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TEPHINET to coordinate activities of Epi training

In June 1997, in Annecy, France, the Training Programs in Epidemiology and Public Health Interventions Network (TEPHINET) was founded and supported under the auspices of World Health Organization (WHO)' Division of Emerging and Other Communicable Diseases, and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Foundation Merieux.
TEPHINET was envisioned as a grass roots organization with the mission of strengthening international public health capacity. The goals of the network are to:
1. Improve the response to public health emergencies,
2. Support existing programs,
3. Develop new programs where needed, and
4. Support research activities of member training institutions.
Right now, field epidemiology training lacks the global coordination that TEPHINET can bring. TEPHINET is in the process of becoming incorporated as a cooperative international non-government organization (NGO) with headquarters in Atlanta. Programs in the network include: Field Epidemiology Training Programs (FETPs) in Australia, Canada, Colombia, Egypt, Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jordan, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand and USA, Public Health Schools Without Walls from Ghana, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Vietnam, International Organizations; WHO and Caribbean Epidemiology Center, and Regional Programs; European Program for Intervention Epidemiology Training (EPIET), and Epidemiologie et Gestion des programmes de Sante (EPIGEPS). The Saudi Arabian FETP is representing the EMRO Region in the Board of Directors of the Network.
Since the network was founded, its programs have collaborated with WHO and its regional offices to mount rapid responses to emerging public health threats such as an HIV outbreak in the Eastern Mediterranean region and a cholera outbreak in El Salvador earlier this year. More recently, TEPHINET identified four trainees to participate in the joint CDC/WHO sponsored program to provide technical assistance to polio endemic countries seeking to eradicate polio by the year 2000.
The network has plans to offer an international system of accreditation for field-based epidemiology training programs to ensure quality. It will have a considerable library of training materials and provide assistance in creating new materials. It will provide up-to-date information about surveillance around the world and will provide multi-national response teams to respond to outbreaks in a timely and culturally appropriate manner.