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Research - Abstract

  Cite this article:

Peter Nsubuga, Kenneth Johnson, Christopher Tetteh, Joseph Oundo, Andrew Weathers, James Vaughan, Suzanne Elbon, Mufuta Tshimanga, Faustine Ndugulile, Chima Ohuabunwo, Michele Evering-Watley, Fausta Mosha, Obinna Oleribe, Patrick Nguku, Lora Davis, Nykiconia Preacely, Richard Luce, Simon Antara, Hiari Imara, Yassa Ndjakani, Timothy Doyle, Yescenia Espinosa, Ditu Kazambu, Dieula Delissaint, John Ngulefac, Kariuki Njenga. Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programs in sub-Saharan Africa from 2004 to 2010: need, the process and prospects.
The Pan African Medical Journal. 2011;10:24

Key words: Field epidemiology, laboratory management, multi-disease surveillance and response systems, public health workforce capacity building

Permanent link: http://www.panafrican-med-journal.com/content/article/10/24/full

Received: 05/10/2011 - Accepted: 14/10/2011 - Published: 19/10/2011

© Peter Nsubuga et al.   The Pan African Medical Journal - ISSN 1937-8688. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programs in sub-Saharan Africa from 2004 to 2010: need, the process, and prospects

 

Peter Nsubuga1,&, Kenneth Johnson1, Christopher Tetteh2, Joseph Oundo3, Andrew Weathers1, James Vaughan1, Suzanne Elbon1, Mufuta Tshimanga4, Faustine Ndugulile5, Chima Ohuabunwo6, Michele Evering-Watley1, Fausta Mosha7, Obinna Oleribe8, Patrick Nguku9, Lora Davis10, Nykiconia Preacely1, Richard Luce11, Simon Antara12, Hiari Imara1, Yassa Ndjakani13, Timothy Doyle14, Yescenia Espinosa1, Ditu Kazambu15, Dieula Delissaint15, John Ngulefac1, Kariuki Njenga16

 

1Division of Public Health Systems and Workforce Development, Center for Global Health, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2Previously Epidemiology Resident Advisor for the Kenya and South African Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programs, 3Laboratory Resident Advisor Kenya Field Epidemiology Training Program, 4Zimbabwe Field Epidemiology Training Program (previously Epidemiology Resident Advisor, South Africa Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program), 5Member of Parliament, United Republic of Tanzania (previously Laboratory Resident Advisor, South Africa Field Epidemiology Training Program), 6Resident Advisor Ghana Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program, 7Director, National Health Laboratory, Tanzania Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (previously Laboratory Resident Advisor Tanzania Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program), 8Previously Epidemiology Resident Advisor Tanzania Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program, 9Epidemiology Resident Advisor, Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program, 100Veterinary Resident Advisor, Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program, 11Previously Resident Advisor, Ethiopia Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program, 12Epidemiology Resident Advisor, Rwanda Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program, 13Resident Advisor, West African Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program, 14Resident Advisor, Mozambique Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program, 15Resident Advisor, Central African Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program, 16CDC Kenya and previously Laboratory Resident Advisor, Kenya Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program

 

 

&Corresponding author
Peter Nsubuga, Division of Public Health Systems and Workforce Development, Center for Global Health, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

 

 

Abstract

As of 2010 sub-Saharan Africa had approximately 865 million inhabitants living with numerous public health challenges. Several public health initiatives [e.g., the United States (US) Presidentís Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and the US Presidentís Malaria Initiative] have been very successful at reducing mortality from priority diseases. A competently trained public health workforce that can operate multi-disease surveillance and response systems is necessary to build upon and sustain these successes and to address other public health problems. Sub-Saharan Africa appears to have weathered the recent global economic downturn remarkably well and its increasing middle class may soon demand stronger public health systems to protect communities. The Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) program of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been the backbone of public health surveillance and response in the US during its 60 years of existence. EIS has been adapted internationally to create the Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) in several countries. In the 1990s CDC and the Rockefeller Foundation collaborated with the Uganda and Zimbabwe ministries of health and local universities to create 2-year Public Health Schools Without Walls (PHSWOWs) which were based on the FETP model. In 2004 the FETP model was further adapted to create the Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program (FELTP) in Kenya to conduct joint competency-based training for field epidemiologists and public health laboratory scientists providing a masterís degree to participants upon completion. The FELTP model has been implemented in several additional countries in sub-Saharan Africa. By the end of 2010 these 10 FELTPs and two PHSWOWs covered 613 million of the 865 million people in sub-Saharan Africa and had enrolled 743 public health professionals. We describe the process that we used to develop 10 FELTPs covering 15 countries in sub-Saharan Africa from 2004 to 2010 as a strategy to develop a locally trained public health workforce that can operate multi-disease surveillance and response systems.