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Postcards from the field


Postcards from the field are short stories that describe projects, including international missions, of EPIET/EUPHEM fellows. The views and opinions expressed in them are those of the fellows and do not necessarily reflect the official position of ECDC.

Towards an Ebola-free N’Zerekore: a postcard from the field by Cristina Valencia, EPIET fellow, cohort 2015
It’s 5 a.m. as I wake up to the gentle call to the Salat al-Fajr morning prayer coming from the speakers in the nearby mosque. This marks the beginning of a long day for the ECDC team here in N'Zérékoré, Guinea. Cristina, EPIET fellow from cohort 2015, joined the ECDC deployment to fight the Ebola disease virus outbreak in Guinea.

Dotting the ‘i’s – Ebola outbreak in Guinea 
In an epidemic of this size, the ‘i’ of EPIET is what it’s all about: the ‘i’ of «intervention», supporting the Ebola outbreak response;the ‘i’ in « field », as a fellow in Guinea mobilised through the WHO Global Outbreak Alert and Response network, thanks to my ‘super’visors in Ireland. These first days in the field made me understand that small things can make a big difference.

Laboratory Support Mission: Fighting Ebola in Guinea
Zoltán Kis is currently a Cohort 2013 Fellow in the Member State Track of the EUPHEM program and has remained in his position at the Centre for Epidemiology for the duration of the fellowship. He is also a trained member of the European Union Mobile Laboratory (EMLab) for rapid deployment in complex emerging situations. Zoltán shares his experiences from his recent mission to Guéckédou, Guinea.

Emergency Response Mission:  Fighting Malaria in Chad
Pieter Smit is a microbiologist by training, with a specialisation in international public health. He completed his PhD at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine before joining the EUPHEM programme. He is currently a 2012 EUPHEM fellow at the National Institute for Health and Welfare in Finland. Pieter shares his experiences from his recent mission to Chad.

Typhoon Haiyan: EPIET and EUPHEM support to the Philippines
Between October 2013 and March 2014, eleven EPIET and EUPHEM fellows and alumni provided support to the country, both in typhoon and in conflict-affected areas. They conducted rapid assessments, participated in surveillance activities, provided technical expertise, advised on identifying priority public health needs, and ensured that those were addressed.

Workshop on health care associated infections in Warsaw, Poland, 25-26 November 2013
On 25-26 November 2013, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI), The National Institute of Public Health of Poland (PZH), EPIET, EUPHEM and the Healthcare Associated Infections (HAI) disease programme of ECDC jointly organized a workshop on outbreaks of health care associated infections.

A dengue outbreak in Madeira: From epidemiology to health education leaflets in six languages
Benedetto is an EPIET 2012 cohort fellow from Italy now based at Public Health England, London. He is sharing with us his experiences from his first outbreak investigation mission.

Like Peas in a Pod: EPIET MS track and EU track in Italy
For the 2011 EPIET cohort, Italy received one European Union-track and one
Member State-track fellow. Before graduation, the team reflects on the experience.

Lessons from an outbreak: Salmonellosis outbreak investigation in Poland
The winner of the 2012 EAN award for best poster at this year’s ESCAIDE conference tells about her experience with salmonellosis outbreak investigation in Poland.
Interview with Anna Zelicka Hardy

Rubella outbreak investigation in Romania
The inside story from Denisa Janta, EPIET cohort 2011
Starting in September 2011, there was an increase in the cases of rubella in the Salaj District - in the northwestern part of Romania – so the local health authorities started an outbreak investigation to identify its cause...

Tracing back hepatitis A to sun dried tomatoes in UK and in the Netherland
By Nelly Fournet and Carlos Carvalho
Nelly Fournet and Carlos Carvalho, EPIET fellows of the 2011 cohort, share their experience with their publication in Eurosurveillance about cases of hepatitis A in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

Mycoplasma from North to South in Europe
By Aleksandra Polkowska and Daniel Eibach
During the 2011-12 winter, Europe was faced with a recrudescence of infections with Mycoplasma pneumonia. EPIET/EUPHEM fellows contributed and generated evidence for decision making.

From the field: An EPIET fellow on a cholera mission in Angola
By Lisanne Gerstel (EPIET cohort 11)
There I was - in Luanda airport, within a week of knowing of my new mission. I was carrying articles about cholera in my hand luggage and had three mefloquine tablets in my bloodstream.

I left my heart in Guyana...
By Nathalie El Omeiri (EPIET cohort 12)
They say in Guyana that if you drink creek water, you’re likely to come back! So, running out of time, on my last week-end, I drank from Kaieteur Falls – not a creek but black river water; I hoped it counted…
With love from Laos: The land of a million elephants and the white parasol
By Hannah Lewis (EPIET Cohort 12, WHO Laos) and Christian Winter (PAE Cohort 12, WHO Laos)
After finishing EPIET/PAE, we both wanted to apply our newly learnt epidemiological skills in the field, so we were very excited when we found out about the opportunity to work in Lao PDR.