On December 8th, 2022, trainees from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan graduated from the advanced Field Epidemiology Training Program for Central Asia. The FETP, developed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has been active in Central Asia since 2003. These graduates now join an elite group of 147 FETP-trained disease experts in the region. The ceremony was attended by public health leaders from each of the countries represented by the graduates and highlights the important role health plays to advance diplomacy.
Official remarks were delivered by Dr. Daniel Singer, Country Director for CDC Kazakhstan; Dr. Zaure Dalelovna Akhmetova, Deputy Chairman of the Committee for Sanitary and Epidemiological Control, Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan; Dr. Arykbaeva Bubuzhan Kamchybekovna, Vice-Minister of Health, Chief State Sanitary Doctor of Kyrgyzstan; and Dr. Kurbanov Botirjon Jurabayevich, Deputy Head of the Service of Sanitary-Epidemiological Welfare and Public Health of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
The advanced FETP is a rigorous two-year program during which the graduates learned by doing and led activities to strengthen disease detection and emergency response. Their work, which included over 37 investigations, covered many public health topics, including vaccines, COVID-19, tuberculosis, hepatitis C, water-borne diseases, HIV and infection prevention and control. The results now serve as global goods for combating infectious disease threats and have been featured at conferences and in 15 publications for internationally recognized scientific journals.
Increasing the number and capacity of field epidemiologists is key to strengthening health systems, reducing public health threats, and saving lives.