On August 24, 2015 in Tbilisi, Nicholas Berliner, the Charge d’Affaires of the US Embassy in Georgia, will join representatives from the governments of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia to congratulate the fifth cohort of epidemiology and laboratory specialists on their graduation and completion of the South Caucasus Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program (SC/FELTP).
The SC/FELTP is a partnership between the US-Centers for Disease Control and the Ministries of Health and Agriculture and State Veterinary Services in Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia. 17 specialists from Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia—including five Azerbaijani, four Armenian and eight Georgian technical specialists—will receive diplomas recognizing their successful completion of the SC/FELTP.
The ceremony will take place at Georgia’s National Center for Disease Control and Public Health that provided classroom space for the SC/FELTP program. In addition to the 17 graduates, currently 16 other specialists are halfway through their training and yet a new group of specialists form the region will begin the training after the graduation.
Similar to 50 programs around the globe, the SC/FELTP provides in-service applied training to public health and veterinary health specialists that aims to strengthen countries’ epidemiology and laboratory capacity to detect, control and prevent diseases affecting humans and animals. The SC/FELTP is a two-year program that combines a series of classroom training and mentored practical work in disease surveillance, outbreak investigation, prevention and control. Three US CDC specialists, an Epidemiologist, a Laboratory Scientist and Public Health Management Specialist are assigned to lead the program in collaboration with host country counterparts. The SC/FELTP is envisioned to transition to host country leadership over a period of approximately six years.