field epidemiology
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Author(s):  
Lucas A. Johnson ◽  
Andrew Isaac Geller ◽  
Ellen Yard ◽  
Juan I. Ubiera

2022 ◽  
Vol 22 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Audrey E. Hu ◽  
Robert Fontaine ◽  
Reina Turcios-Ruiz ◽  
Aisha A. Abedi ◽  
Seymour Williams ◽  
...  

Abstract Background Field epidemiology training programs (FETPs) have trained field epidemiologists who strengthen global capacities for surveillance and response to public health threats. We describe how FETP residents and graduates have contributed to COVID-19 preparedness and response globally. Methods We conducted a cross-sectional survey of FETPs between March 13 and April 15, 2020 to understand how FETP residents or graduates were contributing to COVID-19 response activities. The survey tool was structured around the eight Pillars of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan for COVID-19. We used descriptive statistics to summarize quantitative results and content analysis for qualitative data. Results Among 88 invited programs, 65 (74%) responded and indicated that FETP residents and graduates have engaged in the COVID-19 response across all six WHO regions. Response efforts focused on country-level coordination (98%), surveillance, rapid response teams, case investigations (97%), activities at points of entry (92%), and risk communication and community engagement (82%). Descriptions of FETP contributions to COVID-19 preparedness and response are categorized into seven main themes: conducting epidemiological activities, managing logistics and coordination, leading risk communication efforts, providing guidance, supporting surveillance activities, training and developing the workforce, and holding leadership positions. Conclusions Our findings demonstrate the value of FETPs in responding to public health threats like COVID-19. This program provides critical assistance to countries' COVID-19 response efforts but also enhances epidemiologic workforce capacity, public health emergency infrastructure and helps ensure global health security as prescribed in the WHO’s International Health Regulations.


2021 ◽  
Vol 9 ◽  
Author(s):  
Mohannad Al Nsour ◽  
Tala Chahien ◽  
Yousef Khader ◽  
Mirwais Amiri ◽  
Hana Taha

Research is essential for evidence-based decision making. This study aimed to identify research priorities in the areas of field epidemiology and public health in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) from the perspectives of public health professionals. A Delphi technique, using online survey, was employed to reach 168 public health professionals who have experience in the EMR countries. The study took place between November 2019 and January 2020. Consensus on the research priorities was reached after two-round online questionnaires. A list of top 10 field epidemiology and public health research priorities in the EMR was developed. Of those priorities, four fell under health in emergency, war and armed conflict, two under communicable diseases, two under immunization, one under digital health, and one under sexual, reproductive, and adolescent health. Availability, adequacy, and quality of health services in crisis settings were scored as a top priority (mean = 4.4, rank 1), followed by use of technology to improve the collection, documentation, and analysis of health data (mean = 4.28, rank 2), and capacity of countries in the region to respond to emergencies (mean = 4.25, rank 3). This study was conducted prior to COVID-19 pandemic and, thus, it did not capture COVID-19 research as a priority area. Nevertheless, identified priorities under communicable diseases including outbreak investigation of infectious diseases, epidemics and challenges related to communicable diseases in the EMR were still notable. In conclusion, the field epidemiology and public health research priorities identified in this study through a systematic inclusive process could be useful to make informed decisions and gear the research efforts to improve the health of people in the EMR.


2021 ◽  
Vol 9 ◽  
Author(s):  
Abdulwahed Abduljabar Al Serouri ◽  
Yasser Ahmed Ghaleb ◽  
Labiba Anam Al Aghbari ◽  
Mohammad Abdullah Al Amad ◽  
Abdulhakem Sharaf Alkohlani ◽  
...  

COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the need for a well-trained public health workforce to save lives through timely outbreaks detection and response. In Yemen, a country that is entering its seventh year of a protracted war, the ongoing conflict severely limited the country's capacity to implement effective preparedness and response measures to outbreaks including COVID-19. There are growing concerns that the virus may be circulating within communities undetected and unmitigated especially as underreporting continues in some areas of the country due to a lack of testing facilities, delays in seeking treatment, stigma, difficulty accessing treatment centers, the perceived risks of seeking care or for political issues. The Yemen Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) was launched in 2011 to address the shortage of a skilled public health workforce, with the objective of strengthening capacity in field epidemiology. Thus, events of public health importance can be detected and investigated in a timely and effective manner. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Yemen FETP's response has been instrumental through participating in country-level coordination, planning, monitoring, and developing guidelines/standard operating procedures and strengthening surveillance capacities, outbreak investigations, contact tracing, case management, infection prevention, and control, risk communication, and research. As the third wave is circulating with a steeper upward curve than the previous ones with possible new variants, the country will not be able to deal with a surge of cases as secondary care is extremely crippled. Since COVID-19 prevention and control are the only option available to reduce its grave impact on morbidity and mortality, health partners should support the Yemen FETP to strengthen the health system's response to future epidemics. One important lesson learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in the Yemen context and applicable to developing and war-torn countries, is that access to outside experts becomes limited, therefore, it is crucial to invest in building national expertise to provide timely, cost-effective, and sustainable services that are culturally appropriate. It is also essential to build such expertise at the governorate and district levels, as they are normally the first respondents, and to provide them with the necessary tools for immediate response in order to overcome the disastrous delays.


2021 ◽  
Vol 9 ◽  
Author(s):  
Mohannad Al Nsour ◽  
Yousef Khader ◽  
Haitham Bashier ◽  
Majd Alsoukhni

Field Epidemiology Training Programs (FETPs) are competency-based training programs aiming to strengthen the epidemiologic capacity of the public health workforce. This study aimed to evaluate the impact of the advanced FETPs in the Eastern Mediterranean region (EMR) and ascertain whether the expected objectives of the programs are met. A descriptive study was conducted based on Kirkpatrick's model for evaluating training programs. Data were collected from FETP graduates and FETP technical advisers on the practices of FETP graduates, their engagement in key areas of field epidemiology, and their perceived skills and capacity to perform such activities. A total of 166 FETP graduates responded to the online survey. Almost two-thirds of FETP graduates reported that they are often engaged in managing public health surveillance systems (n = 119, 71.7%), analyzing the surveillance data (n = 116, 69.9%), training public health professionals (n = 113, 68.1%), investigations on and response to outbreaks (n = 109, 65.7%), and managing staff and resources (n = 106, 63.9%). However, only 28.3% reported that they are often engaged in writing scientific research articles. More than two-thirds of graduates reported that the FETP helped them to perform most of the field epidemiology activities and rate their skills as good. In conclusion, the FETP graduates in the EMR were well engaged in many field epidemiology activities including managing public health surveillance systems, surveillance data analysis, training public health professionals, and investigations on and response to outbreaks. Therefore, the FETPs should continue supporting the graduates to work toward strengthening surveillance systems and investigating outbreaks and to participate in regional and global efforts as part of the Global Health Security.


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