The Field Epidemiology Training Programme (FETP) Frontline course is an in-service programme focused on detecting and responding to diseases and events of public health importance and that of international concern. Participants learn and practice the fundamental skills used in frontline surveillance, including the use of case definitions, disease detection and reporting. In addition, participants are taught how to summarise data using simple tables and graphs, conduct case investigation, outbreak investigation and response, data analysis and interpreting data for decision-making.


The course is targeted at public health professionals working in the area of surveillance at national, provincial, district and local level, with the aim of strengthening the country’s capacity to rapidly detect, respond to, and contain public health emergencies at their source. Moreover, to prevent the spread of diseases and thereby enhance global health security. The target audience includes medical officers, nurses, infection control officers, surveillance officers, and environmental health officers.

The programme schedule consists of an initial 5-day training workshop, introduction to basic epidemiology principles and the importance of disease surveillance. Participants hereafter return to their regular work sites for a duration of 10 weeks and then return for a second 5-day training workshop to present their work and receive feedback from members of staff and peers, which will enable them to receive course completion certificates.


Week 2-11


Workshop 1 (5 Days)

On-the-job Projects

Workshop 2 (5 Days)

Workshop 1 topics

  • PH surveillance
  • Descriptive epidemiology
  • Outbreak investigation
  • MS Exel

On-the-job projects

  • Site visits/data quality audits
  • Surveillance data analysis,
    brief surveillance summary report
  • Outbreak report

Workshop 2 topics

  • Oral presentation skills
  • Problem analysis
  • Present results
  • Completion ceremony

The course is normally conducted at the request of the Provincial and District Departments of Health. Interested institutions should contact FETP for more information about the entry requirements.

Benefits to the National Department of Health

  • Increased capacity among staff to recognise public health priority problems that are important to the population.
  • Increased completion and accuracy of surveillance data reporting and analysis at district and provincial levels.
  • Increased capacity among staff to provide descriptive analysis of a public health problem.
  • A stronger culture of data-based decision-making process.
  • A network of well-trained and skilled surveillance officers in the country to respond to diseases.

For more information and enquiries contact:

Eudie Hlabioa
Email: fetpnicd@gmail.com
Tel: +27 11 386 6542


Project Coordinator 
Eudie Hlabioa
Email: EudieH@nicd.ac.za
Tel: +27 11 386 6542


Field Epidemiologist
Khuliso Ravhuhali
Email: khulisor@nicd.ac.za
Tel: +27 11 555 0540