Launch ceremony of FETP-CV Master in Epidemiology Training

The Master in Field Epidemiology Training for Portuguese-speaking West African Countries (FETP-CV) held its formal launch ceremony on 4 October 2022. FETP-CV is one out of ten “EPI-Biostat Fellow” training consortia that are supported by Africa CDC and EDCTP. The consortium officially started on 1 December 2021, aiming to implement a Master’s in Field Epidemiology at Cape Verde University and train 15 Fellows in epidemiology from three countries: 6 from Cape Verde, 6 from Guinea Bissau and 3 from São Tomé & Principe. After obtaining official accreditation for the course from the Higher Education Authorities of Cape Verde in August 2022 and selecting students, the conditions were created for starting the training programme.

The launch ceremony on 4 October 2022 was attended by students, the project coordinating team, leadership from Cape Verde University, including the Pro-Rector for Research and Advanced Training, Professor Dominika Swolkien. In addition, the Director of African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET), Dr Simon Antara was present. A video from Dr Michael Makanga, EDCTP Executive Director, was played at the start. Dr Makanga welcomed the students and shared the purpose of the initiative launched by EDCTP and Africa CDC in 2019. Afterwards, the Coordinator, Professor Mohsin Sidat, described the overall project and outlined the content of the training. Next, Professor António Pedro Delgado as Co-Coordinator of the Project and Coordinator of the Master’s programme, highlighted the importance of the training in building capacity in health surveillance and response to outbreaks and epidemics in the countries of origin of the students. Dr Simon Antara then explained the importance of Field Epidemiology training across the continent, including frontline and advanced training (such as the Master’s programmes in field epidemiology), in strengthening health systems capacity, particularly in health surveillance and response to outbreaks and epidemics. Afterwards, Professor Swolkien expressed gratitude to the FETP-CV consortium  for selecting the University of Cape Verde to host the Master’s in Field Epidemiology and recognised the importance of sustaining this training programme even after the completion of the project in 2024. (The Master’s is a blended-learning approach, with theoretical classes administered via online platforms and experiential learning through practical training in the country of origin of each student.)