For immediate release February 24, 2022
USAID’s President’s Malaria Initiative trains 30 new graduates to investigate disease outbreaks in Niger
24 February 2022 – Today, 30 representatives of three key sectors – health, livestock and environment, from Niger’s eight regions, completed the Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) supported by the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), funded by USAID, and technically supported by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The training of this first cohort of central- and regional-level specialists follows a national-level training of trainers in field epidemiology, during which the training materials developed by the CDC were adapted to the Nigerien context. These activities organized by the Ministry of Public Health, Population and Social Affairs of Niger, are part of the 2021 Niger National Strategic Plan for the Implementation of the Field Epidemiology Training Program in Niger.
The training began in September 2021 and included theoretical courses followed by hands-on field activities in the participants’ workplaces. For fieldwork, participants worked on projects that were supervised by local mentors.
Susan N’Garnim, Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Niamey, expressed her appreciation for the efforts undertaken by the Ministry of Public Health, Population and Social Affairs. “The United States government will continue to support the FETP frontline program as an important activity to reach the Zero Malaria objective and completely eliminate this deadly but preventable disease. Ultimately we share the common pursuit of providing improved healthcare for all Nigeriens,” stated N’Garnim.
This training provides an emphasis on the health district level, and is part of the recommendations of the joint external evaluation of the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005) initiated in 2018 in Niger to help improve disease investigation and health surveillance systems. The graduates will return to their posts with new skills and professional networks to help them identify and report on potential disease outbreaks in their communities. The program will continue to train additional cohorts under the leadership of the Ministry of Public Health, Population and Social Affairs’ Directorate of Surveillance and Epidemic Response.