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European NPHI Directors' Meeting 2014

July 1, 2014 

by Katja Heikkiläinen

The European national public health institute directors have met annually since 2006. This year, the European NPHI directors’ meeting took place April 24-25 in Tirana, Albania, and was hosted by Albanian Institute of Public Health, ISHP (http://www.ishp.gov.al/). The event was organized jointly with a regional international public health conference with some 200 participants. The conference was opened by Minister for Health, Dr. Ilir Beqaj, with keynote addresses from IANPHI President Prof Pekka Puska, ISHP Director Arjan Bregu and Albanian regional UNICEF coordinator, Dr. Zineb Touimi-Benjelloun.

After a plenary on current public health issues in Albania, four technical sessions on more specific topics took place, addressing issues on chronic disease, mother and child health, child and adolescent health, and immunization and vaccination. The conclusions of the parallel sessions were summarized at the afternoon plenary.

After the general meeting the European NPHI directors gathered to discuss IANPHI-specific topics and exchange news from member institutes. Project collaboration possibilities on areas specific to Albania were addressed, and Dr. Arjan Bregu welcomed initiatives for that to be further explored. Representatives from IANPHI partner organizations -- WHO, ECDC, EuroHealthNet and WFPHA -- presented their recent work, strategic focus areas, and suggestions for collaborative projects with both IANPHI as an organization or its individual member institutes. During a round table discussion, the demographic shift taking place in Europe with its aging population was identified as an area of specific interest to IANPHI members.

The themes covered in Tirana will be revisited next year in Prague, as Dr. Jitka Sosnovcová, Director General ofThe National Institute of Public Health welcomed participants to Czech Republic in the spring of 2015. More information about the next meeting will be posted on the IANPHI website.



European NPHIs Directors' Meeting 2013

May 1, 2013

From the Secretariat at THL Finland

The European national public health institute directors’ meeting to discuss current public health topics in Europe has established itself as an annual function linked to the presidency of the Council of the European Union. This year the meeting was hosted by the Institute of Public Health in Ireland (IPH) and took place in Dublin, Ireland, April 25-26 2013. IPH director, Dr. Owen Metcalfe welcomed the over thirty participants from both IANPHI European member institutes and partner organizations to explore the benefits for the European NPHI collaboration during the discussions.

The topical question of health in all policies was addressed from different viewpoints. The current economic situation affects not only the European population, but also the work of the NPHIs and international public health organizations. Representatives from WHO, ECDC, EUROFOUND and EuroHealthNet stressed the importance of ongoing dialogue with the NPHIs in tackling public health challenges. The current economic situation underlines the importance of collaborative efforts in areas of data collection and information sharing. NPHIs are in a key role in providing policy makers with evidence based information for keeping and enforcing public health in national and regional agenda, but also have to look carefully into the right way of communicating their message to the public.

The participants wished for the European NPHI directors’ meeting to continue as an annual event for sharing experience. Dr. Enver Roshi, director of Institute of Public Health Albania welcomed the next European NPHI directors’ meeting to take place in Tirana in April 2014. More information on the coming meeting will be posted on IANPHI website after the date for the meeting has been set.

The meeting report can be found here.