In line with EMPHNET’s strategies for increasing visibility for the Eastern Mediterranean Region’s (EMR) Field Epidemiology Training Programs (FETP), it recently launched the FETP Ambassador Program which is designed to strengthen ties with the region’s FETP teams and to further highlight their achievements.
The Ambassador Program recruits a contact person or focal point from each FETP in the region to communicate the benefits of the countries’ programs and raise awareness. The program also works to publish the achievements of FETP residents and graduates from the region in various communication channels. In doing so, this unique initiative serves to increase engagement and knowledge sharing across the region, while also attracting partnerships within the countries.
The program commenced with a two-day virtual training session held on July 31 and August 1, 2022. The training was attended by 17 ambassadors all of whom were nominated by their country program directors to serve as focal points or ambassadors linking the programs and EMPHNET. Ambassadors came from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, and Yemen FETPs.
The two-day training session included an introduction to the Knowledge Exchange and Networking Department, the Ambassadors role within the Ambassador Program, and a technical presentation on photo and video taking using mobile.
The agenda for the second training day included detailed sessions on media relations and news story writing. During these sessions, the ambassadors were given general tips on news story telling. These tips highlighted the elements of a good news story, story structure, and general directions for writing.
Upon the conclusion of the training, each ambassador is expected to share his/her program achievements with EMPHNET and vice versa. Ambassadors serve for a period of one year, a term announced in order to pass on experiences to future residents and cohorts.
An ideal way to increase visibility for a program is to create an incentive for people to share their work, their knowledge, and their accomplishments. Thus, the program offers ambassadors priority to attend events and training, exclusive training sessions to enhance their communication skills, and an opportunity to compete for the annual Ambassador Award, amongst other incentives. The FETP Ambassador Program is one of the many initiatives EMPHNET is launching for the benefit of FETPs.