Field epidemiology training program in West African Portuguese speaking countries: building capacity while strengthening health systems for health surveillance and outbreak response
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Faculty of Medicine, University Eduardo Mondlane, Mozambique
Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal
Universidade de Cabo Verde, Cape Verde
Instituto Nacional de Saúde Pública, Cape Verde
Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical, Portugal
Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal
Publication date: 2023-04-27
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A673
Introduction: In 2020, the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership and Africa CDC announced funds for Training of epidemiologists in sub-Saharan Africa. In response, a consortium was established which included African and European Universities, National Institutes of Public Health and Research Centers. This consortium proposed a project to implement a Masters in Field Epidemiology offered via blended-learning platforms by the University of Cape Verde. Thus, this presentation is to share experiences of a first ever in the world offer a blended-learning advanced field epidemiology training, integrated into the National Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) coordinated by the National Institute of Public Health of Cape Verde. Methods: The overall project will be described as well as processes in developing the curriculum and its accreditation at different levels (including Higher Education Accreditation Authorities in Cape Verde), students recruitment strategies, establishment of International Steering Committee among others. The field training sites accreditation, processes to identifying teachers and tutors among other key aspects of advanced FETP delivery will be presented. Results: A total of 55 candidatures were received and 15 were selected (6 from Cape Verde, 6 from Guinea-Bissau and 3 from São Tomé and Príncipe). Through a consultative process and field visits, tutors were identified for each student in their country of origin. Field training sites to enhance experiences and capacity of trainees in health surveillance and outbreak response were chosen. The expected outputs from field training were defined. Conclusions: The practical training in the countries of origin complemented with theoretical training offered online will allow better retention of the trained cadres in their countries of origin and contribute for health system strengthening. The program will contribute with learning and teaching materials in Portuguese and enhance a cohort of Portuguese speaking African epidemiologists.