Highlights from the 2018 FETP International Nights

Highlights from the 67th Annual Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Conference FETP International Nights:
Improving Global Health Security through Field Epidemiology Training, Surveillance, and Outbreak Response

April 17-18, 2018

Co-organized by TEPHINET and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), FETP International Nights are highlights of the annual EIS Conference in Atlanta. They provide conference attendees with an opportunity to hear scientific presentations from Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) fellows and graduates from around the world and increase their knowledge about surveillance, outbreak investigation, and improving health outcomes in other countries. The event also brings FETP fellows and EIS officers together to exchange ideas and expand the global network of disease detectives.

Attendees of the interactive poster session on April 17 were welcomed by Dr. Seymour Williams, Principal Technical Deputy of the Workforce and Institute Development Branch of the Division of Global Health Protection, Center for Global Health, CDC. Poster presentations were moderated by Dr. Reina Turcios-Ruiz, Medical Epidemiologist with the CDC, and Professor Mufuta Tshimanga, Director of the Zimbabwe FETP. The following abstracts were accepted to be presented as interactive posters (iPosters):

  • Outbreak of Gastrointestinal Anthrax Following Consumption of Beef of Suspicious Origin – Isingiro District, Uganda, 2017 (Freda Loy Aceng)
  • Probable Pertussis Outbreak among Unvaccinated Population in Three Hard-to-reach Satellite Communities - Pru District, Brong Ahafo Region, Ghana-2017 (Samuel Dapaa)
  • An Outbreak Investigation of Brucellosis at Semen Production Unit, Sahiwal, Pakistan, August 2017 (Saima Dil)
  • Smoking Prevalence, Awareness, and Tobacco Cessation Training among Healthcare Professionals, Yaoundé – Cameroon (Amabo Franck)
  • Assessment of Immunization Session Practices in Primary Healthcare Centers–Wasit Province, Iraq, 2016-17 (Ali Jafaar)
  • Risk Factors Associated with Cervical Dysplasia among Women Living with HIV: Experience from a Low-resource Setting, Gambia-2017 (Anna Jammeh)
  • Cost-effectiveness Analysis of SMS and Home Visit Reminders in Reducing Missed Childhood Immunization Clinic Appointments in Rivers State – Nigeria, 2017 (Uche Katchy)
  • Outbreak Investigation of Anthrax – Sikoi Village, Gumla District, Jharkhand, India, September 2017 (Davendra Kumar)
  • Prevalence of Hepatitis B Virus Infection and Associated Factors among Pregnant Women Attending Routine Antenatal Clinics – West Hararghe Zone, Oromia Region, Ethiopia, August 2017 (Belay Mamuye)
  • Acute Diarrheal Disease Outbreak Due to Cross-contamination of Bore-wells in a Tribal Village – Telangana State, India, June 2017 (Kiran Kumar Maramraj)
  • Outbreak of Culture-confirmed Candida Auris Bloodstream Infection in the Neonatal Unit of a Public-sector Hospital, South Africa, July through September 2017 (Itumeleng Moema)
  • Transmission of Neisseria Meningitidis at a Military Training Unit, Vinh Phuc Province, Vietnam - August 2017 (Tan Dan Phan)
  • Investigation of Measles Outbreak in Nari District, Kunar-Afghanistan-April 2017 (Mahmood Riaz Riaz)
  • Communicating Prevention Messages in the Digital Age: Using Dating Applications and Mobile Websites to Reach Men who Have Sex with Men during an Outbreak of Hepatitis A in Berlin, 2017 (Claudia Ruscher)
  • Presentation of Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 in Paediatric Burn Patients in a Large Tertiary Hospital – Gauteng, South Africa, July 2017 (Mpho Sikhosana)
  • Adding Methanol to Rice Wine is a Risky Practice as Shown by an Outbreak Investigation in a Rural Commune in Central Cambodia, 2016 (Sokdaro Soy)
  • Neisseria Meningitidis C isolated during an Outbreak in a Prison: Investigation and Response – Cameroon, 2017 (Djikeussi Katcho Tatiana)
  • Prevalence and Determinants of Delay in Seeking Medical Care among Newly Diagnosed Pulmonary Tuberculosis Patients, Bishkek City, Kyrgyzstan, 2016 (Sanzharbek Temirbekov)
  • Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness in Australia, 2012-2017 (Ximena Tolosa)
  • Maternal Risk Factors for Preterm Births in Selected Health Facilities in Central Kenya, May-August 2017 (Eunice Wachira)
  • Acute Watery Diarrhoea Outbreak Investigation and Response at Andasa Holy Water in Bahir Dar Zuriya District, Amhara Region, Ethiopia, 2017 (Yeshambel Worku)

