El Salvador Field Epidemiology Training Program
The Field Epidemiology Training Program began in 2000 under the auspices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), within the framework of aid to the region and our country after Hurricane Mitch. It has enabled the training of 19 graduated epidemiologists at the advanced level. In total, eight cohorts have been finished, four cohorts were developed with the technical support of the Universidad Autonoma of Nicaragua, and the following cohorts have been accredited by the Universidad del Valle of Guatemala. All were funded by CDC.
Since FETP started, training has been carried out at three levels: basic, intermediate and advanced. It has made possible the strengthening of the professionals of the National Integrated Health System in their capacity for epidemiological surveillance and their preparation and response to public health events.
The vision is to continuously strengthen the FETP and have multidisciplinary professionals from the National Integrated Health System institutions, but include professionals from the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of the Environment, in such a way that efforts are integrated to strengthen public health surveillance, preparation and response from different areas, which will directly contribute to decision-making based on comprehensive information.
The main achievement of the program is increased capacity to respond to the diversity of public health events that the country has had to face in the last 20 years, such as the investigation of lead contamination in a population of the canton Sitio del Niño, La Libertad; preparing for and responding to natural disasters, health emergencies: dengue epidemics, influenza A (H1N1) pandemic, and the current COVID-19 pandemic.