New Graduates Join Growing List of Field Epidemiology Training Program Noncommunicable Disease Fellows


Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the most common noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), accounting for more than 18.5 million global deaths annually. This increase in global NCD prevalence presents complex global health challenges. Seventy-seven percent of all NCD deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, including North Africa, the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa and South and Southeast Asia.

In 2019, NCDs caused an estimated 65 percent of all deaths in India, with CVDs responsible for an estimated 27 percent of those deaths. Studying CVD patterns and associated risk factors is one important way to prevent, control and manage NCDs.

To address this public health challenge and help reduce the global CVD burden, the CDC Foundation is proud to collaborate with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to support The Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) NCD track. Bloomberg Philanthropies and Resolve to Save Lives support these programs through a grant to the CDC Foundation.

Launched in India in 2018, the FETP NCD track aims to build the capacity of public health professionals in NCD epidemiology, analytical skills and program evaluation. The country currently features both intermediate and advanced levels of field epidemiology training programs. Trainees work closely with mentors and learn primarily through on-the-job field projects, gaining valuable in-country expertise in NCD projects and related risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes and salt intake.

In May 2023, 20 FETP NCD trainees graduated in India, representing 20 of the country’s 36 states and union territories. The graduates included 17 trainees in the first national intermediate FETP NCD track cohort and three trainees in the second advanced track cohort, all now trained in critical skills like data analysis and evaluation to help identify gaps in national program implementation.

“The NCDs have a significant impact on public health and global development,” said Dr. Prabhdeep Kaur, India FETP NCD program coordinator. “NCD-trained epidemiologists also work on quality improvement of the NCD programs. Preventing and managing NCDs requires a comprehensive, multi-sectoral approach that addresses the root causes of these diseases and their social determinants, on which the trained NCD epidemiologists work.”

The CDC Foundation is proud to support India’s FETP graduates and others in China, Thailand, and Ethiopia who represent a growing list of public health professionals better equipped to address the threat of noncommunicable diseases worldwide.

Learn more about FETP programs in India, China and Ethiopia.

This blog was a collaborative effort between the CDC Foundation (Resolve to Save Lives Cardiovascular Health Initiative), CDC (Office of Global NCD) and India’s FETP NCD Team. For any questions, please contact Birgit Bolton, project manager for Non-Infectious Disease (NID) Programs at