Sudan’s Federal Ministry of Health Launches Field Epidemiology Training Program (S-FETP)
Over the past 15 years, Sudan has made commendable achievements in public health practice. Nevertheless, additional efforts are needed to strengthen Sudan’s health system. Capacity building is especially needed in the areas of epidemiology, disease surveillance, and outbreak management.
To meet this need, the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH), in collaboration with GHD/EMPHNET, established the Sudan Field Epidemiology Training Program (S-FETP).
This is a two-year program designed to enhance the capacities of the national health workforce in applied epidemiology and public health practice. The program especially addresses the training needs of epidemiologists at local, state, and federal levels. In doing so, it provides essential epidemiologic and public health services to health authorities in Sudan, thus enabling them to effectively address national public health priorities.
The FETP is composed of four semesters, comprising both didactic instruction and fieldwork projects. Because the program is practical and action-oriented, residents, as part of their education, return to their jobs, or other relevant programs within the FMoH, where they are expected to complete field projects.
The first cohort comprises 15 doctors and public health officers coming from federal and state health emergency departments.
While being customized to fit the context of Sudan, the curriculum of the program is also based on the Centers’ for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) standard FETP curriculum and the “Applied Epidemiology” curriculum of the Public Health Institute of Sudan. Subjects covered within this program include basic epidemiology, basic statistics, public health surveillance, outbreak investigation, leadership and management, as well as research and studies.
The launching ceremony for this program took place on October 30, 2017, at the FMoH.
The ceremony was presided by Dr. Isam Eldin Mohammed Abdalla, the Undersecretary of the FMoH; Dr. Elmuez Eltayeb, the Director of Primary Health Care Administration at the FMoH; Dr. Abdalla Sied Ahmed from the Public Health Institute, Sudan; Dr. ElFatih Malik, the Technical Advisor of the Sudan FETP; and Dr. Shahd Osman, the Scientific Coordinator of the Sudan FETP. Dr. Mohannad Al-Nsour, the Executive Director of GHD/EMPHNET, was also in attendance.
In his opening remarks, Dr. Al-Nsour highlighted the important achievements that the Federal Ministry of Health made in improving the health status of the Sudanese people. Dr. Al-Nsour also added that the establishment of the Sudan FETP will enrich the Ministry’s existing programs, especially in areas of disease surveillance and outbreak response.
Following the ceremony, the sessions of the program’s first workshop commenced. Expected to be concluded on December 30, 2017, this workshop will train residents on the principal epidemiological concepts and their role in improving public health service delivery. It also introduces descriptive epidemiology and basic biostatistics in the context of public health data analysis.