United States Mission Sierra Leone
Public Affairs Office
September 26, 2017
Contact: Emily Royse Green
U.S. Embassy Launches Intermediate Class of Disease Detectives
On Tuesday, September 26, U.S. Ambassador Designate Maria Brewer attended the launch of Intermediate Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP). The FETP—run by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in collaboration with the Sierra Leonean Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS)—trains Sierra Leonean public health professionals in epidemiology, surveillance, and outbreak response. These “disease detectives” can rapidly detect and respond to disease outbreaks in a country.
The U.S. government, through the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), is committed to supporting impactful programs like FETP in Sierra Leone. The GHSA mission is to prevent, detect and respond to disease threats. The Government of Sierra Leone has shown global leadership in establishing and implementing these critical programs.
FETP in Sierra Leone forms the cornerstone of a joint U.S.-Sierra Leonean effort to build disease surveillance capacity. The establishment of Frontline FETP in Sierra Leone in June 2016 has helped build a trained public health workforce at the district and community level across Sierra Leone. There has been marked improvement in disease surveillance, outbreak response, and communication skills in public health workers.
Expanding FETP to the Intermediate level will provide the skills needed by health officials at the middle level of the MoHS to improve epidemiologic capacity to evaluate and strengthen public health surveillance systems, investigate and control outbreaks, and conduct field studies to address public health priority issues. Establishing the Intermediate FETP will also help achieve the GHSA goal of having one trained epidemiologist per 200,000 population.
The United States Government is a proud and committed partner in these efforts. The Ministry of Health and Sanitation, in establishing the FETP program, is serving the critical needs of the public health system so that we never again experience a public health crisis the size and with the devastating impact of the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
For more information about FETP visit www.cdc.gov/globalhealth/fetp and www.sierraleonefetp.com.