United States helps Vietnam train 'disease detectives'

By Vuong Anh   April 22, 2016 | 06:19 pm GMT+7
United States helps Vietnam train 'disease detectives'
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is one of the sponsors of the FETP in Vietnam. : Reuters

The fourth annual scientific conference on Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) - a program aimed to build trained epidemiologists who can rapidly respond to disease outbreaks and other public health events, was held in Da Nang City this week.

Over 100 public health leaders in Vietnam have attended the event, including international participants from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and graduates of the FETP in Australia, the Philippines and Indonesia.

Supported by the U.S. CDC, the WHO and other global groups, FETP in Vietnam is a two-year program led by Vietnam Health Ministry's General Department of Preventive Medicine.

“FETP fellows are the frontline of any strong public health system. When a disease outbreak occurs, such as in the recent Zika virus cases in Vietnam, they are the ‘disease detectives’ that go into the field and investigate the outbreak. Through the program, they receive hands-on training and mentoring to use scientific approaches to identify causes and trends of public health issues,” said Dr. Anthony Mounts, Country Director of the U.S. CDC in Vietnam.

There are currently 22 field epidemiologists who have completed the program since FETP was established in Vietnam in 2009. FETP fellows have contributed to public health in Vietnam through their involvement of outbreak responses such as cholera, avian and pandemic influenza, and hand foot and mouth disease.

During the program, fellows conduct independent research studies which are then used to inform timely and effective disease outbreak response. Research topics include zoonotic diseases transmitted from animals to humans, foodborne diseases, vaccine preventable diseases and immunization, HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases.

go to top