SIERRA LEONE – The Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States have partnered to increase the number of trained public health leaders in Sierra Leone, the US Embassy in Sierra Leone said on its website.
CDC’s Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP), in particular the 12th cohort of the Frontline level and the 5th cohort of the Intermediate level of the program, demonstrates the ongoing commitment to strengthen workforce capacity at each level of the public health system in Sierra Leone.
Sierra Leone partnered with the CDC, through the Field Epidemiology Training Program, to train public health experts dubbed disease detectives to investigate outbreaks of disease and find ways to prevent future outbreaks.
CDC’s Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) works with countries to train a global workforce of disease detectives who find and stop health threats close to the source, increasing our ability to detect and respond to events in a world where the next outbreak is only a plane ride away.
The FETP residents have undertaken investigations of Lassa fever, Ebola Virus Disease, Anthrax, Monkey pox, Measles, COVID-19 and Polio while previous FETP trainees are working with their counterparts to investigate the tragic food poisoning incident in Kenema, the third largest city in Sierra Leone.
In addition, the training program in Sierra Leone will equip the field epidemiologists with necessary skills to collect, analyze and interpret data and contribute to evidence-based decisions as well as significantly contribute to CDC’s efforts to more rapidly and effectively respond to health threats.
The Embassy of the United States of America to Sierra Leone said that the US Ambassador David Reimer joined the Ministry of Health and Sanitation leadership and notable dignitaries to congratulate graduates of the Field Epidemiology Training Program.
The US Embassy in Sierra Leone notes that the impact of training field epidemiologists extends beyond individual and communities, regions and beyond Sierra Leone, adding that the new graduates will serve as leaders and mentors for future FETP residents.
“As global spread of new subvariants of COVID-19 and new global health threats like monkeypox show, disease prevention and control has never been more critical,” the US Embassy outlined.
US Ambassador David Reimer pointed out that the Field Epidemiology Training Program is modeled on the United States’ own best practices, noting that the Government of Sierra Leone has shown real leadership in establishing and building disease surveillance capacity at all levels.
“The United States Government, through CDC, is committed to supporting impactful programs like Field Epidemiology Training Program in Sierra Leone. The new graduates join a notable network of over 300 other FETP graduates,” reaffirmed Ambassador Reimer.
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