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US CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield visits UNIPH - PHEOC – FETP

US CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield visits UNIPH - PHEOC – FETP

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr Robert R. Redfield accompanied by Uganda’s Minister of Health – Dr Jane Ruth Aceng on 24 July 2018 visited the Uganda National Institute of Public Health, Public Health Emergency Operations Centre and Field Epidemiology Training Programs in Kampala Uganda.

The high power delegation accompanied by CDC and MOH staff were welcomed by Dr Alex Riolexus Ario, the Ag. Director Uganda UNIPH, MOH. The purpose of the visit was to discuss US Federal Government Global Health Security investments in Uganda.

The meeting was held at the UNIPH Boardroom were partners made presentations on progress of the Global Health Security Agenda. These partners include: The African Field Epidemiology Network – represented by Dr Chima Ohuabunwo – Executive Director AFENET, the Uganda Public Health fellowship Program represented by Dr. Rhoda Wanyenze - Program Director and Dr Bao-Ping Zhu, CDC-Uganda FETP Resident Advisor, the Uganda Frontline Field Epidemiology Training Program represented by Dr Hasifa Bukirwa – Resident Advisor Uganda Frontline FETP, Uganda National Public Health Institute represented by Dr Alex Riolexus Ario, the Ag. Director and the Public Health Emergency Operations Center (PHEOC) led by Dr Issa Makumbi – Manager PHEOC.

Presentations to the delegation were made on the following topics:

  1. Strengthening Global Health Security through establishment of Africa’s first post – masters Fellowship Program in Field Epidemiology in Uganda by Dr Alex Ario Riolexus
  2. Integrated District –level GHS Preparedness Training in Uganda: District- level Field Epidemiology Training Programs (FETP) and Uganda MOH owned 3 months health worker in service training by Dr Hasifa Bukirwa
  3. Marburg Disease Outbreak, Eastern Uganda September – November 2018 by Dr Daniel Kadobera
  4. Tour of Emergency Operation Center, Weekly Integrated disease surveillance system – Mr Simon Kyazze
  5. Eliminating Mother to Child Transmission (eMTCT) – Ms Everlyn Akello

The National Institute of Public Health is home to the Uganda Advanced-level Field Epidemiology Training Program, also known as the Public Health Fellowship Program, and Frontline Field Epidemiology Training Program. The Advanced program is a post-graduate Field Epidemiology Training Program closely modeled after CDC’s EIS Program. The two-year training program includes three months of didactic training and 21 months of field work. To compliment this, the Frontline Program seeks to deliver a consolidated curriculum and training experience over a three month period to key district health officials responsible for prevention, detection and response.

Since its inception in 2015, these training programs have become essential components of the country’s response to public health incidents. The recent advanced graduate cohort participated in over 60 outbreak investigations during their tenure, involving priority diseases such as Marburg, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, Rift Valley fever, yellow fever, anthrax, cholera, and MDR-TB, among other work. The fellows’ investigations have won several significant international awards and recognitions, including the William H. Foege Award (2018), the CDC Director’s Award for Excellence in Epidemiology and Public Health Response (2017), and the Jeff Kolplan Award (2016).