NFELTP is a service-oriented training program in applied epidemiology, public health laboratory practice, and veterinary epidemiology.
Created in 2008, NFELTP is managed from within the Nigeria Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH). Most of the funding has come from grants from the US Centre for Disease Control. The programme is run in collaboration with the University of Ibadan and the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. It trains field epidemiology, public health laboratory, and veterinary epidemiology residents for leadership positions both in the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA). During their training, the residents provide service to the ministries through long-term field placements. They learn by doing, investigating outbreaks on infectious disease under the supervision of a senior colleague.
The NFELTP is based on similar programs that have been established in more than 30 other countries since 1980. The first field epidemiology track is the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) 2-year Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) training program. In Africa, there are maturing programmes in Uganda, Kenya, Zimbabwe and South Africa among others. The African programmes cooperate with each other
In addition, NFELTP is the first applied epidemiology program of its kind to offer a veterinary track. This enables veterinary epidemiologists to be trained alongside public health professionals to address the ever-growing threats of zoonotic and epizootic diseases to improve public health. The programme is growing and has doubled its intake this year. There is a lot to be proud of here and the challenge for us in Nigeria is to be able to sustain the funding beyond the grant from CDC, and own it, hopefully as an integral part of a Nigerian Center for Disease Control.
A programme to be proud of in Nigeria!