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Field Epidemiology/ Workforce Development Section

Field epidemiology training programs (FETPs) is competency based, are mentored, on-the-job, competency-based training programs for public health professionals. Whereby field epidemiologists are trained to strengthen the capacity of countries to detect, respond to, and contain public health emergencies at their source, preventing the spread of diseases and thereby enhancing global health security more rapidly. (Martyn Kirk et al., 2018) .

FETP-Frontline was initiated in African countries following the West African Ebola outbreak of 2014–2016 (André et al., 2017). It was designed as a three-month in-service training program with the purpose of improving surveillance officers’ capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to public health emergencies.

The 2016-Joint External Evaluation (JEE) has identified significant gaps on workforce development and limited capacities for detection and response to outbreaks and other public health emergencies (Date, 2016). This policy instrument has articulated the key areas of focus towards strengthening the country’s public health response systems that will enable the country to fulfil its obligations as a signatory to the International Health Regulations (IHR) 2005.

 In Somalia, the first Frontline-FETP was inaugurated on 29th August 2021. A Total of forty-four graduated in Frontline-Field epidemiology Training Program. Twenty-one participants graduated in first cohort, and 23 health workers graduated in July/2022 in second cohort that selected from national and sub national level.  

 Eligibility

 FMOH/NIH set criteria for the selection of priority participants to join the Frontline-FETP. The Program primarily targets public health Professionals and surveillance/IDSR officers at National, state, Regional, and districts of short training to enhance the epidemiological skill of Health professionals and services.

The national institute of health’s selection process has been conducted with the approval of Federal ministry management. After completing all the enquired documents, the Director of the National Institute of health wrote an official letter to DGs of the health state ministry, and another concerned director to enrol the trainees for the period capacity Building.

 Training curriculum and schedule

The standard FETP Frontline Surveillance Training (FETP-Frontline) is a 3-month in-service program focused on detecting and responding to diseases and events of public health importance or international concern.

Fig 1.  Somalia Field Epidemiology Training Program-Frontline, curriculum [Adapted from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention].

Department of Training and Capacity building

The Department of Training and Capacity Building coordinates the human resource capacity development of the institute including in-service ,short and long  term trainings. It is responsible is also to establish relationships with other institutions for knowledge sharing and fulfilling a comprehensive capacity-building gap.