Health security relies on a well-trained and equipped public health workforce, particularly for field epidemiology to prevent, detect and manage infectious disease. Partnering with the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at Australian National University, the Centre for Health Security supported a week-long Train the Trainers workshop for field epidemiology leaders from across the Indo-Pacific.
Participants from Cambodia, Fiji, Laos, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vietnam joined the workshop in Canberra. Facilitators from Japan, Australia and the United States led the workshop held in March 2019. The workshop focused on developing skills in training design and delivery, and discussed collaborative and participatory learning models. The workshop aimed to build the capacity of field epidemiology training leaders to transfer knowledge and skills, mentor fellows and increase program quality.
Field epidemiologists are sometimes recognised as ‘disease detectives’, employing epidemiological principles to identify and respond to disease outbreaks and emerging health risks. Across the Indo-Pacific, a mix of field epidemiology program models are being delivered to train health workers involved in addressing health security threats.
As part of the Health Security Initiative, DFAT is investing in activities to strengthen field epidemiology training programs and networks to enhance capacity in the region.