The Sierra Leone FETP Background

Since June 2016, Sierra Leone has strengthened its public health workforce by partnering with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to establish the Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) with the aim of building the capacity of its public health workforce in surveillance and outbreak investigation and response.

The program is structured under the Ministry of Health and Sanitation Directorate of Health Security and Emergencies with active participation of US CDC’s implementing partners—eHealth Africa and the African Field
Epidemiology Network (AFENET).

Following the 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the FETP-Frontline was set up with the aim of developing Sierra Leone’ public health workforce ability to apply epidemiological skills to reduce the threat of public health emergencies. To date 127 public healthcare workers from various government institutions, including Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (Animal production unit), Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces, Sierra Leone Police, and Sierra Leone Correctional Services have been trained on the FETP-
Frontline course across five cohorts.

In September 2017, FETP-Intermediate was introduced with the aim of strengthening public health surveillance, outbreak investigation and response, and survey data to use for decision making at the middle level of the health system. As part of their Intermediate competencies,
trainees engage in a group project which addresses one of Sierra Leone’s public health concerns. The first cohort of FETP-Intermediate graduated 11 trainees in July 2018.

Key Achievements

Successfully implemented 7 FETP – Frontline Cohorts. Trained 127 public health professionals

National Coverage. Representations from Health, Agruculture, Police and Military sectors.

GHSA goal of one epidemiologist per 200,000 population attained.