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Call for abstracts

The African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET) in collaboration with the Kenya Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program is organizing the 8th AFENET Scientific Conference to be held in Mombasa from 5-10 November 2023. This year’s conference is under the theme “Strengthening Public Health Systems in Africa Towards Enhanced Global Health Security: The Role of Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programs”.  

The conference provides a platform for the Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program (FELTP) residents, graduates, the regional and global public health community as well as multi-lateral agencies to share experiences in field epidemiology and other facets of the global health security. 

Residents and graduates of FELTPs in Africa (Advanced, Intermediate and Frontline) are invited to submit abstracts through their Program Directors/Resident Advisors. FELTP faculty members as well as other public health professionals with scientific work that is in line with the conference theme/sub-themes are also invited to submit abstracts.

Abstracts should cover original field investigations or projects undertaken and completed during training and within the past three years (i.e., not earlier than 1 January 2023) and should not have been published in any peer reviewed journal or presented at an international or regional conference/meeting. Of particular interest are abstracts in the following areas: Outbreak Preparedness and Response, Outbreak investigations, Implementation, Analysis and Evaluation of Public Health Programs or Surveillance activities, Zoonoses and other intervention areas in Applied Epidemiology or Public Health Practice. Abstracts and presentations should emphasize how the findings were utilized to guide public health action.  All abstracts should be submitted before 31 March 2023 at 23:59hrs, EAT.

Further questions concerning abstract submission should be addressed to the Chairs of the Scientific Committee, Head of Programs Dr. Ditu Kazambu at dkazambu@ afenet.net  and Program Director Kenya FELTP Dr. Josephine Ngithaiga at ngithaiga3@ gmail.com



The theme for the 8th AFENET Scientific Conference is “Strengthening Public Health Systems in Africa Towards Enhanced Global Health Security. The Role of Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programs.”    Subthemes are drawn from various topics that affect public health and health security as shown below

  1. Public Health Emergency Preparedness, Surveillance, Outbreak Investigations and Response.
    • Emerging and re-emerging threats with pandemic potential e.g., COVID 19, Ebola Virus Disease,
    • Outbreak Preparedness, Investigation and Response
    • Point of Entry Surveillance and Cross border collaborations
    • Refugee and Internally Displaced Person’s health issues
    • Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR) strengthening, analysis and
    • evaluation
      Other public health surveillance system assessments and evaluation
  2. Vaccine Preventable Diseases
    • Polio and Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP) surveillance
    • Measles and Rubella Surveillance
    • Recently introduced vaccines in developing countries e.g., COVID 19, nOPV2, IPV, Ebola
    • Virus, Hepatitis B, Rotavirus, Human Papilloma Virus, Yellow fever, Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines etc
    • Surveillance and control of other Vaccine Preventable Diseases
  3. HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Other Opportunistic Infections
    • Healthcare delivery and prevention models for HIV/AIDS including Antiretroviral therapy, PMTCT /EMTCT, Key/Priority Populations
    • Tuberculosis including drug resistant TB.
    • Other opportunistic infections and malignancies
  4. Vector-borne and Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)
    • Malaria
    • Neglected Tropical Diseases
    • Other Vector Borne Diseases
  5. Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs), Injuries & Mental Health
    • Cardiovascular Health (Hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases)
    • Cancers
    • Diabetes Mellitus
    • Road traffic injuries and occupational health/hazards
    • Substance abuse and mental health
    • Chronic rrespiratory illness
  6. Maternal, Reproductive and Child Health
    • Sexual and Reproductive health including maternal and obstetric health, family
      planning, antenatal and postnatal care
    • Adolescent health
    • Sexually transmitted infections
  7. Public Health Laboratory Systems and Infection Prevention Control
    • Antimicrobial Resistance
    • Biosafety and Biosecurity issues
    • Other laboratory system strengthening initiatives.
  8. One Health & Climate Change
    • Avian influenza, Zika, Rift Valley Feverand other Zoonotic disease surveillance and
    • Innovations for one health approach in surveillance and outbreak response
    • Pollution and environmental impact on public health
    • Climate action, Global warming
    • Ecosystem protection and rewilding
    • Climate adaptation and mitigation
  9. Public Health Systems Strengthening Initiatives
    • Public Health Quality Improvement and Quality Assurance
    • Health Policy and Leadership
    • Human Resources for Health including Workforce capacity building and development.
    • Health Financing
    • National Institutes of Public Health Initiatives
    • Innovations in monitoring & evaluation, knowledge management, data use and reporting
    • Medical Products and Technology
  10. Communication & Technological Innovations for Public Health
    • e-Surveillance and e-Health
    • Public Health Informatics
    • Digital Health/Telehealth
  • Residents and graduates should submit their abstracts through their respective program director or a designated faculty member.
  • All abstracts must be uploaded via the conference website (https://afenet.net/abstract-submission-page/).
  • Deadline for abstract submission is 31 March 2023 at 23:59hrs, EAT.
  • Conflict of interest and biographical information: Authors of accepted abstracts will be asked to submit a disclosure of conflict-of-interest form. Biographical information will also be collected to facilitate continuing education accreditation of the conference.
  • Structure of abstracts: Abstracts must include the following sections:
    Title: The title should be informative but concise. Avoid subtitles if possible. Write the title in Sentence case and only capitalize proper nouns and scientific names where appropriate e.g. Plasmodium falciparum. Do NOT use abbreviations or acronyms in the abstract title.
    Introduction/Background: Address the scientific background, rationale for the study as well as the public health significance of the subject. Because of the anticipated diversity of the reviewers and those attending the conference, do not assume that everyone will be familiar with your topic. Explain why your study is important and what question(s) it will answer.
    A clearly stated background sets the stage and should include:


