Latin America has benefited from short, locally targeted courses to build capacity for responding to and investigating disease outbreaks.
The region is already partially served by overseas field epidemiology training programmes, but these tend to be long and costly, and do not offer enough places to meet the region's needs.
The US Naval Medical Research Center in Lima, Peru, part of the US Department of Defence, has developed a 40-hour course relevant to doctors, nurses, biologists, lab workers, environmental health specialists and veterinarians.
So far the course has produced 1,343 graduates from 14 countries skilled in designing outbreak investigations, conducting epidemiology, and interpreting and publishing scientific evidence.
The organisers say that by being involved in running these courses, the centre not only accumulates expertise on disease outbreaks in Latin America, but also transfers technology and knowledge to the region.