Celebrating our public health detectives; world field epidemiology day 2021


Abanobi Nkachukwu .N

Epidemiology studies the patterns and occurrence of diseases and health problems with a view to controlling their risks to the health status of the population (Abanobi, 2010). Field epidemiology ensures these efforts by applying epidemiologic methods in addition to rapid on-site investigations necessary for timely intervention.

Field epidemiology upholds the 3 p’s of public health practice (prevention, promotion and prolonging of human life) with a vast number of professionals. According to the Center for Disease Control, between 1980 and 2020, the CDC helped to train more than 18,000 field epidemiologists in over 80 countries through its flagship global Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP).

Through outbreak prediction using active surveillance, prompt case finding, isolation and management of pre-exposed or post-exposed individuals, findings obtained are applied in:

  • Understanding the natural history and distribution stages of disease
  • Retrospective studies of diseases in populations
  • Risk evaluation of adverse health status outcomes of members of a population
  • Planning and evaluation of health services
  • Identification and refining of medical syndromes (Abanobi, 2010).

The 7th of september was selected by the Training Programs in Epidemiology and Public health Interventions Network (TEPHINET) to mark this event because, on this date in, 1854 John snow took his findings from his investigation and identification of the broad street cholera pump as the outbreak point source, to the board of guardians of St James parish leading them to take action (British Society for Immunology, n.d.).

Today we recognize and commend field epidemiologists around the world for their contribution, and participation in Public health in the world.

We see you, and we appreciate you !
Are you a field epidemiologist ? please share with us what the experience has been like so far in the comment section.