The Public Health Center of Ukraine, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) hosted the graduation of the first 16 cohort members of the Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP). The training program provides field-based training to improves Ukraine’s epidemiological capabilities for communicable and non-communicable diseases.
During his opening remarks at the Graduation of the Field Epidemiology Training Program Mr. Igor Kuzin, Acting Director General of the Public Health Center of the Ukrainian Ministry of Health emphasized the importance of the program and the tasks of its residents.
He said, “It is extremely pleasant for me that your cohort implemented a broad portfolio of projects. You started with the ordinary tasks and moved to more complicated, you performed your own studies and now you work with the global challange of COVID-19 pandemic. You are the 1st cohort and need to be the leaders because all future residents will follow you”.
Importance of FETP during the pandemic of COVID-19
FETP residents became critical resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. FETP residents actively provide information to EIDSS (Electronic Integrated Disease Survillance Systems) and conduct daily and weekly analysis of COVID-19 patients database on the regional and on the national levels.
Also FETP residents were involved into WHO initiated innovational “Study of the first COVID-19 cases and their close contacts”. This study was conducted in 11 oblasts of Ukraine. Results of the database study were shared with WHO regional office.
Besides the COVID-19 pandemic, FETP residents also investigated three outbreaks of infectious diseases including anthrax, salmonella, and tularemia. FETP residents also conducted a serological and epidemiological study of the prevalence of the tick-borne encephalitis.
All FETP events and trainings were conducted with the strict adherence to the epidemic requirements, including masks, temperature measuring, using antiseptic solutions and keeping safe distance. These measures safeguarded residents from spreading the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.