Kenya Field Epidemiology and Laboratory training (FELTP)
The Kenya program is the first FELTP to be started in Africa in 2004, and its objective is to strengthen in-country public health systems and infrastructure. It is anchored within the Department of Promotive and Preventive Health in the Ministry of Health (MOH) and trains field epidemiologist for the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (MALF).
It’s an experiential based training with 30% classwork and 70% hands on field experience and service provision culminating into a Master of Science Degree in Field Epidemiology from Moi University. The program embraces the One Health approach by bringing together physicians, veterinarians, laboratory scientists, Nurses and environmental health professionals who are trained together and given the skills to effectively address the ever-growing threats of zoonotic diseases, Non communicable Diseases (NCD’s) and other emerging and re-emerging infections.
While in training, the residents are attached to various divisions, programs and units within MOH and MALF and other partner organizations in order to achieve the desired competencies/skills which include analysis of data from a surveillance system/evaluation of a surveillance system, scientific communication, and investigations of acute public health events and planned public health epidemiologic study. The residents have contributed significantly to investigation of major outbreaks in the country including polio, measles, aflatoxicosis, Ebola preparedness and screening at the port of entry. They have also participated in disease outbreak investigations across Africa, for instance Rift Valley Fever outbreak in Swaziland, Cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe and Cameroon, and Ebola and Marburg outbreaks in Uganda, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.
In recognition of the need to increase capacity in epidemiology among all cadres of public health workers, FELTP started 2-3 months training in basic level epidemiology for county medical and veterinary health care workers. The basic epidemiology trainings take place in selected venues on specified dates in various Counties. Since its inception over 300 participants from over 20 counties have been trained.
FELTP started a partnership with the ZED Group in ILRI where some of the FELTP residents at advance level training are attached at ZED group/ILRI for their field placement. Currently, there are six residents attached at the ZED Group/ILRI. The ZED group has been hosting FELTP residents from cohort 11 onwards.