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West Africa regional meeting to review field epidemiology training

The West Africa Health Organization (WAHO) and AFENET jointly organized a meeting to review field epidemiology training in West Africa. The meeting is part of ongoing efforts to develop a regional roadmap for all 3 levels of field epidemiology training (frontline, intermediate and advanced). Held from 23 - 25 July 2019 in Abuja, Nigeria, the meeting aimed to discuss innovations, lessons learned and sustainability of FETPs in the region.

In addition to representatives of MOHs/national public health institutes (NPHIs) of WAHO Member States, the meeting was attended by officials from the World Bank, universities, regional accrediting bodies, other organizations involved in capacity building in the region, WAHO and AFENET.

AFENET’s delegation was led by Dr. Simon Antara - Acting Executive Director, who officiated during the opening ceremony and later made a presentation highlighting AFENET’s role in supporting establishment and implementation of FETPs in the region. Also in attendance were two FETP Program Directors: Dr. Ernest Kenu – Ghana FELTP and Dr. Godwin Ntadom – Nigeria FELTP. Other AFENET team members included Dr. Patrick Nguku – Regional Technical Coordinator for Nigeria and Anglophone West Africa, Dr. Bernard Sawadogo – Regional Technical Coordinator for Francophone West Africa, Dr. Shakir Balogun – Nigeria FELTP Resident Advisor, Dr. Rebecca Kinde – Resident Advisor Togo Frontline FETP, Dr. Samuel Sackey – Coordinator Ghana FETP- Intermediate (Ghana FETP), and Dr. Rebecca Babirye – Epidemiologist/Business Development Officer.

Emerging themes from the meeting included the need for rationalization of FETP establishment within member states; enhancing sustainability of FETPs; assuring quality and standard of the trainings and establishing career pathways for FETP graduates. More meetings are planned to guide the development of a regional framework/strategy for use by WAHO and member states to facilitate FETP advancement in West Africa.