The Sierra Leone Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) has recently graduated the fourth cohort of the intermediate level comprising of 15 trainees increasing the total graduates in this FETP tier to 54. The trainees graduated after they took nine months of intensive training spanning from March 01, 2021 to November 25, 2021.
The Sierra Leone Field Epidemiology Training Program was established with the frontline level in 2016 and since then a total of 224 public health professionals have graduated. FETP-Intermediate level was established in September 2017 and since its inception, a total of 39 public health professionals have been trained and graduated. The trained professionals are practicing applied epidemiology in different sectors of the one health framework including human diseases surveillance, animal diseases surveillance, environmental protection agency, public health laboratory, environmental health, and various diseases prevention and control programs.
The FETP model includes three tiers - FETP-Frontline, FETP-Intermediate, and FETP-Advanced. All three tiers use the same approach - 25% condensed classroom instruction followed by 75% field placements - to gain experience and competence in field epidemiology.
Speaking at the November 26 graduation, the Deputy Minister of Health and Sanitation Dr. Amara Jambai, appreciated the US Government and AFENET for helping the Sierra Leone Government to build its public health workforce through this FETP. He also reiterated his commitment to support the overall implementation of the program.
Dr. Amara Jambai – Deputy Minister of Health and Sanitation
A representative from US Embassy in Sierra Leone, Ms. JoEllen Gorg reaffirmed that FETP is the top priority for the US Government’s support to Sierra Leone.
Ms. JoEllen said: “The United States Government is a proud and committed partner in these efforts. I particularly welcome the leadership that the Ministry of Health and Sanitation has demonstrated in establishing and taking ownership of FETP to serve the critical needs of the public health system - ensuring that Salone is prepared to face emerging and re-emerging public health crises.”
Ms. JoEllen Gorg, Acting Deputy Chief of Mission, US Embassy in Sierra Leone
During the graduation, the trainees presented their field project findings and also made statements on the program’s impact in building their epidemiological capacity.
From left to right, Dr.Monique Foster, US CDC Country office, Director (Act), Ms. JoEllen Gorg, Acting Deputy Chief of Mission, US Embassy in Sierra Leone, Dr. Amara Jambai – Deputy Minister of Health and Sanitation, Dr.Mohammed A.Vandi, Director the Health Security and Emergencies, MOHS.
Also at the graduation were senior officials from various governmental and non-governmental organizations including the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC) Country Office, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) Sierra Leone Country Office, among others.