Supplement article


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Peter Mmbuji, David Mukanga, Janeth Mghamba, Ahly Mohamed, Fausta Mosha, Azima Simba, Sembuche Senga, Candida Moshiro, Innocent Semali, Italia Rolle, Stefan Wiktor, Suzzane McQueen, Peter McElroy, Peter Nsubuga. The Tanzania Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program: building and transforming the public health workforce. Pan Afr Med J. 2011;10(Supp 1):9

Key words: Field Epidemiology Laboratory Training Program, Tanzania, health workforce, Integrated disease surveillance and response, International Health Regulations, Tanzania

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Received: 05/12/2011 - 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

© Peter Mmbuji 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.

The Tanzania Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program: building and transforming the public health workforce


Peter Mmbuji1, David Mukanga2,&, Janeth Mghamba1, Mohamed Ahly1, Fausta Mosha1, Simba Azima1, Sembuche Senga1, Candida Moshiro3, Innocent Semali3, Italia Rolle6, Stefan Wiktor5,6, Suzzane McQueen5, Peter McElroy5,7, Peter Nsubuga6


1Tanzania Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, P.O. Box 9083, Dar es Salam, Tanzania, 2African Field Epidemiology Network P.O. Box 12874, Kampala, Uganda, 3Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, P.O. Box 65001, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 4National Institute for Medical Research, P.O. Box 9653, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 5Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Tanzania, 6Center for Global Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta Georgia, USA, 7Presidentís Malaria Initiative, Tanzania



&Corresponding author
Mmbuji Peter,Tanzania Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Tanzania




The Tanzania Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program (TFELTP) was established in 2008 as a partnership among the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW), Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, National Institute for Medical Research, and local and international partners. TFELTP was established to strengthen the capacity of MOHSW to conduct public health surveillance and response, manage national disease control and prevention programs, and to enhance public health laboratory support for surveillance, diagnosis, treatment and disease monitoring. TFELTP is a 2-year full-time training program with approximately 25% time spent in class, and 75% in the field. TFELTP offers two tracks leading to an MSc degree in either Applied Epidemiology or, Epidemiology and Laboratory Management. Since 2008, the program has enrolled a total of 33 trainees (23 males, 10 females). Of these, 11 were enrolled in 2008 and 100% graduated in 2010. All 11 graduates of cohort 1 are currently employed in public health positions within the country. Demand for the program as measured by the number of applicants has grown from 28 in 2008 to 56 in 2011. While training the public health leaders of the country, TFELTP has also provided essential service to the country in responding to high-profile disease outbreaks, and evaluating and improving its public health surveillance systems and diseases control programs. TFELTP was involved in the country assessment of the revised International Health Regulations (IHR) core capabilities, development of the Tanzania IHR plan, and incorporation of IHR into the revised Tanzania Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR) guidelines. TFELTP is training a competent core group of public health leaders for Tanzania, as well as providing much needed service to the MOHSW in the areas of routine surveillance, outbreak detection and response, and disease program management. However, the immediate challenges that the program must address include development of a full range of in-country teaching capacity for the program, as well as a career path for graduates.