The Field Epidemiology Training Programme (FETP) is a competency-based training and service programme in applied epidemiology and public health that builds capacity in strengthening disease surveillance and response systems. It is a strategy that enables countries to meet the International Health Regulation (IHR) core capacity requirements for workforce development and contribute to the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA).

The Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme (NFELTP) was established in October 2008, under the leadership of the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH), with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), and University of Ibadan (UI) as major stakeholders. Funding and technical support were provided by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC) through the African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET).

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Establishment Act which was signed into law in 2018 states that the agency shall “lead on the training of field epidemiologists through the Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme”. In line with this Act, NCDC currently leads the implementation of the programme, in collaboration with FMoH, FMARD and the Federal Ministry of Environment (FMEnv). After more than ten years since the establishment of the NFELTP and given rapidly evolving global health events and priorities, the programme has been refocused as the Nigeria Field Epidemiology Training Programme (NFETP).

The goal of the NFETP is “to strengthen and coordinate Nigeria’s ability to respond to public health emergencies through training public health leaders in interventional epidemiology and developing institutionalised and sustainable public health workforce capacity”. To address the different levels of expertise required at the national, state and local government levels, the NFETP is being implemented as a three-tiered pyramidal model: Integrated Training for Surveillance Officers in Nigeria (ITSON), Intermediate NFETP (I-NFETP) and Advanced NFETP (A-NFETP).


The Integrated Training for Surveillance Officers in Nigeria

The Intermediate Nigeria Field Epidemiology Training Programme

The Advanced Nigeria Field Epidemiology Training Programme




The Integrated Training for Surveillance Officers in Nigeria (ITSON) is a three-month integrated training programme that incorporates global best practices in disease surveillance training. It is a competency-based field epidemiology training aimed at improving disease surveillance and response to priority diseases. It targets frontline health workers responsible for disease surveillance at the local government level.


The Intermediate NFETP (I-NFETP) is a nine-month in-service programme focused on strengthening capacity for public health surveillance, outbreak investigation and response, public health research and use of planned survey data for decision-making. It is designed to rapidly meet specific national and state public health emergency needs by targeting mid-level health workers at both levels.


The Advanced NFETP (A-NFETP) is a two-year advanced training programme in applied epidemiology and public health laboratory practice. This is targeted at building a strong workforce for health security in Nigeria. It primarily targets health workers involved in disease surveillance and response activities at the federal and state levels. Suitably qualified candidates from relevant governmental Ministries, Departments and Agencies, as well as individuals from private institutions may be considered, based on a competitive process and a commitment to prioritise public service.

Graduates of the NFETP provide public health service during long-term field placements and are trained for key leadership positions in various levels of the Ministries of Health, Agriculture & Rural Development, and Environment and other public health institutions. As a Training Programs in Epidemiology and Public Health Interventions Network (TEPHINET)-accredited programme, the Nigeria FETP has trained over 400 Field Epidemiologists who have supported the control of over 300 outbreaks including for Ebola, monkeypox, avian influenza, Lassa fever, lead poisoning, among others.

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