The first implementation workshop in Sierra Leone for the Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) was organized by the Directorate of Disease Prevention at the Emergency Operation Center in Freetown, Sierra Leone on August 1st, 2017. The main objective of the one-day workshop is to familiarize senior Ministry officials of the FETP program implementation, review the success of the Frontline program, finalize the more complex Intermediate tier of FETP, and develop a sustainable strategy for integrating the program into Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS) system.
The workshop began with an overview of Sierra Leone’s public health system and gaps by the Directorate of Disease Prevention and Control, Dr. Foday Dafae. He noted the recent outbreak of Ebola and emphasized the importance of surveillance officers at the district level. The country has 190 chiefdoms across 16 districts and its public health surveillance fall under two directorates, Directorate of Disease Prevention and Control and Directorate of Policy, Planning, and Information. Challenges within the existing surveillance system include the inoperability of the e-surveillance system, the division between surveillance and laboratory, and the need to improve data-drive action, citing the Maternal Death Surveillance and Response system as an example.