The idea of starting a postgraduate program in Epidemiology evolved from the need of the Ministry of Health to staff positions in the preventive medicine divisions,
both within the Ministry and in Health Regions, with qualified practicing Saudi epidemiologists, highly trained in the area of discovering and combating epidemics,
and in improving preventive programs.
The Assistant Deputy Ministry of Preventive Medicine - Ministry of Health, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia along with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),
Atlanta, USA, and King Saud University, developed the “Field Epidemiology Training Program” (FETP).
The program started accepting trainees in 1409 H (1989 G). The duration of training is two years, leading to “Diploma in Field Epidemiology” from King Saud
University, which is recognized as equivalent to a Masters Degree by Saudi Council for Health Specialities. The program accepted trainees from graduates of Medical
Schools and other scientific majors with health promoting interests, until 1419 H, when acceptance into the program was made exclusive to Medical School
The FETP is concerned with preparing qualified individuals to be involved in National, Regional and Local Health Programs of registering and control of diseases such
as Malaria, Leishmaniasis, Infectious Diseases, Food poisoning, Cancer, Cardiac and Coronary disease, Diabetes Mellitus, Premarital screening and so on.
The Field Epidemiology Training Program is continuously strengthening its level of training, so as to adapt to the expanding scope of epidemiology globally and
changing requirements of the Ministry of Health programs nationally. The program also organizes short training opportunities in epidemic investigation and
surveillance to workers in the preventive field within the Ministry and Health Regions. Furthermore, the Ministry of civil services has lately approved a one-month
training program in epidemiology for health surveyors and a 6 weeks Basic Epidemiology course for physicians. Program also organizes a series of training workshops
on Epidemiology, Research methodology, Data analysis, Surveillance and Geographical Information System, on regular basis.
The FETP participates with an epidemiologic team, as part of the preventive medicine team during the Hajj each year, to conduct field studies and participate in
epidemiologic investigation and surveillance of health problems during hajj. Hajj studies are designed in line with the experiences acquired during previous hajj
seasons. The aim of these studies is to prevent the appearance of certain epidemic diseases and evaluate variety of preventive health services in Hajj. Plans are
made in collaboration with other involved governmental authorities to apply the recommendations of the studies in future hajj seasons, and to supervise their
In the Field Epidemiology Training Program, we are working towards complying with the vision of the Ministry of Health and King Saud University, with the
continuous support of the Minister of Health and authorities in the ministry, for improvement in health services through quality research and training.
History of FETP
FETP Participation is Hajj