Kenya Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program
Established in 2004, the Kenya Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program (K-FELTP) is a division within the Department of Preventive and Promotive Health (DPPH) within the Ministry of Health (MoH). Its mandate is to increase epidemiological capacity within Kenya. The program started as a collaboration between the MoH and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in recognition of the need to have a skilled public health workforce that supports disease surveillance systems, timely response to public health emergencies, and data analysis for decision making.
The key functions of the program include:
• Training optimal numbers of field epidemiologists for the MoH and Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (MALF) through a two-year master’s training in field epidemiology offered by Moi University.
• Providing technical support to national and county levels for the investigation of public health emergencies, supporting surveillance and use of surveillance data, conducting operational research, and providing epidemiological support both in communicable and non-communicable diseases.
• Building the capacity of health workers at the county and national level who are proficient in both basic and intermediate level epidemiology.
• Coordinating public health leadership training in the “Improving Public Health Management for Action” Program in collaboration with the CDC, as well as Kenyatta University as the academic partner.
Upon its inception in 2004, the program started offering a competency-based master’s level training in applied epidemiology. Due to the need to have more health workers trained in epidemiological skills, in 2014, the program fully operationalized the tiered approach of training which includes a 3-month basic level epidemiology training, a 6-month intermediate level epidemiology training, and the two-year advanced level epidemiology training. Having three tiers of training that are operational and contributing to workforce development in International Health Relations (IHR) capacities is one of the indicators of IHR for both internal and joint external evaluations. Kenya scored highly in this regard during the 2017 joint external evaluation (JEE) by the World Health Organization (WHO). .