The Nigeria Field Epidemiology Training Program (NFELTP) is AFENET’s flagship program in Nigeria. AFENET commenced implementation of the program in 2008. NFELTP is a two-year in-service training program in applied epidemiology and public health laboratory practice, created to be a long-term program within the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)/Federal Ministry of Health and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development. In conjunction with the University of Ibadan and Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, it trains medical epidemiology residents, public health laboratory residents, and veterinary epidemiology residents for leadership positions in various levels of both the Ministries of Health and Agriculture through a combination of long-term field placements and didactic courses.
So far, 496 residents, in 11 cohorts, have been recruited in the program with 335 completing the two-year hands-on training.
The intermediate level program was commenced in 2021 with 14 residents trained
Over 1000 have been trained in frontline 3-month FETP in 16 states covering over 300 LGAs in all the 6 geopolitical zones.
Residents have responded to over 330 public health emergencies including viral hemorrhagic fevers outbreak like Ebola, COVID-19 and Lassa fever. Additionally, residents have been engaged in response to lead poisoning, rabies, cholera, cerebrospinal meningitis, measles, diphtheria, Diethylene glycol (DEG) poisoning and mumps among other disease. The focus for the residents is to support early detection and response to outbreak therefore limiting spread and the negative impact.
The residents are also involved in the national efforts in eradicating polio and strengthening routine childhood immunization through the National Stop Transmission of Polio (NSTOP). The program is involved in supporting and sustaining disease surveillance systems for HIV, Malaria and other infectious and non-infectious diseases (Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response). More than 80% of graduates are supporting NCDC, FMOH and States, strengthening surveillance and response systems with emphasis on data quality assessment and improvement, evaluations, strengthening information systems and impact assessments and surveys. These systems are important for providing data to inform public health decisions.