Università degli Studi di Foggia - EPIET

acknowledged by EPIET
Unit of Hygiene, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences
University of Foggia

Available as a training site for Cohort 2018: YES

Contact person:

Domenico Martinelli

Alessandra Cozza

Tel. +39 0881 588032-3

Description of the institute

The University of Foggia was founded by decree of the Ministry of University and Research on 5 August 1999. It is located in the center of Foggia town, Apulia Region, South-East Italy, and is served by a large number of long-distance trains as well as by a close network of regional trains and buses. The closest airport is the one in Bari.

From its birth, the University, at a training and research level, has presented a dynamic and innovative proposal. This model is characterized by teaching which is attentive to national and international research projects, internationalization, orientation, cultural events and promotion of events.

Its Departments (Agriculture, Economics, Law, Arts and Philosophy, Medicine and Surgery), with their three-year degree courses, specialist degree courses, numerous masters, research doctorates and specialization schools have contributed towards making the University a cultural center which enables young people to acquire the professional training necessary for society and the working world.

Training opportunities

The Unit of Hygiene at the University of Foggia, Italy, close connected to the Italian Ministry of Health and the National Institute of Health, manages most of the epidemiological activities at Apulia regional Public Health Authorities. The head of the Unit (Rosa Prato) is a medical doctor specialized in Public Health, epidemiologist, professor of Hygiene, with >20 years of professional experience in infectious disease and chronic disease epidemiology, leading a team of 12 persons, chief of a Public Health Department, with >15 years of experience in coordinating international and national research projects in public health field. The other key staff members are two medical doctors (Domenico Martinelli and Francesca Fortunato), specialized in Public Health, PhDs in Oncology, field epidemiologists, assistant professors of Hygiene. The Unit team includes also three research fellows, several medical residents at the School of Hygiene, one management engineer, two nurses and one administrative manager.

Communicable diseases activities of the Unit consist of management of routine surveillance system, active surveillance for hepatitis A, measles, rubella, arthropods-transmitted pathogens, invasive bacterial diseases, influenza, healthcare-associated infections and antimicrobial-resistance, outbreak investigations and reporting through the communicable diseases bulletin in the regional official website (https://www.sanita.puglia.it/web/pugliasalute/osservatorio-epidemiologico-regionale).

Immunization activities include regular updates of the regional immunization schedule, vaccination coverage assessment (e.g., routine data collection and analysis, ad hoc surveys), immunization information system handling (e.g., data quality analysis and development of new tools) and regional coordination of the National Immunization Plan and other national policies, such as plans for elimination of measles and congenital rubella syndrome and for vaccination of adolescents against HPV.

Moreover, the Unit manages data from the Apulian routine administrative and population health datasets: Hospital Discharge Registry, Causes of Death Registry, Database of Outpatient Services, User Fee Exempts Registry, Drug Prescription Registry. The Unit has also a consolidate experience in the conduction of quantitative and qualitative studies to assess community-based preventive interventions.

In the framework of the European “Gaining Health” strategy, the Unit coordinates at the regional level the activities of nationally representative surveys such as the Italian Behavioural Risk Factor Surveillance System “Silver Steps”, aimed at monitoring "active aging" and health status in people aged over 64 and at developing preventive health programs to reduce frailty (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=PASSI+d%E2%80%99Argento).

The Unit is Associated Partner, on behalf of the Italian Ministry of Health, in the Joint Action Antimicrobial resistance and Health Care Associated Infections (JA-04-2016) under the 2016 workplan of the EU Health Programme 2014–2020 and it is also Third Part in the Consortium with ISS (Competent Authority for Italy) in the Joint Actions 2017: “JA-02-2017 - Innovative Partnership for Action against Cancer” and “JA-03-2017 - European Joint Action on Vaccination”.

Training supervision

The fellow will be fully integrated in the Unit team.

An assistant professor of Hygiene and epidemiologist will day-to-day supervise him/her. In addition, fellows will have different supervisors for specific projects they are involved in. Supervisors on-site will provide four hours supervision per week.

Expert statistical support will be provided throughout the training of the fellow who will have free access to all the databases available for the analysis at the Unit.

Language requirements

The personnel of Unit speak English fluently. A basic ability in comprehension and speaking of Italian language would be helpful for the trainee in order to operate effectively in outbreak investigations and surveillance activities.

Training history

Number of EPIET fellows trained at the institute: One MS-track (Cohort 2012) and One EU-track (Cohort 2015)