Central America Field Epidemiology Training Program (CA FETP): a pathway to sustainable public health capacity development
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Central America Field Epidemiology Training Program (CA FETP): a pathway to sustainable public health capacity development

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  • Alternative Title:
    Hum Resour Health
  • Description:
    The Central America Field Epidemiology Training Program (CA FETP) is a public health capacity-building training programme aimed at developing high-caliber field epidemiologists at various levels of the public health system. It began in 2000 as part of the effort to rebuild public health infrastructure in six Central American and Caribbean countries following the devastation of Hurricanes Mitch and Georges in late 1998. Since then, the CA FETP has evolved from one regional training programme managed by CDC to several national FETPs with each country assuming ownership of its domestic programme. The curriculum is competency-based, and is divided into a three-tiered training pyramid that corresponds to the needs at the local, district and central levels of the health system. Trainees at each tier spend about 20% of their time in the classroom and 80% in the field implementing what they have learned while being mentored by graduates of the programme. FETP trainees have responded to multiple natural disasters and conducted hundreds of investigations including surveillance evaluations, outbreak responses and planned studies. Also graduates of the CA FETP are assuming influential positions in their respective ministries. As countries meet the challenge of institutionalizing their programmes, the CA FETP concept will increasingly be recognized as a model for sustainable public health capacity development.
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