National Institute of Public Health

(Instituto de Salud Pública)

Av. Marathon 1000 - Ñuñoa

Santiago, Chile

Maria Mora - Director


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Institute Profile


ChileChile's Institute of Hygiene was developed in 1892. Initial activities involved developing a network of chemistry and bacteriology laboratories. Later, it began to produce serums and vaccines, including anti-rabies vaccine and other animal vaccines. Subsequently, the Institute expanded to play a role as a National Reference Laboratory to help control infectious diseases such as diphtheria, scarlet fever, typhoid fever, and anthrax.  Special attention was paid to standardizing methods of diagnosis, exercising quality control of both domestic and imported pharmaceutical products, and producing much-needed vaccines. 

The Chilean National Institute of Public Health (ISP), as it is known today, was created in 1979. In the years since, ISP has established various centers and departments to help promote positive health in Chile. A special emphasis is currently on prevention and control of communicable diseases. ISP remains an active partner with WHO and PAHO for surveillance of infectious diseases and detection of the emergence of new diseases. Outbreaks of hantavirus, dengue, and bioterrorism, among others, yielded immediate responses from ISP, which has acquired equipment, designed techniques, and trained technical professionals to deal successfully with each of these types of emergencies.

Based in Santiago, ISP employs 688 people in six departments:

  • National Drug Agency
  • National Biomedical and Reference Laboratory
  • Occupational Health
  • Environmental Health
  • Administration and Finance
  • Scientific Affairs
The work of the institute focuses on infectious and emerging diseases, surveillance, outbreak investigation, environmental and occupational health issues and assures the quality of manufactured drugs in Chile. 

Major upcoming goals for the Institute of Public Health include:

  • Ensuring quality medicines for all people
  • Ensuring analytical quality of measurements
  • Strengthening the production of epidemiological information to promote the prevention measured in Public Health.
  • Improving the overall management of the institution
In 2011, the National Biomedical and Reference Laboratory Department managed outbreaks of cholera, hantavirus, salmonella, typhus, and bordetella pertussis. During a cholera outbreak, the institute confirmed cases, assessed the clonal relationship of the virus and compared it to Haiti’s virus, and conducted a laboratory network training for presumptive diagnosis and laboratory surveillance. 

Related Articles

Chile Map

Chile Facts




756,950 sq km


$248.6 billion




  • Cancers
  • Coronary Heart Disease
  • Stroke
  • Influenza and Pneumonia
  • Diabetes


8 deaths/1,000 live births


Male: 76 
Female: 82


Source: WHO, World Bank, World Health Rankings