learn more about where we work.

By The Numbers

In a six year period, FETPs responded to over 2,000 outbreak investigations*
(*cumulative data, 2009-2014)

Nearly 80% of graduates continue to serve in public health programs in their home countries

Over 3,100 FETP graduates play a key role in disease surveillance and response

In 2015, the 2-year program graduated 306 FETP residents

How We Connect

Networks of public health professionals support field epidemiology across the globe

AFENET African Field Epidemiology Network

EPIET European Programme for Intervention Epidemiology Training

REDSUR Network of Latin American FETPs

SAFETYNET Southeast Asia Field Epidemiology and Technology Network

EMPHNET Eastern Mediterranean Public Health Network

TEPHINET Training Programs in Epidemiology and Public Health Interventions Network

How We Do It

Learning by Doing: Provide hands-on training modeled after CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS)

  • Teaches residents to collect, interpret, and apply information on infectious and noncommunicable diseases
  • Residents spend approximately 75% of their time in the field

Tiered Levels of Training: Build a global health workforce through three levels of training

  • Increases public health capacity at local, district, and national levels
  • Addresses different skill levels within the public health system
  • Training programs range from three months to two years

Surveillance and Response: Collect and communicate crucial health information, using evidence to take action and save lives

  • Stops outbreaks before they become epidemics
  • Assists with response to the world’s most urgent health threats, including:
    • Ebola virus disease in West Africa
    • Zika virus in the Americas
    • MERS-CoV transmission in the Middle East, South Korea, and the Philippines
    • Yellow fever in Angola
    • Polio in Pakistan and Nigeria

Meeting Country Needs: Set priorities according to the needs of individual countries and ministries of health

  • Recognizes differences in cultures, priorities, partners, capacities, and public health systems
  • Strengthens surveillance and workforce development in line with IHR and GHSAexternal icon

Strong Partnerships: Collaborate with ministries of health and other partners to grow national public health capacity

  • Helps ministries of health enhance their own health protection and health promotion programs
  • Lays a solid foundation for other important health initiatives in countries around the world

”Disease detectives are essential to improve global health security. They are public health heroes.”
– CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH

To learn more: https://www.cdc.gov/globalhealth/healthprotection/fetp/index.htm