WHO South-East Asia Journal of Public Health
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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 204-212

Landscaping capacity-building initiatives in epidemiology in India: bridging the demand–supply gap

1 Public Health Foundation of India, New Delhi, India
2 National Institute of Epidemiology, Indian Council of Medical Research, Chennai, India

Correspondence Address:
Anuja Pandey
Assistant Professor, Public Health Foundation of India Institutional Area, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi – 110 070
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2224-3151.206691

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India, the second most populous country in the world, has 17% of the world’s population but its total share of global disease burden is 21%. With epidemiological transition, the challenge of the public health system is to deal with a high burden of noncommunicable diseases, while still continuing the battle against communicable diseases. To combat this progression, public health capacity-building initiatives for the health workforce are necessary to develop essential skills in epidemiology and competencies in other related fields of public health. This study is an effort to systematically explore the training programmes in epidemiology in India and to understand the demand–supply dynamics of epidemiologists in the country. A systematic, predefined approach, with three parallel strategies, was used to collect and assemble the data regarding epidemiology training in India and assess the demand–supply of epidemiologists in the country. The programmes offering training in epidemiology included degree and diploma courses offered by departments of preventive and social medicine/community medicine in medical colleges and 19 long-term academic programmes in epidemiology, with an estimated annual output of 1172 per year. The demand analysis for epidemiologists estimated that there is need for at least 3289 epidemiologists to cater for the demand of various institutions in the country. There is a wide gap in demand–supply of epidemiologists in the country and an urgent need for further strengthening of epidemiology training in India. More capacity-building and training initiatives in epidemiology are therefore urgently required to promote research and address the public health challenges confronting the country.

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