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It is fitting that the group of articles describing various field epidemiology training programmes published here should appear in 2001, the 50th anniversary of the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Were he still alive today, Alex Langmuir (founder of EIS) would be delighted to see how well established and successful such training programmes have become in Europe. Similar ‘on-the-job’ training programmes intended to provide health professionals with the practical skills needed to conduct relevant and timely applied epidemiological investigations in the ‘real world’ of public health are also burgeoning in Latin America, Asia, and Africa. Some of these training programmes are being developed and offered jointly with local academic institutions, others involve formal partnerships with CDC itself, and some are stand alone efforts of local public health agencies.


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