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The Ethiopian Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program: strengthening public health systems and building human resource capacity

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The Ethiopian Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program (EFELTP) is a comprehensive two-year competency-based training and service program designed to build sustainable public health expertise and capacity. Established in 2009, the program is a partnership between the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health, the Ethiopian Health and Nutrition Research Institute, Addis Ababa University School of Public Health, the Ethiopian Public Health Association and the US Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. Residents of the program spend about 25% of their time undergoing didactic training and the 75% in the field working at program field bases established with the MOH and Regional Health Bureaus investigating disease outbreaks, improving disease surveillance, responding to public health emergencies, using health data to make recommendations and undertaking other field Epidemiology related activities on setting health policy. Residents from the first 2 cohorts of the program have conducted more than 42 outbreaks investigations, 27analyses of surveillance data, evaluations of 11 surveillance systems, had28oral and poster presentation abstracts accepted at 10 scientific conferences and submitted 8 manuscripts of which 2are already published. The EFELTP has provided valuable opportunities to improve epidemiology and laboratory capacity building in Ethiopia. While the program is relatively young, positive and significant impacts are assisting the country better detect and respond to epidemics and address diseases of major public health significance. Pan African Medical Journal 2011; 10 (Supp 1):5


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