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The CDC Has a Long History Training Dominican Epidemiologists to Fight Infectious Diseases
April 13, 2020

With the ongoing novel coronavirus situation currently unfolding around the globe and in the Dominican Republic, it is very important to have qualified epidemiologists ready to track, contain, and eliminate outbreaks. For the past 10 years, The United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the Dominican Republic (CDC-DR) has increased Dominican authorities’ ability to detect and respond to epidemic threats by conducting training programs for more than 550 Dominican epidemiologists.

CDC Representatives give an epidemiology training in Dominican Republic. 

A key CDC-DR program that continues to successfully prepare Dominican epidemiologists fight this novel coronavirus situation is the Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP). The FETP trains field epidemiologists, or “disease detectives.” FETP graduates are the “boots on the ground,” that help track, contain, and eliminate outbreaks before they become epidemics. When health threats strike, such as this COVID-19 pandemic, trained disease detectives investigate and use what they’ve learned to prevent people from getting sick.  They communicate crucial information quickly about health problems in their community, including environmental hazards and information on noncommunicable and infectious diseases, such as COVID-19, to their respective national health authorities.

CDC in the Dominican Republic staff

Programs like the FETP are important because they increase a country’s ability to detect and respond to epidemic crises, address the severe worldwide shortage of skilled epidemiologists and build critical relationships between countries.

With the support of the CDC-Central America Regional office, 462 Dominican epidemiologists have trained nationwide at a basic level, 108 Dominican epidemiologists have achieved an intermediate level and 19 Dominican epidemiologists have earned an advanced level.  Bringing the total to 589 trained Dominican epidemiologists. It is important to mention that outstanding participants at the intermediate level include Dr. Farah Peña (Director of the Department of Epidemiology-DIGEPI ) and Dr. Jose Luis Cruz (Director of Emergencies of the Ministry of Health), both leading the Dominican Republic’s response to the COVID-19 crisis.

CDC Representatives with Dominican Republic’s Minister of Health Dr. Rafael Augusto Sánchez Cárdenas.