The Advanced level Field Epidemiology Training offered by the Kenya FELTP is a two-year training in Master’s Degree awarding programme in field and applied epidemiology and public health leading to an MSc in Field Epidemiology from Moi University. This training was designed in recognition of the need to strengthen the epidemiologic capacity to meet the challenges of the emerging infectious and non-infectious diseases and other public health problems in Kenya.
The training is offered by the Ministry Health in collaboration with Moi University, School of Public Health and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The FELTP Advance Level Training places emphasis on service, providing real results to the health sector as the residents complete their field competencies.
The training is designed in a way that learning through discrete classroom based lectures and case studies must be applied during larger periods of field placement. The field epidemiology component is similar to programmes that have been established in over 25 other countries and is modeled after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) 2‑year Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) training programme. Successful completion of the advance level training will require completion of academic requirements as well as field placement and competency requirements.
The MsC has a taught (or didactic) component and a practical (or field placement) component with residents spending 25% (about 4 months) in the classroom and 75% (about 20 months) in the field.
The taught (or didactic) components
Residents undertake 4 months of intensive classroom work at the MOH FELTP Classroom based at Kenya National Hospital Grounds, National Public Health Laboratory Building. This training prepares residents for their field placement and reinforces the lessons they learn from their fieldwork. Teaching methods include lectures, group discussions, use of case studies, demonstrations, and self-paced assignments. The didactic component consists of twelve compulsory core units for all. In addition to these courses, monthly seminars are also offered.
The practical component (or field placement)
All residents also need to complete the Field Placement component (PFE898), which involves 20 months of full-time field placement at sections in the Kenya Ministry of Health (MOH) or other institution. During that time. residents frequently travel to all parts of Kenya for supervised investigations and special research projects.
The field placement comprises disease investigations, surveillance evaluations, surveys, and applied research on national health problems. This allows candidates to conduct public health practice in the real world and leads to the production of a bound volume. The field-based work is done throughout the 2-year period.
Field Epidemiology & Workforce Development Training for Local Governmental Public Health Staff in Kenya
Kenya Field Epidemiology & Laboratory Training Program (KFELTP) provides field epidemiology, disease surveillance, and data management trainings to local and national public health staff. Frontline trainings are a cost-effective educational incentive to local public health workers to improve their knowledge, skills, and abilities related to the fundamental activities of outbreak detection and response, disease surveillance and reporting; and data management and analysis. Since 2013, Kenya has experienced nonstop cholera outbreaks, MERS-CoV is in its camel herds, and, due to its emergence as a middle-income country, has now recognized the emergence of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, various cancers, and obesity as public health challenges. In 2014, KFELTP began frontline training of local public health workers in response to these challenges. The local governmental workforce needs to be trained to detect and respond to these myriad public health events and emergencies. To assure that local-level (frontline) staff are adequately trained to lead investigations into unusual health events and emerging health threats, the KFELTP in 2014 added an intermediate-level training course for those frontline workers who exhibited exemplary performance in the introductory training course and field work.
The public health challenged addressed by the frontline- and intermediate-level field epidemiology training courses is that of public health workforce development. The following 3 main strategies are central to KFELTP frontline training:
- Identifying core competencies for local public health workers;
- Developing local capacity on detection, response, prevention, and control of unusual health events through supervised didactic and field training;
- Developing a network of graduates of frontline training throughout all counties in Kenya; and
- Creating a hands-on training function within the Ministry of Health
The frontline level focuses on public health staff functions instead of public health titles and the authorities associated with those titles. The frontline & intermediate training courses address these issues through a multi-faceted approach. First, the frontline component consists of 2 weeks of didactic training that covers introductory courses on epidemiology, surveillance, statistics, and data management. The focal point of the frontline training is the field project, where participants use data from their work places and analyze it to describe by person, place, and time. Second, the graduates of the frontline training are eligible for more advanced training via the intermediate course (they must apply and are judged and selected based on their performance in the frontline course). The intermediate course consists of 4 didactic sessions (spread over 6 months) and a much more comprehensive field project. The intermediate-level course work focuses on analytical epidemiology and surveillance, analytical statistics, and methods of communicating public health data to decision makers. The field project data are still to be from their work sites, but they have to 1) develop a research question for the field project, 2) develop a case definition for the field project, 3) develop a work plan and time line, and 4) develop a budget.
For both components of the field epidemiology training, all participants are assigned a supervisor to guide their field work and instruct them on proper procedures for data collection and analysis. At the intermediate level, the supervisors take on a mentorship role and conduct site visits to each participants to work with them hand-in-hand on their field project. The goal is to improve work method, work processes, and to influence participant behavior on the job. To assure appropriate supervision and mentoring, each frontline course cannot host more than 50 participants and each intermediate course cannot host more than 35 participants. These numbers assure an appropriate faculty-to-participant ratio.
