Cambodia Field Epidemiology Training Program

Program overview

The Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP), formerly known as the Applied Epidemiology Training (AET) Program of Cambodia, was established in 2011. The program is organized by the Communicable Disease Control Department (CDC) of the Cambodian Ministry of Health (MOH). The program is divided into three different categories: an introductory course (four-week didactic course with a two-week break), a foundation course (six months), and AET plus (held at least four times per year). The introductory course is divided into two parts: surveillance and outbreaks. Each year, CDC/MOH selects 15 to 20 trainees from different provinces to enroll in the introductory course.

 

The program is integrated within the MOH and targets provincial-level staff with surveillance and response functions. Operational district staff who are Rapid Response Team (RRT) members and central-level are also eligible. FETP trainees conduct projects directly related to their work, which benefits their workplace and provides valuable information about the quality and functionality of MOH systems. All program activities fall under the program's management team. The program also has an advisory board.

Achievements

To date, the program has produced 40 graduates from its foundation course and 135 from its introductory course. These individuals have been deployed in the field to conduct disease outbreak investigations and communicable disease surveillance and response.

The majority (94 percent) of graduates surveyed indicated that they have professionally benefited from the program, citing the following examples:

  • Gaining skills in specimen collection, outbreak investigation, and computers
  • Gaining confidence, respect, and shared knowledge
  • Gaining more responsibility on the job and getting promoted
  • Seeing changes in workplace expectations
  • Becoming active Rapid Response Team (RRT) members
  • Gaining more responsibilities in preparing disease surveillance reports
  • Getting more involved in outbreak investigations
  • Taking on more leadership roles