Field Epidemiology Training Program

Why is this a priority?

When unusual health events are detected, epidemiologists must move quickly on the ground to investigate, they must actively search for cases and confirm the diagnosis. An alert will be sent out only if the situation represents a potential threat to public health.
Thereafter, each island can react accordingly. Field Epidemiologists thus have a key role in the chain of surveillance, alert and prevention, however the region does not yet have enough of them.


What is its added value?

  • Training in field epidemiology (FETP) over two years, based on successful American and European models: the Epidemiology Intelligence Service (EIS) and the European Programme for Intervention Epidemiology Training (EPIET).
  • The programme comprises both short training workshops and conducting mentored field work (implementation, management or evaluation of a surveillance system, investigation of alerts, epidemiological analysis, scientific communication and skills transfer...)
  • 3 months internships in regional centres (Pasteur Institute in Madagascar, Disease surveillance unit (CIRE-OI) and CIRAD in Réunion Island).
  • The creation of a regional task force consisting of Field Epidemiologists and supervisors trained using the same technical language and epidemiological methods..

Key facts and figures

25 Field Epidemiologists trained between 2011 and 2017 (3 in Seychelles, 4 in Mauritius, 4 in Comoros and 14 in Madagascar

Training estimated at an average cost of €90,000 per epidemiologist

Two veterinarians included in the third group of trainees for the first time

In recognition of its quality, the Indian Ocean FETP training programme has been affiliated to the Training Programs in Epidemiology and Public Health Interventions global network (TEPHINET), since September 2015


And in the future ?

The training of Field Epidemiologists should continue beyond 2017, thanks to a new 8 M€ financial support from Agence Française de Dévelopment
Within the context of the One Health initiative, the training will integrate issues of animal and environmental health, expand its analytical capacities and publish the results of its activities in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

Download the FETP operating manual