Birth Defects Surveillance in Kenya
Birth defects are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, especially in low and middle income countries. This project funded through the CDC National Centre on Birth Defects and
Developmental Disabilities aims to advance birth defect monitoring and prevention efforts in Kenya by enhancing the existing birth defects surveillance in Pumwani Maternity Hospital and establishing new surveillance systems in at least one high volume birthing hospital in Kilifi County and Nyamira County.
Until the establishment of the Birth defects surveillance project at Pumwani Maternity Hospital, the Ministry of Health did not have a mechanism of capturing case based data on birth defects or evaluating the effectiveness of the country's fortification intervention strategies. This project will assist the Kenya MOH implement a scalable hospital-based birth defects surveillance system in three counties representing three regions of Kenya, namely Nairobi County in Central Region, Kilifi County in Coastal region and Nyamira County in the Western Region.
It is the hope of the FELTP Program to have a birth defects surveillance system that can provide accurate and timely data to the population and help improve the health and quality of life of children born in Kenya.
Moi University-College of Health Sciences/School of Public Health
The College of Health Sciences, Moi University is located in Eldoret town next to and within the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital. It was established as the first College campus of Moi University on 20th September 2011 during the inauguration of the first Principal. The establishment of the College of health Sciences is in line with the Moi university strategic plan of 2005-2015.
The College started as a Faculty of Health Sciences in 1989 and the first cohort of 40 students was admitted in 1990. The College has experienced phenomenal growth from its initial one faculty to a total of four Schools (Schools of Medicine, Public Health, Dentistry and Nursing). It has a student population of about 2,000 with a staff complement of over 500 of whom about 170 are academic staff.
The College offers both undergraduate and postgraduate programs including doctorate degrees
The School of Public Health (SPH) was established in 1998 in recognition of the need for human resource development in public health at undergraduate and postgraduate level. The academic programmes of the School are tailored to not only meet the Country’s Vision 2030 and University's mission but also demands by employers for health professionals with adequate knowledge, practical skills and appropriate attitude to address priority public health problems and policy issues in Kenya and beyond.
The vision of the School is to become a regional and international centre for excellence in the training, research, practice and consultancy in Public Health
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recognized as the lead U.S. agency for protecting the health and safety of people, providing credible information to enhance health decisions, and promoting health through strong partnerships. CDC serves as the national focus for developing and applying disease prevention and control, environmental health, and health promotion and education activities designed to improve the health of the people of the United States.
CDC’s international activities include assistance with system design, outbreak response, capacity building, and assistance with priority health problems such as malaria, HIV/AIDS, diabetes or injuries.
Instruction is provided by accomplished experts in the field, including the resident advisors for epidemiology and laboratory management, CDC-Kenya staff, CDC-Atlanta consultants, MOH experts, invited guest lecturers from other institutions, and selected second-year residents.
The FETP-Advanced is a full-time a 2-year training consisting of approximately 30% academic classroom work and 70% full-time field training through service.
The training will consist of:
- Didactic modules. There shall be 12 didactic modules. Residents are required to participate fully in all modules. Module descriptions are available for review later in this document. The purpose of the didactic modules is to prepare the residents for their field placement and reinforce the lessons they learn from their fieldwork.
- Field Placement. There shall be 4 field placement sessions. Each resident will be assigned to same field placement site for the two years, and is expected to be at that site except during didactic sessions and other authorised FETP activities. Each resident will have a field placement supervisor. The resident may be placed at either national or county level.
