Under the Patronage of His Excellency Lebanon’s Minister of Public Health, Dr Firas Abiad, the Ministry of Public Health in Lebanon announced the official launch of the Lebanon Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP), making it the eleventh FETP to be launched in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR).
This milestone was commemorated in a ceremonial event held at the Ministry of Public Health in Lebanon on February 22, 2022. Within this launch, Lebanon FETP also inaugurated its first Cohort for the Public Health Empowerment Program (PHEP).
In her opening remarks, Lebanon FETP Director Dr Nada Ghosn, mentioned the efforts initiated in 2008 to establish Lebanon FETP. These efforts included: participation in the 57th Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Conference in 2008, participation in the Mediterranean and Black Sea Field Epidemiology Training Program (MediPIET) since 2013, as well as close collaborations with Global Health Development, Eastern Mediterranean Public Health Network (GHD|EMPHNET) since 2018 in areas of planning for and implementing Lebanon FETP.
From her end, GHD|EMPHNET Public Health Specialist Ms. Ilham Abu Khader also gave a session on the role and significance of Field Epidemiology Training Programs in the region. She gave a brief introduction about PHEP, and on behalf of the organization, she also congratulated Lebanon FETP on this milestone.
In his address, Lebanon’s Minister of Public Health H.E., Dr Firas Abiad, stated that the launch of the Lebanon FETP coincided with the passing of two years on the direction of the first case of COVID-19 in Lebanon. He added that the launch of the program responds to a growing need for having more skilled public health workforce responding to Lebanon’s health needs, as the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the importance of disease epidemiological surveillance in understanding public health threats.
The goal of Public Health Empowerment Program (PHEP) is to strengthen the technical capacities of public health workforce to run and manage the local public health surveillance system, conduct outbreak investigation and respond to common diseases in their district. This three-month in-service training equips the participants with the necessary managerial and leadership skills they need to plan, implement, monitor and evaluate public health interventions effectively and efficiently. It comprises three weeks of online or face to face sessions and nine weeks of fieldwork divided over two periods. PHEP is only one of three FETP modalities implemented in the EMR. Other modalities include the Advanced two-year FETP, and the one-year Intermediate FETP.
The event also included a session on the “Learning Management system” (LMS) developed by GHD|EMPHNET, as it will be the tool used by Lebanon FETP residents for the PHEP training sessions conducted online.
The ceremonial event was then followed by a mentorship training attended by six mentors.