Zimbabwe Field Epidemiology Training Program

Program overview

The Zimbabwe Masters in Public Health program is a two-year competency-based training that consists of classroom teaching (30 percent) and on the job field training (70 percent). With support from the Rockefeller Foundation Public-Health-Schools-Without-Walls Initiative, the MPH program was launched in 1993 with the aim of assisting the Ministry of Health and Child Care create a permanent capacity to recruit, train, and employ public health practitioners to sustain the public health infrastructure. The program is a joint collaboration with the University of Zimbabwe’s Department of Community Medicine and Ministry of Health and Child Care. Zimbabwe was the first to develop such a program, and drawing upon its experience, subsequent programs were launched in Uganda, Ghana, and Vietnam. The MPH program has subsequently trained over 90 percent of the current public health leadership.

Since 1993, the program has recruited 26 cohorts and of these, 24 have completed the training. Since 2003, the program has experienced an increase in participant intake, with the highest recorded being 16 trainees in 2003. The average intake from 2003 to 2011 has been 12 trainees. Of the 288 trainees enrolled since 1993 to date, 258 have completed training and 248 (96 percent) passed their final examinations and have graduated.

The MPH program is operated from two sites: the Department of Community Medicine at the College of Health Sciences of the University of Zimbabwe and the Health Studies Office at the Ministry of Health and Childcare headquarters in Harare.


Some notable achievements of the Zimbabwe FETP include the following:

  • The Zimbabwe FETP got accredited by the Training Programs in Epidemiology and Public Health Interventions Network (TEPHINET) and Global Accrediting Body (GAB) in January 2018
  • More than 80 percent of graduates have achieved leadership positions in the Ministry of Health and Child Care, United Nations Organizations, the NGO sector, CDC, and USAID
  • Several abstracts (more than 300) were accepted and presented at major scientific conferences including AFENET, TEPHINET and EIS for the period spanning 1993 to date
  • Two residents were awarded the William H. Foege Award at the 63rd and 64th annual EIS conferences in 2014 and 2015 respectively
  • One resident was awarded the Jeffrey P. Koplan Award for Excellence in
  • Scientific Poster Presentation at the 66th Annual EIS Conference in 2017
  • More than 400 outbreaks have been investigated and controlled
  • More than 400 public health programs have been evaluated
  • More than 400 public health surveillance systems have been evaluated
  • 248 planned investigations have been conducted
  • More than 80 articles have been published in peer-reviewed journals on various public health issues including HIV/AIDS, malaria, TB, cholera, typhoid, occupational injuries, perinatal mortality, immunization, etc.
  • Development of an FETP Alumni Association
  • Celebration of Zimbabwe FETP’s 20th anniversary on June 26, 2014