The Senegal Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) and AFENET in collaboration with the country’s Directorate General of Health and US CDC Senegal successfully organized the third workshop of Cohort 15 of the frontline FETP, marking the end of the training for this group of 20 residents.
The cohort composed 20 epidemiological surveillance focal points from districts (17), hospitals (2) and medical regions (1).
Speaking at the close of the workshop which ran in the period 17 to 21 October 2022 in Saly, the CDC Country Director for Senegal, Dr. Omer Passi, emphasized the importance of the FETP in early detection, investigation and response to public health threats.
Dr Passi stressed that all health actors are part of a chain in which each link is important and urged the recipients to play their part in the implementation of the "Global Health Security Agenda." He echoed the need for all actors involved in public health be trained on FETP and that he supported the health ministry to start implementation of an advanced FETP.
FETP training follows a three-tiered pyramidal model comprising basic, intermediate, and advanced training. Basic-level FETPs, also known as Frontline FETPs, generally require three months of part-time training. Intermediate-level FETPs generally require nine to 12 months of part-time training (as intermediate FETP aims to keep trainees in their workplaces, trainees receive roughly six to eight weeks of face-to-face modules and complete work-based projects in between). Most advanced-level programs require two years of mentored, full-time training.
In his remarks, the Director General of Health (DGS) Dr Bernabé Gningue, he expressed gratitude and lauded the existing relationship between the health ministry and AFENET which has supported implementation of the program.
“The ministry is happy and willing to continue the partnership with AFENET whose expertise in the field of epidemiology is recognized worldwide. -The entire health system (institution and those concerned) is being strengthened through this training,” he said stressing that the FETP was an appropriate tool for cross-border management of epidemics in an international sub-regional context marked by socio-political crises.
Dr Gningue also asked all actors who have invested in planning for the implementation of an advanced FETP and that “indeed the FETP should remain practical, concerted and coordinated.”
Before implementation of the advanced program, the DGS emphasized that three aspects: The evaluation of the training of the 15 frontline cohorts and the three intermediate cohorts, the mode of support for graduates and the development of a roadmap for the implementation of advanced FETP.
He also emphasized the importance of working with other sectors in the context of "One Health" and setting up Rapid Intervention Teams (RITs) at the local level.