KIGALI (September 29, 2021) — The United States is committed to working with the people and government of Rwanda to improve health through assistance such as training. Today Ambassador of the United States to the Republic of Rwanda Peter Vrooman participated in a Rwanda Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program (FETP) Scientific Conference at the Kigali Convention Center as part of this commitment. The conference focused on “Building Resilient, Sustainable and Innovative Public Health Systems through Field Epidemiology Training” and highlighted progress of the Rwanda FETP; showcased interventions and recent investigations; facilitated exchange of ideas about best practices in public health; enhanced regional health collaboration; and advocated for future investments in FETP.
During the conference Ambassador Vrooman said, “The United States is committed to our partnership with Rwanda to improve health. As we mark the 10th anniversary of the launch of the U.S.-supported Advanced Rwanda FETP program, we have seen a remarkable increase in Rwanda’s national capacity to respond to outbreaks, thus making Rwanda, the United States, and the world much safer and healthier.”
The Rwanda FETP is a two-year postgraduate training program in epidemiology and field-oriented public health laboratory practice that was established in May 2010 to enhance the Ministry of Health’s capacity to conduct effective public health surveillance and allow timely response to endemic and emerging public health threats in Rwanda. The program is implemented as a partnership between the Government of Rwanda (Ministry of Health, Ministry of Agriculture, School of Public Health at the University of Rwanda), the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other partners. Rwanda’s School of Public Health hosts the program and provides instruction and academic supervision while the Ministry of Health provides the infrastructure for competency development as well as field supervision and mentorship.
Since its 2009 inception in Rwanda, the U.S. has provided more than $10 million in direct and technical support to the Field Epidemiology Training Program.