Story by Carlos Afanou

The Ghana Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme (GFELTP) evolved as a collaboration with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), through cooperative agreements with University of Ghana School of Public Health. It is a two year competency based post graduate course of service and on-the-job learning in applied epidemiology and public health laboratory practice for scientists, physicians, veterinarians and other health professionals leading to the award of a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree in Applied Epidemiology and Disease Control.

The vision of the programme is to train field  Epidemiologists, veterinary Epidemiologists and public health laboratory scientists to respond to public health emergencies both within and outside the country. The GFELTP  is the hub for training English speaking West African countries (Except Nigeria) in field epidemiology. It is made up of a combination of a 30% didactic component and a 70% field component.

Graduates of this programme have been involved in various public health activities in the country. Residents and alumni have responded to over 100 disease outbreak investigations in the various parts of the country.

The GFELTP through its advanced programme run at University of Ghana School of Public Health has trained 155 residents from Cohorts | to X||| comprising 46 (30%) females and 109 (70%) males, and 117 residents from Cohorts | to X| have graduated.

Over 600 front line health workers from various regions of the country have been trained through its FETP-Frontline and FETP-Intermediate trainings.

The core objectives of the GFELTP are:

To strengthen public health capacity by developing a cadre of health professionals with advanced skills in applied epidemiology and laboratory management.

. To contribute to research activities with priorities on public health problems.

. To improve national capacity to respond to public health emergencies such as disease outbreaks, natural disasters and other unusual public health events including those that could be a result of chemical or biological terrorism.

. Strengthen national surveillance systems through a team approach (physician, laboratorian and veterinarian).

. Improve communications and networking of public health practitioners and researchers in the country and throughout the region.

The 3rd Scientific Conference and Anniversary

With over a decade of existence and contribution to the health sector of Ghana and the West African sub region, the GFELTP saw the need to create a platform to highlight the achievements of the programme, strengthen and build functional partnership and celebrate the successes accomplished.

The purpose of the proposed conference is to provide a platform for the residents, alumni and prospective residents of the programme in Ghana and abroad to share ideas with colleagues from Ghana and other FE(L)TPs  on the continent and beyond. 

The programme will also offer networking opportunities and provide the residents and alumni opportunities to share their works with a wider scientific community. The GFELTP will use this opportunity to showcase its achievements over the years. Public health surveillance activities, outbreak investigation and response activities as well as other planned studies undertaken by the residents and other public health students and practitioners will be shared at the conference.

The theme for the conference is "Mitigating health system disruptions through workforce development; the role of FE(L)TP in COVID-19 pandemic response".

The conference is slated for December 1-3, 2020 at the AH Hotel and Conference, East Legon.

Conference Activities

The planned activities for the conference and Conference include a series of plenary sessions, panel discussions will focus on workforce and health system strengthening, immunization activities during COVID-19 pandemic and laboratory and health delivery systems.

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