The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention is an autonomous technical Agency established by the African Union (AU) to enhance the capacity, capabilities, and partnerships of Africa’s public health institutions. Its primary goal is to control prevent, detect, and respond to disease threats and outbreaks by employing science, policy, and data-driven interventions and programs effectively and efficiently.
Africa CDC is mandated through Article 3 of its governing statute to “support Member States in capacity building in public health through medium and long-term field epidemiologic and laboratory training programmes”. To fulfil this mandate, Africa CDC convened a Task Force for Workforce Development in 2018, which consisted of representatives of Member States, public health organizations, academia, and global health agencies. The Task Force developed a Framework for Workforce Development which describes specific steps for the development of public health workforce in three professional areas: field epidemiology, laboratory leadership and public health informatics.
In this regard, Africa CDC has developed a continental African Epidemic Service (AES), an elite workforce hosted and directed by the African Union. The African Epidemic Service has three tracks namely, Epidemiology, Laboratory Leadership and Public health informatics. The African Epidemic Service – Epidemiology track is a two-year competency based applied epidemiology training program that aims to strengthen the disease prevention and response capacity of African Union member states.
This program targets qualified applicants from Africa Union Member states drawn from public health discipline, with an interest in practicing applied Epidemiology. AES Fellows will be selected from a wide variety of disciplines including Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Nursing, Environmental Health, Occupational Health as well as other associated disciplines under public health. Successful applicants are leaders who aspire to master applied epidemiology and are willing to accept assignments in a wide range of public health topics across the 55 African Union Member States.