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We analyse activities and outputs of fellows of the European Programme for Intervention Epidemiology Training (EPIET) between 1995 and 2008 and describe the employment history of graduates after the training to demonstrate the contribution of this programme and of national EPIET-associated programmes to the public health workforce in the European Union and Norway. Up to 2008, some 161 fellows entered the training: 121 in EPIET and 40 in EPIET-associated programmes. Of these 149 were awarded a diploma. Fellows engaged in projects in all areas of surveillance, in outbreaks and field investigations and produced 340 publications in peer-reviewed journals. Seventy fellows were sent to 98 individual assignments on 65 international missions. The vast majority of graduates (90%) take up a position and remain employed in applied public health, either on regional, national or international level. Several (27) are working outside the EU, all in public health, including 13 working in Switzerland for international organisations. Only three of the 12 EU Member States that joined the EU since 2004, employ EPIET graduates. A major challenge for training the public health workforce is the retention of professionals in countries with limited job opportunities or wages significantly below the EU average.


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