China Field Epidemiology Training Program

Program overview

Established in 2001, the China Field Epidemiology Training Program (CFETP) has enrolled 356 of China’s epidemiologists from national and local level public health agencies to respond to health emergencies and serve as future public health leaders. The advanced training is a two-year program. In 2016, the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention developed a new project called China Western FETP, which resulted in the creation of the intermediate program that consists of nine months of on-the-job training. As of this year, there are 160 trainees enrolled in the program. Since 2018, 7 provincial level CDCs were selected to start FETP Frontline pilot programs throughout China, based on the 3-tiered pyramid FETP training model. Each year, more than $5 million is provided by the National Health Commission (NHC) to support CFETP.  


During field training, trainees conduct public health surveillance, emergency epidemiological investigations, and applied epidemiological studies while receiving mentoring from a supervisor and field mentors. CFETP also played a significant role in public health emergency response during the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2003, H1N1 in 2009, H7N9 in 2013, and Ebola in 2014. As of 2018, 24 CFETP graduates were sent to African counties including Sierra Leone, Angola, Madagascar, Zambia etc. for the important public health aid commissions. Graduates are currently working in key technical or managerial positions in public health agencies, including six in director or deputy director roles within the China CDC. CFETP has also served as the model for 24 provinces to launch their own FETP programs. From 2013 to 2017, CFETP had hosted 6 Foreign Aid Training Courses for 86 trainees from 20 Asian counties.