Jordan Field Epidemiology Training Program (J-FETP)

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The Jordan FETP was established in 1998 with the mission of increasing the epidemiologic capacity of the national public health workforce.  Housed within the Primary Health Care Directorate at the Jordan Ministry of Health (MOH), the program serves the ministry’s objectives and activities, with both residents and graduates engaged in national public health practice. Program residents contribute to MOH activities and have the capacity to identify gaps to address urgent public health needs in the country. Graduates are highly trained in public health practice and possess a comprehensive understanding of the MOH programs; they are highly qualified when entering the MOH workforce. By engaging both residents and graduates in national health programs, the Jordan FETP focuses on strengthening workforce capacity to meet its objectives:

• Improve reporting and surveillance systems.

• Enhance capacity to detect and response to disease outbreaks.

• Strengthen management and prevention of communicable and non-communicable diseases.

To date, the program has graduated nine cohorts, a total of 54 physicians, with six residents currently in training.  All graduates are physicians, with the exception of two veterinarians enrolled during the height of the influenza epidemic in 2007. Of the graduates, 60% work as epidemiologists at the central or governorate levels of the Jordan MOH. Jordan is one of the few countries in the region that meets the International Health Regulations (IHR) standard of one field epidemiologist per 200,000 people. In Jordan, there is at least one FETP graduate working in eight of the 12 governorates (Appendix A). The remaining residents work in the region, 16% at the government level, 12% as regional epidemiological experts, and 9% with international non-governmental organizations.

Today, the Jordan FETP is housed within the MOH in the Primary Health Care Directorate. The program is led by an MOH official who serves as the Jordan FETP Director. The program uses the standard CDC FETP curriculum with modifications and case studies based on needs assessments of Jordan’s public health status.

The Jordan FETP is currently training its 10th cohort, with six physicians enrolled. The MOH recently incorporated the FETP into the community medicine residency program as part of the Jordan Medical Council. As a result, the program is now accredited as a training program for the Jordanian Board Certificate in community medicine; graduates of FETP are credited two years towards the community medicine board.