Zambia Defense Force Frontline FETP graduates ready for public health challenges

Defense Force frontline graduates with invited guests. Seated from the left to the right: Mr. Warren Malambo -FETP public Health specialist under CDC; Brig Gen (Dr) Jackson Kasela-Director General Defence Force Medical services; Professor Roma Chilengi - Director General, ZNPHI; Ms Millcent Mwenda- Acting Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defense; Dr Steven Wiersmas – USA Defense Health Attache’and Regional Director for Africa; Brig Gen (Dr) Chipampe Chisoko - Chief of Health Services-Zambia National Service; Lt. Col Harriet Chiyangi – FETP mentor
Zambia FETP Program Director Dr Nyambe Sinyange with defense force graduates and invited Military leaders
Guest of Honor awards a certificate to Capt. Tendai Mpande

Following a successful graduation of the Frontline Field Epidemiology Training Programme (FETP) for Defence Force personnel on 3 January 2024, Zambia’s FETP has made a major advancement in strengthening public health preparedness.

Twenty-two military personnel successfully completed the training. This represents a turning point since military personnel with specific training in epidemiology and disease intelligence are now prepared to support the country’s public health security initiatives.

The Zambia Frontline FETP is a thorough training programme created to improve district-level health professionals’ ability to respond to public health emergencies. Launched, in 2015, in partnership with the US CDC, the programme gives participants the tools necessary to investigate, monitor, and control outbreaks of diseases, ensuring a rapid and coordinated response. To date Zambia FETP has graduated 306 health workers from15 cohorts.

Recognizing the interconnectedness of public health and national security, Zambia’s Defence Forces have embraced the importance of investing in public health training for their personnel. The integration of epidemiological expertise within the military not only enhances the health and well-being of military personnel but also ensures a rapid and coordinated response to potential health threats within and beyond the military community.

According to Zambia FETP Program Director, Dr Nyambe Sinyange, throughout the programme, the trainees exhibited remarkable commitment and proficiency. “They have effectively finished fieldwork tasks in the real world, aiding in the monitoring and management of numerous infectious diseases. Their capacity to react quickly and efficiently to public health emergencies has improved as a result of this practical experience.”

Dr James Zulu (the coordinator for Frontline FETP) observed that “the successful completion of the Frontline FETP by Zambia’s Defence Forces opens avenues for collaboration between the military and public health institutions. This synergy will strengthen the nation’s overall response to health emergencies and create a sustainable framework for ongoing collaboration in the future.”

As the graduates return to their workplaces within the Defence Forces, their expertise will serve as a cornerstone for building a resilient and responsive health system, safeguarding the nation against potential threats.

Participants listening to a presentation on field work conducted by one of the graduates
One of the graduates presenting her field work on surveillance problem analysis
Language »