In 2014, the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) was launched to achieve the vision of a world safe and secure from global health threats posed by infectious diseases. Workforce development is one of nine action packages, or areas of work, for the GHSA, with goals of reaching one trained field epidemiologist per 200,000 population and one trained veterinarian per 400,000 animal units (or per 500,000 population) across the world.
Collaboration among the human health, animal health, and other sectors is a key factor for making progress in workforce development. Recently, to promote multisectoral collaboration and to highlight the contributions of the public health workforce to the ongoing pandemic response, Thailand’s ministries of agriculture and public health hosted the virtual “Joint Conference on the Contributions of a Multidisciplinary Workforce to Public Health Threats in the COVID-19 Era.”
The Regional Field Epidemiology Training Program for Veterinarians (R-FETPV), based in Thailand, played a key role in organizing this event, which was held from December 1-2, 2021. An expected output from the joint conference is the development of scientifically sound recommendations for workforce development towards the GHSA 2024 framework.
TEPHINET Director Dr. Carl Reddy joined a panel discussion and presented on the utilization of the field epidemiology workforce as a global in-service team. His presentation addressed gaps and challenges in the FETP training model and highlighted interventions addressing these gaps in the context of the Global Field Epidemiology Roadmap and the work of TEPHINET.
Developed in 2018, the Global Field Epidemiology Roadmap aims to address gaps and accelerate the development of global field epidemiology capacity building through eight key recommendations, including recommendations related to workforce development. These recommendations are to be carried out by the Strategic Leadership Group (SLG) for the FETP enterprise.
Related to the Roadmap’s recommendations are TEPHINET’s strategic goals of strengthening and preparing a field epidemiology workforce and defining its role in the global public health system; building the knowledge and skills of the FETP community; and assuring the quality of FETPs and FETP network-level elements. These goals were outlined in TEPHINET’s strategic plan for 2021 to 2026 and will help guide TEPHINET’s work over this time period.