The African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET) is a network of public health training institutions in Africa that seeks to strengthen manpower to enhance health system on the continent.
According to Madam Madina Rahman, AFENET works closely with Ministries of Health to develop sustainable programmes and capacity to strengthen field epidemiology and ensure healthier lives for Africans.
She disclosed that every two years, trainees and graduates of Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programmes (FELTPs) are presented with a strategic platform to show their contribution to the public health community and to network with other stakeholders as they develop a common agenda to address critical public health challenges in Africa and beyond. She said since its establishment in 2005, AFENET has organized five scientific conferences in various countries: Ghana 2005, Uganda 2007, Kenya 2009, Tanzania 2011 and Ethiopia 2013.
AFENET’s goal, Madam Rahman reiterated is to strengthen field epidemiology and public health laboratory capacity and effectively contribute to addressing epidemics and other major public health problems in Africa with its vision “A healthier Africa”.
The Deputy Health Minister also disclosed that over 600 attendees from over 30 countries attended the conference include trainees and graduates of FELTPs, Senior Ministry of Health officials, universities, subject matter experts from CDC, USAID, WHO, AFENET, African CDC, WAHO/ECOWAS and the wider public health community among others.
Madam Madina Rahman also participated in a Special Ministerial Session on the Dar es Salaam Agenda for Action on Public Health Systems Strengthening for African Nations through Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programmes, was drawn by African Health Ministers in Dar es Salaam in 2011.
The network AFENET was established in 2005 and currently has operations in 24 African countries including Angola, Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Kenya, Mauritania, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Southern Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda and Zimbabwe.