CDC Invests US$3M in Epidemiology Training Program

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The United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has invested US$3M within the epidemiology program for Liberian health workers.
Making the disclosure at the Information Ministry’s regular Thursday press briefing on Capitol Hill in Monrovia, acting Country Director of CDC, Brian Wheeler, said 90 people are expected to benefit from the first phase of the training.
“We will train 210 people in the two phases of the program that is expected to last for 24 months. Phase one is ongoing at the Ministry of Health and will last for 12 months,” he said.
Mr. Wheeler said the program’s benefit can be used on diseases, including malaria and tuberculosis, noting that Emory University of Atlanta (USA) is helping to provide the training.
He explained that the Ministry of Health identified the needs of the studies in Liberia and requested the CDC, based on their partnership to provide the training.
Epidemiology is the science that studies the patterns, causes, and effects of health and disease conditions in defined population. It is the cornerstone of public health and informs policy decisions and evidence based practice by identifying risk factors for disease and targets for preventive healthcare, an internet research reveals.
Mr. Wheeler said the CDC’s epidemiology program has been running for over 25 years in different countries to educate health practitioners in identifying risk factors of disease and targets for preventive healthcare.
He stressed that the epidemiology-training program will improve Liberia’s surveillance system and enhances the capacity of health workers as Liberia embarks on building a resilient health sector.
He said the Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) is full-time, which involves classroom instruction and field assignments.
“FETP trainees take courses in epidemiology, communications, economics, and management. They also learn about quantitative and behavior-based strategies. In addition, FETP trainees work in the field where they conduct epidemiologic investigations and field surveys,” he explained.
The CDC, through FETP, works with ministries of health and other partners to strengthen national and local public health systems, he said.
“The goal of the FETP is to address the severe shortage of skilled epidemiologists worldwide and recognizes the importance of connecting epidemiology and laboratory practice,” he disclosed.
The laboratory track, he said helps establish functioning laboratory-based disease surveillance system with an enhanced laboratory capacity to assist in outbreak responses.

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