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Ghana FELTP 1st Scientific Conference and 10th Anniversary Celebration

Dr. Chima Ohuabunwo making remarks at the opening ceremony of the 1st GFELTP Scientific Conference and 10th Anniversary Celebration

The Ghana Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme held the 1st Scientific Conference and 10th Anniversary Celebration from 18 – 21 September 2017 at the at the Swiss Spirit Hotel, Accra Ghana. The conference themed:  A decade of Field Epidemiology Training in Ghana: Scaling up Workforce Development in Public Health

It’s a testimony to growth of the African Field Epidemiology Network as well as advancement in field epidemiology capacity building in Africa. The occasion was graced by Representative from the Minister of Health – Afisa Zakaria Chif of Staff Ministry of Health as well as dignitaries from CDC, WHO, WAHO and other key dignitaries.

Remarks from Dr Chima Ohuabunwo – Executive Director – AFENET  

Hon. Minister of Health, Deputy Chief of Missions,  United States Embassy in Ghana, WHO representative, Ghana,  Chairman TEPHINET Advisory Board and all Regional Bodies (ECOWAS & WAHO)  represented , Faculty, Graduates and Residents of the Ghana Field Epidemiology Training Programs, distinguished guests;

On behalf of the General Assembly and Board of Directors of the Africa Field Epidemiology Network, I welcome you all to the 1st Scientific Conference and 10th Anniversary Celebration for the Ghana Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training.

Ghana Field Epidemiology Network, holds especial place in the history of AFENET as one of the four founding programs whose visionary leadership led to its establishment in 2005 at the 2nd program directors meeting held here in Ghana. The other three programs are Uganda, Zimbabwe & Kenya FETPs & AFENET has since become CDC’S principal implementing partner for developing, staffing and implementing FELTPs in sub-Saharan African with a membership of 16 advanced FETPs & operations in 31 African countries. The conference theme: “A decade of Field Epidemiology Training in Ghana: Scaling up Workforce Development in Public Health” mirrors the growth of the network that the program was part of at the start & we are proud to part of this celebration.  

Ghana & other FETPs in the network have trained over 1500 public health professional in the Advance FETPs in Africa in the last 10 years hence addressing the human resources gaps & supporting countries to meeting the GHSA tragets & IHR core capacities. With a population of 1.2 billion, African needs at least 6000 epidemiologists to be able to meet the minimum GHSA target of 1 field epidemiologist/200,000. This therefore means, we still have a lot to do and AFENET will continue advocacy for efforts for our members programs to ensure sustainability & scalability of our programs. The ministers of Health in Africa have resolved to support AFENET & our programs in this Area (Dar el Salam Agenda, 2011 & Abuja resolutions, 2016).

We will continue to engage our governments to provide resources for workforce development through FETPs, advocate for career paths & retention of our graduates in the public health systems, create robust databases for our Alumni associations & form the AFENET Corp of Disease Detectives ( ACoDD) to serve our member countries in times of need. 

We will support our programs towards Accreditation, support faculty exchange, curriculum reviews, development of case studies and scientific writing/publication.

As I conclude, I would like to thank our esteemed partners: CDC, Ministries of Health & Agricultures, Schools of Public Health & Universities, WHO, and other national bodies for the support they have given to our programs over the years. You are the strength behind our growth and impact in Africa.

I thank all the conference organizers to the time and effort put in to make the conference a success.

Once again welcome, and enjoy your stay in Accra.