Mozambique Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program

Program overview

The Mozambique Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program (MZ-FELTP) is a two-year, competency-based, post-graduate training (requires a master’s degree) and service program designed to build sustainable public health capacity in applied epidemiology. It was established in August 2010 by the Mozambican National Health Institute (INS) and Public Health Directorate of the Ministry of Health (MoH), in partnership with Eduardo Mondlane University (UEM) Faculty of Medicine and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) support. Advanced-level training is a full-time course in which trainees spend 25 percent of their academic time attending classes and 75 percent in the field training and learning experientially. Field sites are strategic locations, such as the National Institute of Health, Provincial Health Departments, National Programs (malaria, HIV, tuberculosis, prevention of mother-to-child transmission, non-communicable diseases, neglected tropical diseases, and others). Other locations include central, cross-cutting departments at the Ministry of Health (the epidemiology department and others) and reference laboratories at the National Institute of Health (tuberculosis, serology, microbiology, virology, and molecular biology), as well as other key areas related to health such as the  Department of Animal Sciences. Trainees are also involved in outbreak investigation and response activities under the supervision of healthcare workers.

The program's mission is to strengthen the public health system's capacities in the country in epidemiological surveillance, disease prevention and control, and rapid response to public health emergencies through properly trained and competent field epidemiologists and laboratories. The vision is to become a reference program in the training of epidemiologists and to provide support in the strengthening of the surveillance system. MZ-FELTP does this through timely and effective response to public health emergencies and priorities at different levels of the health system in order to improve indicators of general health in the country.


The program has successfully trained 46 health professionals through its Advanced-level. During the first six years of the program, residents and graduates conducted more than 60 outbreak investigations, 58 surveillance system evaluations, 57  data analyses, 12 SOPS development, and more. They participate in the monitoring and evaluation of polio and measles vaccination campaigns, mosquito net distribution campaigns, and response to emergencies such as the flooding that affected Gaza Province in 2013, and Cyclones Idai and Kenneth in 2019. They also participate in the implementation of real-time surveillance systems for mass events, including the African Games in 2011, Mozambique National Culture Festivals in 2016 and 2018, and the Pope’s Visit in 2019. In 2019, Mozambique was devastated by tropical cyclones Idai and Kenneth; which affected more than 2 million people, causing 645 deaths and massive infrastructure damage, including health facilities. Graduates and residents act as a response workforce by conducting rapid epidemiological assessments of displaced populations, implanting emergency epidemiological surveillance, developing new tools for data collection and analysis, investigating outbreaks, and providing real-time epidemiological data analysis to guide interventions.

Trainees have also given more than 100 oral and poster presentations at national and international conferences. The MZ-FELTP program has also enhanced Mozambique's contribution to disseminating epidemiological information by publishing more than 20 articles in the MoH Epidemiological Bulletin and the INS Lab Surveillance Bulletin related to outbreak investigations and descriptive analyses of surveillance data.

Since 2009, the program has conducted short courses in basic epidemiology and trained 180 surveillance technicians from seven provinces. The introductory epidemiology short course aims to strengthen essential public health surveillance at the district level, providing staff with the epidemiological tools to solve community problems. The course generally has 20-25 participants and lasts for two weeks. Mozambique FELTP is planning to implement the FETP Frontline model in 2021 and graduate its  sixth Advanced cohort.