FETPs and TEPHINET Feature Prominently at the International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases

Tina Rezvani

Organized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Task Force for Global Health, the International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases (ICEID) took place in Atlanta from August 26-29 and featured approximately 200 presentations on issues affecting the emergence, spread, and control of infectious diseases. Major topics included surveillance and outbreak response, public health preparedness, laboratory diagnostics and systems, and factors affecting disease emergence and control.

Trainees and graduates of several of our member programs gave oral or poster presentations during the conference including the FETPs in Brazil, Egypt, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Nigeria, Pakistan, Taiwan, and Uganda as well as the Epidemic Intelligence Service of the United States.

In addition, three abstracts submitted by the TEPHINET Secretariat were accepted for poster presentation. These abstracts describe the work of TEPHINET and our partners in responding to Zika in Latin America and the Caribbean as well as the composition of TEPHINET as a network of field epidemiology training programs. Our presenters were Dr. Dionisio Herrera, director of TEPHINET; Dr. Angela Hilmers, senior associate director for science, and Dr. Mariana Mansur, project manager.

Visit the following links to watch each presenter give a summary of his or her poster:

Dionisio Herrera: “Training in Applied Epidemiology: A Strategy to Respond to Emerging Infectious Diseases”

Angela Hilmers: “Building Public Health Workforce Capacity in 12 Countries over 15 Months: The Establishment of FETP Frontline across the Americas as a Rapid Response Strategy to the Zika Epidemic”

Mariana Mansur: “TEPHINET’s Management Response to the Zika Emergency in the Americas (2016-2018)”

On August 28, Dr. Herrera spoke on a plenary session focused on demonstrating the impact of investments in global health security (GHS) and the International Health Regulations (IHR). In his remarks, Dr. Herrera emphasized the strong alignment between the objectives of field epidemiology training programs and those of the Global Health Security Agenda. Other speakers on the panel discussed the contributions of the Uganda Public Health Fellowship Program (Field Epidemiology Track) as well as the India Epidemic Intelligence Service towards stronger public health systems in their countries.

“In general, the conference was an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the value of field epidemiology training programs in the control of infectious diseases,” says Dr. Herrera. “Congratulations to the FETP trainees and graduates who presented their work, and congratulations to my colleagues at the Task Force for Global Health and CDC for organizing this successful event.”

The full conference program is available here.