Field Epidemiology Training Program
Advanced and Front Line
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is one the biggest countries in Africa. Located in the Center of the continent, it has an estimated population of 81,680,000 habitants and is bordered by nine (9) countries. Its ecosystem is favorable for outbreak explosion.
The DRC’s Ministry of Health is in a reforming process; the Health system has 3 levels:
- Central Level: MoH’s office, DG, 13 Central Directory (including DLM), and Programs;
- Intermediate Level: 26 Provincial Health Divisions: DPS;
- Operational Level: 517 Health Zone (HZ) and the community.
The CDC Center for Global Health Protection (CGHP) and Field Epidemiology and Training Program (FETP) Branch supports several FETP programs worldwide covering more than 61 countries.
The program has greatly contributed to the vision, mission and strategic objectives of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as it works to strengthen the capacity of the Congolese in the area of epidemiology, laboratory management, outbreak response, disease monitoring and communication.
The Long term Program was established in 2012 to strengthen national surveillance systems and enhance public health capacity by developing a critical mass of health professionals with advanced applied epidemiology skills.
To date, 3 cohorts have finished their training and 2 others are still in training and recruitment of the 4th cohort is in process. The 6th cohort will start in February 2018.
The FETP “Front line” has been implemented in focus to build epidemiologic capacity at the local surveillance level. The first session of the DRC front line started on June 6th, 2016 in Kinshasa.
To improve early detection of disease and response so that the incidence and prevalence of disease can decrease in DRC
- To improve public health surveillance and earlier response.
- To use data for decision-making starting at the local level.
The FETP public health professional workers dedicate 25% of their time to didactic formation and 75% of their time to practical experience. Targets of this program are Medical Doctors, Veterinarians and Lab Technicians. The duration is 24 months for the long-term program and 3 months for the front line.
Based on andragogy, the participatory method was used by comparing the theoretical notions with the practice lived on the field by sharing experience.