    • A brief description of the topic and its public health significance
    • Research questions or study hypothesis if applicable
    • Study Objectives

    Methods: Describe the methods used for the study. Essential points to be included in this section are:

    • Study design
    • Study setting
    • Study population
    • Eligibility criteria and case definitions if any
    • Sample size and sampling methods
    • Data management and analysis processes

    Results: Present the significant/key findings (both positive and negative) of the study that are directly related to the study objectives. This section should not include discussion of the results. Provide both absolute numbers and their percentages/proportions, rates and ratios where applicable.
    Please note that since an abstract is a stand-alone and citable document, the results section should contain data. It should not include such statements as “Data will be discussed.” If considerable work is still pending before the conference submission, please indicate that the results are preliminary.
    Conclusion: Be as concise as possible. Do not re-state data included in the results. This section may include:

    • An interpretation of key findings and their implications for public health practice
    • Public health actions that are recommended and/or have been implemented as a consequence of the study

    Note: Changes cannot be made to the final abstract after it has been submitted. However, in the event that significant changes are effected after submission of the abstract, the changes should be highlighted during abstract presentation.

  • Word count: The abstract should not exceed 300 words (includes sub-headings but does not include the title, key words, list of authors and their addresses).
  • Formatting


    • Text should be left aligned.
    • Use font Times New Roman, Calibri or Arial, size 12 and 1.5 spacing.
    • Each sub-heading should be in bold font, and followed by a colon
    • Do not include any tables, figures or pictures in the abstract
    • Avoid using abbreviations that are not standard or universally known; however where used, they should be written in full the first time they appear.
    • Scientific names should be italicized
  • Authors
    First author: Provide first name, initials of the middle name (if any), and the last name e.g. David W. Meyers
    Co-authors: List each co-author in order of contribution by typing their first and middle names as initials followed by their last name in full (e.g. W. Grisham, M. S. Pollock)
    Provide the organizational affiliations of the first author and all co-authors
    Indicate the corresponding author with an asterix* and provide their email address and telephone number plus their alternate contacts
    Key words: Please include 4 – 6 key words. Use terms listed in the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) from the Index Medicus (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/mesh/meshhome.html)
Each abstract will be evaluated by three independent reviewers using the following criteria:
  • Background and rationale of the study
  • Appropriateness of methods
  • Presentation of results
  • Conclusion and interpretation of results
  • Public health significance
  • Overall clarity of the abstract
  • Novelty of the study

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