Field Epidemiology Training Program
Supervisor's-General Message
Rapid cultural, economic and technological developments have brought about dramatic changes to Saudi community, in terms of causes and rates of diseases, as well as mortality rates. These developments changed the pattern of diseases – which were previously prevalent – from infectious diseases to chronic diseases, malignant tumors, mental disorders, road accidents, in addition to the emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases.

The Ministry's Agency for Public Health seeks to continuously develop health services in line with global scientific developments. In this regard, attention has been paid to epidemiology as a basic science in the field of public health, which studies the occurrence and determinants of diseases, epidemiological phenomena and various health issues among individuals and communities. Modern epidemiology is concerned with investigating epidemics, surveillance, surveys and field research to determine the size and type of any disease and health issue in order to implement the best solutions. It also aims to identify the needs of the community and contribute to the development of public health plans and programs. In medicine, epidemiology features a wider scope, including assessment of adopted diagnosis techniques, and the effectiveness of various therapeutic interventions. It is also a key determinant to risk factors, evidence-based medicine and clinical best practices.
Hence, the idea of establishing a postgraduate program in Epidemiology started from the MOH’s need to support preventive health and primary care assistant agencies with their various departments with highly qualified and well-trained Saudi professionals in the field of epidemics detection and control, and to help develop preventive programs for communicable and non-communicable diseases. Therefore, Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) was launched by the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, USA and King Saud University in Riyadh. The program began receiving trainees in field epidemiology diploma since 1409H. (1989). The duration of training in the program is two years, after which the trainee will receive a diploma in field epidemiology from the Faculty of Medicine at King Saud University, which is equivalent to a master's degree. 

In addition to the Field Epidemiology Diploma, FETP has evolved over the years to include now a concise diploma in epidemiology (four months) in collaboration with Liverpool University, a one-year diploma in Infection Control and Prevention, the Master of Public Health at King Saud University and the Saudi Board of Preventive Medicine. The program is an accredited training center for Preventive Medicine from the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties since 2009. Through its academic programs and other concise courses, FETP ensures continuous development of public health workers in the various health facilities of the Ministry of Health across the Kingdom; to raise their competence and build their capacity in the field of epidemiology, surveillance, methods of scientific research, statistical analysis and geographical analysis.

In addition, the program effectively participates in some national studies and health surveys carried out by the Ministry. FETP is a link between the Ministry of Health and some international bodies with international expertise in disease prevention and control, such as US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), School of Tropical Medicine at Liverpool University and World Health Organization (WHO).
Dr. Sami Saeed Al-Mudarra                   
The Supervisor-General of the Field Epidemiology Training Program
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Last Update 08 February 2018 09:23 AM
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