Header photo: Residents of the Pakistan Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program conduct in-depth interviews with community members following an HIV outbreak in Pakistan in June 2019.
Over the past 40 years, the massive growth of Field Epidemiology Training Programs (FETPs) across more than 100 countries has increased global capacity for detecting and responding to outbreaks, natural disasters, and other public health hazards by bringing the world closer to the International Health Regulations’ (IHR, 2005) target of 1 trained field epidemiologist (or equivalent) per 200,000 population. Worldwide, more than 14,000 FETP alumni have trained to be the "boots on the ground" workforce before, during, and after public health emergencies.
In total, trainees and alumni of TEPHINET member FETPs have*:
- Established or evaluated more than 3,800 surveillance systems
- Conducted more than 9,350 outbreak investigations
- Delivered more than 7,800 oral and poster presentations at scientific conferences
- Published more than 2,660 peer-reviewed articles
*Source: TEPHINET member program survey (2019)
As the global network of FETPs, TEPHINET provides global-level solutions for strengthening this field epidemiology workforce.
These solutions have included:
- Developing and successfully implementing an accreditation process for FETPs designed to systematically improve program quality worldwide
- Expanding and modernizing FETP core competencies and curricula
- Promoting the development of applied epidemiology workforce targets at each level of expertise (basic [Frontline], intermediate, and advanced)
- Fostering enhanced alignment and integration of the FETP Enterprise with key global health programs and priorities, including global health security, One Health, and universal health coverage
- Institutionalizing high-quality scientific exchange and shared learning among FETP trainees, alumni, mentors, and other public health experts via annual global and regional conferences that foster scientific excellence
- Establishing an electronic platform, TEPHIConnect, that establishes networking of FETP alumni and mobilization of qualified professionals for rapid response to outbreaks and other emergencies
- Helping more than a dozen countries across the Americas build sustainable capacity for disease detection by supporting the establishment of FETP-Frontline programs after the 2016 Zika outbreak
- Supporting the development of in-service applied veterinary epidemiology training programs
- Provided vitally-needed support in operations and logistics to several FETPs and to partners fighting specific disease threats in-country (e.g., polio eradication in Pakistan)