Ghana Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme
The Ghana Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program (GFELTP) is a competency-based program established in October 2007. The GFELTP currently runs the Advanced Program, the FETP-Intermediate, and the FETP-Frontline training in Ghana. It evolved from an initial collaboration with the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), through cooperative agreements with the University of Ghana, School of Public Health, and Ghana Health Service. The program has evolved into a sub-regional resource center for training field epidemiologists from English-speaking West African countries (except Nigeria). The GFELTP is a founding member of the African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET) which is headquartered in Kampala, Uganda. The Advanced Program is a two-year post-graduate course centered around service and on-the-job learning. The program covers applied epidemiology and public health laboratory practice for scientists, physicians, veterinarians, and other health professionals. Trainees in this program are working towards a Master of Philosophy degree in Applied Epidemiology and Disease Control (M.Phil). The program aims at training field epidemiologists, veterinary epidemiologists, and public health laboratory scientists to take up leadership positions in the Ministry of Health and Veterinary Services to help improve the health of the people of Ghana and beyond through outbreak investigations, evaluation of the surveillance system and data analysis. The advanced training program is made up of a 30% didactic component and a 70% field component. So far, the program has enrolled twelve cohorts and has graduated a total of 88 from 10 cohorts since its inception in 2007. The Frontline FETP is a 3-month on-the-job training program that focuses on strengthening the epidemiologic capacity of frontline (lower level) health professionals. This program serves to strengthen the capacity of the district and sub-district level human and animal health staff in public health surveillance and response to public health emergencies. The FETP- Frontline was introduced in Ghana in 2014. It consists of 20% didactic training and 80% field training. Since 2014, the GFELTP has trained thirteen cohorts with 346 graduates across the country. The abstracts of 26 graduates of the FETP-Frontline have been presented at local and international conferences such as the AFENET, Training Programs in Epidemiology and Public Health Interventions Network (TEPHINET), Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS), GFELTP, and National Tuberculosis conferences. The Intermediate FETP is a 9-month in-service program focused on strengthening public health surveillance, outbreak investigation and response, use of survey data for decision-making, and building research capacity at the middle level of the health system as pertains to regional and district levels in Ghana. It consists of 20% didactic training and 80% field training. This training was introduced in Ghana in February 2019 with the pre-admission workshop. The first cohort of the FETP-Intermediate is made up of 15 trainees from the Northern Zone (Northern, Upper East, and Upper West Regions) of the country. Trainees were made of staff from the Ghana Health Services, Food and Drugs Authority, Veterinary Services Department, and the Environmental unit from the Ministry of Local Government. The training for the first cohort will end in November 2019.
Levels: Advanced, Frontline, Intermediate