MOH News
MOH Seeks Help of CDC Experts on the Epidemiological Surveillance Program
20 January 2015
Within the framework of its ongoing efforts to prevent and control diseases, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has sought the help of international experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), permanently and throughout the year. To this effect, an agreement has been signed recently between the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), represented by the MOH, on the one hand, and CDC on the other hand. 
This comes in the context of the preventive efforts exerted by the MOH's Command and Control Center (CCC). The Ministry has activated its agreement with the CDC for cooperation in the epidemiological surveillance program, with the aim of identifying reasons why infectious and non-communicable diseases are on the increase. Additionally, the agreement provides for training Saudi specialists in the field of epidemiology, through the Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP).
The academic program, which was launched in collaboration with the CDC and King Saud University, aims at upgrading the mechanism of understanding the occurrence and spread of diseases in the KSA. According to the agreement, the partnership is reactivated for three years, during which a permanent consultant from the CDC will be appointed in Riyadh, as well as visiting international experts to provide the required assistance to the MOH, if needed.    
The Deputy Minister for Public Health and Head of the CCC, Dr. Abdul Aziz bin Saeed, said, "The MOH takes comprehensive preparations based on the best international medical practices to provide protection to the citizens and residents," pointing out that epidemiology is a main part of our continuing cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO) and CDC to combat the MERS-CoV and other diseases. 
"We have already organized, in one of our hospitals, a training course on dealing with the outbreak of diseases and support for Corona researches. And by adding the specialty of field epidemiology we can continue to improve our ability to detect the emerging public health issues in all parts of the country," he added.    
On her part, Dr. Randa Noah, MOH’s public health expert, explained that the Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) lasts for two years, including 20 months of field work, and participants are awarded the "Field Epidemiology Diploma". She further noted that, up till now, more than 100 persons, most of whom are Saudis, have graduated from this program.    
It is worth mentioning that international cooperation is the hallmark of the preparations carried out by the CCC as a unit of response to emergency cases in the Ministry. And cooperation is ongoing between the foreign experts and doctors and Saudi health experts who are entrusted to respond to the risks of MERS-CoV, and be ready to address the other infectious diseases.
It should also be noted that the Medical Advisory Board, chaired by Prof. Tariq Madani, keeps playing its vigorous role; it includes an elite of senior advisors, experts and local and international researchers in the field of primary care and epidemic control, in addition to experts from the WHO. 
For more information about MERS-CoV and how to minimize the risk of infection, please visit the website of the Command and Control Center (CCC).

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