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Country Name AFGHANISTAN
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Cohorts

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Modalities

2

2019

Intermediate

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Country Name BANGLADESH
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Modalities

---

  2020

Advanced

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Cohorts

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Modalities

20 (Advanced)

1 (Intermediate)

4 (Basic) 

1993

Advanced

Intermediate

Basic

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Cohorts

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Modalities

8 (Advanced) 

1 (Intermediate) 

9 (Basic) 

 2010

Advanced

Intermediate

Basic

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Cohorts

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Modalities

16 (Advanced)

1 (Basic)

 1998

Advanced

Basic

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Cohorts

Establishment Year

Modalities

6 (Advanced)

1 (Basic)

  2010

Advanced

Basic

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Cohorts

Establishment Year

Modalities

12 (Advanced)

13 (Basic)

2006

Advanced

Basic

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Country Name SAUDI ARABIA
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Cohorts

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31 (Advanced)

3 (Basic)

 1989

Advanced

Intermediate

Basic

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Cohorts

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Modalities

1 (Advanced)

1 (Intermediate)

4 (Basic)

  2017

Advanced

Intermediate

Basic

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Cohorts

Establishment Year

Modalities

3 (Intermediate)

1 (Basic)

  2017

Intermediate

Basic

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Cohorts

Establishment Year

Modalities

5 (Advanced)

14 (Basic)

  2011

Advanced

Basic 

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History

Our journey began when we established the FETP network for the Eastern Mediterranean Region and continues as we progress for global health development. 
Establishing a Regional FETP Network

 

In 2009, the Eastern Mediterranean Public Health Network (EMPHNET) was established to be an umbrella organization for field epidemiology training programs (FETPs) in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) with the purpose of connecting and supporting the region’s FETPs whose epidemiological capacities prove essential, especially in the context of the EMR’s complex public health profile.

 

In May 2009, EMPHNET was officially established as a collaborative platform dedicated to promoting public health in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, with specific focus on field epidemiology.

 

With the FETPs from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and Pakistan as members, EMPHNET was officially announced and registered in Jordan in May 2009. Support was provided from TEPHINET to assist in EMPHNET’s initial efforts, which were executed solely by Dr. Mohannad Al Nsour, who was later mandated with the role of EMPHNET’s Executive Director. In 2010, EMPHNET signed a collaborative agreement with the CDC to support FETP activities in the region.  So, with support from the CDC, we invested in efforts to broaden our network by embracing the newly developed Morocco and Iraq FETPs in 2010 and Yemen FETP in 2011. We also welcomed the FETP in Tunisia and Sudan in 2017, and Afghanistan in 2018, thus bringing our member countries to ten by the end of 2019, after 10 years of establishment.

 

“When I took the lead of EMPHNET, my main concerns were mixed. However, my priorities were clear as they involved efforts needed to physically establish EMPHNET, recruit the right people, and assure commitment of member countries, while securing funds that can assure growth and sustainability for EMPHNET.”    Dr. Mohannad Al-Nsour – Executive Director

Expanding for Global Health Development

 

As the only Public Health Network in the region, EMPHNET’s work is guided by the public health approach with emphasis on populations and risk factors. Our aim is to contribute to enhancing health status in the region by promoting country capacity in public health with special emphasis on applied epidemiology. We believe in the power of information and knowledge sharing and we partner with associations, institutions, networks, and organizations that hold similar views. Our efforts grow as we build our network of expertise, which we believe is our strong attribute in fulfilling public health needs in the region. We support and promote applied research in response to public health challenges and we are guided by our commitment to change.

 

Starting in 2009 as a regional network for FETPs in the EMR, EMPHNET expanded its work in 2012 to incorporate new areas of work such as rapid response, polio eradication, outreach emergency, and other areas. Such expansion stemmed from requests received from countries as well as challenges detected by EMPHNET and its partners. In 2015, EMPHNET launched the Global Health Development (GHD) initiative to meet the growing needs and requests coming from EMR countries as a means for leveraging health outcomes. This was a strategic measure taken by EMPHNET to streamline its work in the region, especially when considering the increase in demand from partners to cooperate in building public health capacity in rapid response, polio eradication and routine immunization, field epidemiology, and biosafety and biosecurity. Consequently, in 2015 GHD entered into five-year cooperative agreements with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to increase its presence and operation in several countries, including a five-year agreement to eradicate Polio and strengthen Routine Immunization, in priority countries, the work of which is still underway.

 

Today, GHD|EMPHNET works closely with eleven EMR countries: Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, and Yemen and has offices in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Sudan and Yemen with an open application for office establishment in Pakistan. In executing its work, GHD|EMPHNET adopts the slogan Working Together for Better Health and invests in building coordination mechanisms with Ministries of Health, International Organizations, and other institutions to improve population health outcomes and aligns its strategies with national policies and directions. Serving as a collaborative platform, GHD|EMPHNET is dedicated to serve the region by supporting national efforts to promote public health policies, strategic planning, sustainable financing, resource mobilization, public health programs, and other related services.

 

GHD|EMPHNET’s strong presence in the region and its FETP flagship program allows it to successfully initiate and support EMR countries in building their workforce capacity in public health emergency preparedness and response by building rapid response teams (RRTs) at the national and subnational levels. Recently, FETP graduates and RRTs proved to be the major cornerstone in responding to COVID-19 pandemic in the EMR and around the globe. Moreover, the work of the FETP graduates flourished during the pandemic, as countries needed to respond to the effects of lockdown with determination from ministries of health to maintain the continuity of essential public health services such as immunization. In this regard, GHD|EMPHNET was motivated to strengthen its support to routine immunization programs in the region by working with ministries and FETPs to explore solutions for assuring stability in immunization services while promoting COVID-19 preventive measures.

 

“Even though our region faces many challenges, we strive to respond to the health needs of our people and look forward to contributing to improved health outcomes. We believe that health is a right for everyone and that we need to work together to respond to the many challenges that prevent us from enjoying a healthy living. Our aim is to contribute to strong public health systems that can secure and maintain a healthy living.”

Dr. Mohannad Al-Nsour – Executive Director

Planning for the Future

 

Equal to the importance of growing our efforts was investment in our capacity and moving towards organizational expansion. Our staff grew from three staff in 2011 to six in 2012, 22 by the end of 2014, and more than 80 in 2018. This expansion together with the demand on our services reflected positively on our involvement in the region. From 2014, we took on the responsibility of planning for the future by developing a strategic plan every three years, the latest of which was developed in 2020. This brought us many benefits, including the need to change our standard ways of working by focusing on long term growth and sustainability. Our underlying approach also changed – from “implement” to “plan”. In support of this, we planned to expand and diversify our funding sources and were successful in entering several cooperative agreements and expanding our scope to address issues of Biosafety and Biosecurity, Polio Eradication and Routine Immunization, Infectious Diseases, Rapid Response, Non-Communicable Diseases, Environmental Health, Humanitarian Response, and more.

 

We continue to bring qualified regional and international personnel to contribute to our technical, administrative, and logistic development. Although we manage to grow our stature, our initial priorities remain intact. We will deliver our capacity in the coming years with a commitment to make a difference, while continuing to improve public health in our region – a challenge that we have accepted with confidence, interest, and passion.