- While some field activities cannot be scheduled, such as the occurrence of an outbreak, the following describes resident activities while at field placement site:
Analyzing surveillance data
Participating in weekly surveillance reviews and seminars
Participating in outbreak investigations
Developing a protocol for an analytic study
Develop scientific abstract
Develop scientific poster
Present the results of their work to decision makers at annual dissemination meeting
Leading in outbreak investigations
Planned study data collection and report write up
Present the results of their work to a scientific audience at national or international conference
Draft and submit scientific manuscript for publication to peer review journal
FIELD PLACEMENT SITES
|Track||National Placement Site||Provincial Placement Site|
|Lab||TB Lab||North Eastern Province|
|Lab||IEIP Lab - CDC||Western Province|
|Lab||Tabitha Clinic - Kibera||Rift Valley Province|
|Lab||Division of Disease Surveillance & Response||Coast Province|
|Lab||HIV Reference Lab||Eastern Province|
|Lab||WRP - KEMRI||Nairobi|
|Epi||Division of Non-communicable Diseases||Central Province|
|Epi||Division of Child Health||Eastern Province|
|Epi||NASCOP||Rift Valley Province|
|Epi||Division of Disease Surveillance & Response||Coast Province|
|Epi||Veterinary Services - Kabete||Nairobi|
|Epi||TB Program||Nyanza Province|
|Epi||Division of Malaria Control||Western Province|
The Advanced Level Field Epidemiology Training is a competency-based training, and all residents will build critical competencies in the following domains
- Public health surveillance
- Characterize the occurrence and distribution of a public health events under surveillance using descriptive epidemiologic methods
- Field investigation of an acute public health problem
- Serve as a technical lead in conducting a field investigation of a potentially serious health event that requires immediate response
- Planned Public Health Epidemiologic Research
- Design, write a protocol for, and conduct an epidemiologic study using analytic epidemiology principles and methods
- Oral presentation at scientific conference
- Write an abstract, then develop and deliver a brief oral presentation at a scientific conference
- Poster presentation at scientific conference
- Write an abstract, then prepare, display, and discuss a poster presentation at a scientific conference
- Scientific manuscript
- Write and submit a scientific manuscript for a peer-reviewed journal
The overall assessment of student performance is based on two criteria;-
- Continuous Assessment Test (CATs) - 40%
- End Of Semester Examination (ESE) - 60%
- TOTAL MARKS - 100%
In order to qualify for a MSc Field Epidemiology degree, a candidate MUST fulfill the following Three (3) requirements:
- Pass Continuous Assessments Tests
- Pass in the written End-of Semester Examination
- Pass the field placements
- Continuous Assessment and End of Semester Examinations are held for all the courses.
The common University grading regulations for MSc will apply. The course work and bound volume reflecting work completed during the field placements shall account for 45% of the overall grade. Examinations shall account for 30% of the overall grade. Dissertation (project) report shall account for 25% of the overall grade.
Students will be given a minimum of two CATs marked out of 40(for class attendance, contribution and written/take-away class assignments) before the exams that will contribute 60% to their final exam.
The grading for the final exam is as follows;
Percentage Marks - Letter Grade - Grading
75 - 100 A Distinction
65 - 74 B Credit
50 - 64 C Pass
Below 50 D Fail
The students will receive a Degree Certificate of Moi University.
Candidates shall be advised of first and second semester examination results in writing.
The transcripts for the courses taken in the first and second semesters will be available
at the end of the first year.
A final transcript shall be given upon completion of the
Between 2004 to 2012 the program has grown steadily where the number of residents has increased from less than 10 to 20 currently. Also there has been an increase in the funding and partners and the FELTP has raised the number of epidemiologists in the Kenya Ministry of Health. Graduates are holding prominent positions in the MOH on the national level and have been hired to work at the county level, thus enhancing the public health workforce at all levels of the Kenya health system.
The program also has helped build capacity in other parts of Africa as trainees from Ghana, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda have taken their experience back to their own countries. For example, three graduates from Tanzania have been chosen to lead the FELTP in Tanzania.
As graduates return to their own countries and demonstrate the value of their new competencies to their MOHs they are garnering support for improved epidemiology practice in their countries.
The Kenya FELTP residents perform crucial services to support the mission of the MOH. Since the program’s inception, they have:
- Investigated a major aflatoxin outbreak in Eastern Kenya and recommended public health solutions
- Evaluated a laboratory based tuberculosis surveillance system and recommended improvements
- Conducted a prevalence survey of seat belt usage in Nairobi
- Investigated a methanol poisoning outbreak
- Conducted a seroprevalence study of Chikungunya virus disease in Lamu Island, Kenya
- Presented their work at international conferences
Some of the graduates of the program are now faculty members and are now imparting knowledge to the residents and our residents have participation in international conferences.
The target groups are Medical doctors, Public Health Practitioners, or laboratorians with twoyears experience, currently holding positions in the Kenya Ministry of Health(MOH), Vets, Nurses-Degree in Science related field.
The application period is open every July. A call for applications inviting eligible candidates to apply is distributed to the MOH and published in major newspapers.
Applicants are required to submit an application, Curriculum Vitae (CV), a personal statement notlonger than 500 words, three (3) references including one from the current supervisor, and mobile telephone contact and email address. County employees must apply through their respective County Directors and/or County Executivesin charge of Health and veterinary services.
Recruitment process involves program staff and participants from the various stakeholders : Ministry officials, Heads of Departments, Representatives from the partners who review the applications and conduct interviews to select successful candidates.
- To be eligible to register for the Master of Science degree in Applied Epidemiology, a candidate must Minimum two (2) years working experience in public health
- A holder of an Upper Second Class Honors Degree in Biological and Health Sciences from an institution recognized by the Commission of Higher Education
- Knowledge in Basic Computer Packages
- Willingness to be potentially deployed outside their current duty station
- Availability to travel nationally and internationally at short-notice
- Must also meet admission requirements for Moi University MSc in Field Epidemiology
- Applicants who have undergone FELTP’s Basic or Intermediate Epidemiology Training will have an added advantage