Launch of South Caucasus Regional Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program (SC/FELTP) Alumni Network (May 22)
TBILISI, May 22, 2019—Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Dr. Robert Redfield will visit Georgia to observe a wide variety of U.S.-Georgia cooperative health projects and to formally launch the South Caucasus Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program (SC/FELTP) Alumni Network. The Georgian National Center for Disease Control and Public Health (NCDC) will host the launch event in the lobby of the National Museum of Georgia on May 24 at 17:30.
FELTP is a CDC global public health workforce development program and a flagship for CDC’s international work. By training local “disease detectives” from different countries, this program strengthens linkages between laboratories and field response while forging new connections that improve relationships across borders. FELTP promotes the use of evidence-based decision making for the timely detection, response, and prevention of infectious disease threats.
In 2009, CDC launched the FELTP program in Georgia and has produced more than 130 graduates from Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Ukraine. The program has prioritized regional collaboration, information sharing, and response coordination across borders to minimize the spread of disease.
In February 2019, the South Caucuses FELTP Alumni association was established. The aim of the association is to mobilize the FELTP alumni in case of disease outbreaks or other events of public health importance and provide support to host country governments. As the vast majority of graduates remain employed within their respective public health agencies, the relationships formed through the program stay with them when they return home and become part of the fabric of the governments of their countries.
FELTP demonstrates positive regional cooperation between the Ministries of Health and Agriculture from Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Ukraine. This event highlights the health diplomacy opportunities presented by the SC/FELTP and supports regional public health workforce development.