The European Public Health Microbiology Training (EUPHEM) celebrates its fifth anniversary

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​The Programme for European Public Health Microbiology Training (EUPHEM) started in 2008 as a pilot two-year fellowship programme with two fellows in the first cohort. Based on the positive experience after the first two years the programme continued and expanded the number of countries and public health laboratories involved. In 2013, while 4 fellows are graduating, the new cohort starts the 2 year fellowship in nine different EUPHEM training sites.  

​The Programme for European Public Health Microbiology Training (EUPHEM) started in 2008 as a pilot two-year fellowship programme with two fellows in the first cohort. Based on the positive experience after the first two years the programme continued and expanded the number of countries and public health laboratories involved. In 2013, while 4 fellows are graduating, the new cohort starts the 2 year fellowship in nine different EUPHEM training sites.  

Despite the limited existence of the programme, its development has advanced as a structured competency based programme in public health microbiology and has contributed to a better understanding of its role with public health experts. The programme has contributed to the development of new networks, collaboration and cross cutting public health actions between and within the training sites, as well as a strong link between epidemiology and public health microbiology in 15 EU countries. The major work of the fellows during the past five years includes: 

  • Graduated fellows: 10
  • Outbreak investigations: 22
  • Surveillance projects: 23 
  • Applied research projects: 28 
  • Laboratory investigations: 34 
  • Communications (presentations and/or posters: 79 
  • Publications: 47 
  • Risk assessments, guidelines and factsheets: 21 
  • European Quality Assurance: 10 
  • International assignments: 9

 
The current programme provides training and practical experience in public health microbiology and is developed in close collaboration with the European Programme for Intervention Epidemiology Training (EPIET) and the collaborative training sites within European Public Health laboratories. The fellows are placed in one of the European training sites’ laboratories that are participating in the EUPHEM training programme.  The objectives of the programme are to: 
 

  • Strengthen communicable disease surveillance in the European Union through integrated, public health microbiology-field epidemiology networks 
  • Support outbreak detection, investigation and response nationally and internationally 
  • Develop a European Network of public health microbiologists 
  • Develop a response capacity for public health microbiology together with other disciplines inside and beyond the European Union
  • Foster future leaders in public health microbiology in Europe.