Supplement article


  Cite this article:

Gervais Ondobo Andze, Abel Namsenmo, Benoit Kebella Illunga, Ditu Kazambu, Dieula Delissaint, Christopher Kuaban, Francois-Xavier Mbopi-Kéou, Wilfred Gabsa, Leopold Mulumba, Jean-Pierre Bangamingo, John Ngulefac, Melissa Dahlke, David Mukanga, Peter Nsubuga. Central African Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program: building and strengthening regional workforce capacity in public health. Pan Afr Med J. 2011;10(Supp 1):4

Key words: Epidemiology, education, training, public health, Central Africa

Permanent link:

Received: 31/08/2011 - Accepted: 07/12/2011 - Published: 14/12/2011

This article is published as part of the supplement "Field Epidemiology in Africa"

Supplement sponsored by PAMJ and The African Field Epidemiology Network

© Gervais Ondobo Andze 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 (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Central African Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program: building and strengthening regional workforce capacity in public health


Gervais Ondobo Andze1, Abel Namsenmo2, Benoit Kebella Illunga3, Ditu Kazambu4,&, Dieula Delissaint4, Christopher Kuaban5, Francois-Xavier Mbopi-Kéou5, Wilfred Gabsa6, Leopold Mulumba7, Jean Pierre Bangamingo2, John Ngulefac8, Melissa Dahlke9, David Mukanga9, Peter Nsubuga8


1Ministry of Public Health, Cameroon, 2Ministry of Public Health, Central African Republic, 3Ministry of Health, Democratic Republic of Congo, 4Central Africa FELTP, Cameroon, 5University of Yaoundé, Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Cameroon, 6Ministry of Higher Education, Cameroon, 7Ministry of Agriculture, DRC, 8Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, USA, 9African Field Epidemiology Network, Kampala, Uganda



&Corresponding author
Dr. Ditu Kazambu, Resident Advisor, Central African Field Epidemiology Program, 11167 Yaoundé, Cameroon, Tel: (237) 79 52 35 59




The Central African Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program (CAFELTP) is a 2-year public health leadership capacity building training program. It was established in October 2010 to enhance capacity for applied epidemiology and public health laboratory services in three countries: Cameroon, Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The aim of the program is to develop a trained public health workforce to assure that acute public health events are detected, investigated, and responded to quickly and effectively. The program consists of 25% didactic and 75% practical training (field based activities). Although the program is still in its infancy, the residents have already responded to six outbreak investigations in the region, evaluated 18 public health surveillance systems and public health programs, and completed 18 management projects. Through these various activities, information is shared to understand similarities and differences in the region leading to new and innovative approaches in public health. The program provides opportunities for regional and international networking in field epidemiology and laboratory activities, and is particularly beneficial for countries that may not have the immediate resources to host an individual country program. Several of the trainees from the first cohort already hold leadership positions within the ministries of health and national laboratories, and will return to their assignments better equipped to face the public health challenges in the region. They bring with them knowledge, practical training, and experiences gained through the program to shape the future of the public health landscape in their countries.