The following night, six oral presentations were given after welcome remarks by Alison Thompson (Associate Vice President of Advancement at the CDC Foundation), Dr. Stephen Redd (Director of the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, CDC), and Dr. Dionisio Herrera, Director of TEPHINET. The oral presentations were moderated by Dr. Nancy Knight, Director of the CDC's Division of Global Health Protection within the Center for Global Health, and Dr. Carl Reddy, Director of the South Africa FETP and Chair of the TEPHINET Advisory Board.

The following abstracts were accepted for oral presentation:

  • Food poisoning outbreak caused by poisonous cassava flour: Kasese District, Uganda, September 2017 (Phoebe Hilda Alitubeera)
  • Measles vaccine effectiveness among children: Morocco, 2017 (Fatima Zahra Ben Fouila)
  • Epidemiological Characteristics of Maternal Deaths in Kabul, Afghanistan, 2017 (Mahnaz Hamed)
  • Investigation of a Dengue Outbreak Caused by an Imported Case in Shandong Province, China, 2017 (Jiaye Liu)
  • Viral Load Suppression among Adolescents on Anti-Retroviral Therapy, Harare City, Zimbabwe 2017 (Zvanaka Sithole)
  • Hepatitis C Outbreak in a Respiratory Care Ward Associated with Frequent Unsafe Injections, Taiwan, 2017 (Pei-Yuan Wu)

Abstract selections were particularly competitive this year. TEPHINET received 364 abstracts for review from FETP trainees and graduates in 49 countries. This is the highest number of submissions in this event's history and speaks to both increased interest in the event and increased capacity of FETPs to cultivate skilled field epidemiologists.

Awards and Recognitions

Director's Award for Excellence in Epidemiology and Public Health Response: This award is presented in recognition of significant contributions toward successful responses to public health emergencies. This year's recipient is Programa de Treinamento em Epidemiologia Aplicada aos Serviço do SUS, or EpiSUS, the FETP of Brazil.

Jeffrey P. Koplan Award for Excellence in Scientific Presentation: This award is presented to the winner of the scientific poster presentation that most effectively emphasizes the results of an investigation and its impact on public health. This year's recipient is Itumeleng Moema of South Africa for the abstract, "Outbreak of culture-confirmed Candida auris bloodstream infection in the neonatal unit of a public-sector hospital, South Africa, July through September 2017."

William H. Foege Award: This award is the highest FETP International Night presentation honor and is given to the best oral presentation. This year's recipient is Phoebe Hilda Alitubeera of Uganda for the abstract, "Food poisoning outbreak caused by poisonous cassava flour: Kasese District, Uganda, September 2017."

Photo Contest: Each year, TEPHINET and the CDC organize a photo contest to showcase the visual communication of field epidemiological work. A panel of judges from TEPHINET and the CDC selected the top three winners, and TEPHINET also posted the photos to its Facebook page for a vote from its followers. The winners are as follows:

1st place: Fadhili Ngogo, Tanzania
2nd place: Maureen Anyanwu, Nigeria
3rd place: Kebkab Tilahun, Ethiopia
Facebook winner: Mariz Zheila Blanco, Philippines 

The winning photos can be viewed here (1st through 3rd place) and here (Facebook winner).