Development of a well-trained epidemiologic public health workforce in surveillance, outbreak detection and response is essential in meeting Global Health Security objectives. In partnership with Ministries of Health and other public and private stakeholders, CDC seeks to accelerate progress toward a world safe and secure from infectious disease threats by building workforce capacity through creation and support of regional networks of field epidemiology and training programs (FETPs).
Today's interconnected world means we are all linked by the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. Global travel speeds the rate at which infectious disease threats can be delivered to our doorstep. Disease outbreaks like Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), H1N1, and Ebola have demonstrated that while the outbreak may originate in one locale, it can quickly spread to other parts of the world. Thus, in order to address global diseases threats, it is critical that countries are able to exchange information quickly and share and mobilize resources to respond to public health emergencies. CDC aims to accomplish this through creation and support of regional network of FETPs. Regional Networks of FETPs support residents and graduates of FETP and the Ministries of Health to share information across large geographic areas that share common health goals. Regional FETP Networks have established and maintained relationships between FETPs, enabling FETPs to be aware of what their peers are doing, promote learning from the experiences of other FETPs, and increase the circle of influence for evidence-based decision-making in public health. Regional networks can provide direct help with strengthening field epidemiology and public health laboratory capacity to contribute effectively to addressing epidemics and other major public health problems. Regional networks can also assist with monitoring and maintaining FETPs while aiding MOHs with specific FETP-related problems. Thus through this NOFO, CDC is seeking to create and support regional networks of FETPs that: aim to improve quality of existing FETPs; assists in mobilization of workforce in times of public health emergencies; offers continuous learning opportunities to epidemiologists; foster and facilitates knowledge sharing and exchange among FETPs; and provides technical assistance (TA) and operational support to country FETPs.