Egypt Field Epidemiology Training Program
The Egypt FETP was the second Field Epidemiology Training Program to develop within the Eastern Mediterranean region. The advanced level (two-year) program began in 1993 in collaboration with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The program aims to produce proficient field epidemiologists to serve the Ministry of Health and Population in disease surveillance, outbreak investigation, and response activities and strengthening public health systems. Mentoring is successfully implemented to drive rich learning and improvement for both residents and mentors.
Most of the program's graduates have continued their public health careers after graduation working as epidemiologists to serve the preventive sector of the Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population and have filled leadership positions at central and governorate levels. A number of graduates are working for the World Health Organization (WHO), African CDC, United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), and other international non-governmental organizations.
The Egypt FETP launched its intermediate level and recruited the first intermediate cohort in April 2021. Now, the FETP uses all three levels of training: basic, intermediate, and advanced. The program graduated a total of 269 epidemiologists (166 from the advanced level and 103 from the basic level). As of December 2021, a total of 50 residents are enrolled in the program and are still completing their curriculum (nine in the Advanced level, 19 in the intermediate level, and 22 in the basic level). The program has a well-established mentorship structure formed of selected well-trained FETP alumni. New graduates are being trained to expand the mentorship structure to cover all tiers of the program.
Residents and graduates have a crucial role in the preparedness and response to public health threats, especially in the case of the current ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Very early in the pandemic, to delay the introduction of COVID-19 into Egypt, they had participated in returning stranded Egyptians from Wuhan and in monitoring suspected COVID-19 patients in the first quarantine hospital in Matrouh. They participate in all areas of public health response including crisis management, planning, enhancing surveillance systems and contact tracing, enhancing laboratory capacity, case and hospital management, clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccination, raising community awareness, quarantine and entry points. In addition, they are involved in all national activities such as implementing a COVID-19 national sero-prevalence survey in Egypt, national polio vaccination campaigns, and conducting surveillance at sports mass gatherings events, international conferences and festivals.
Residents and graduates participate annually in regional and international conferences. In 2021, 17 abstracts of their research projects were accepted as oral and poster presentations. In addition, they published numerous papers in various high-ranked journals with eight papers being published in the last year (as of December 2021).