Malawi and Zambia Find Inspiration in Visit to Mozambique NPHI

Malawi

January 5, 2016

Although legislation and strategic planning provide a strong foundation for the launch of a new national public health institute (NPHI), there is no substitute for an in-person visit to inspire a vision for potential NPHI growth and development. A cornerstone of IANPHI’s peer-to-peer partnership work, study tours allow nascent public health institutes to visit neighboring NPHIs to learn the processes, facilities, and key organizational methods implemented in more well-established NPHIs.

In October, key leadership from the Zambia National Public Health Institute (ZNPHI) and the Public Health Institute of Malawi (PHIM) had the opportunity to envision the potential for their fledgling NPHIs through a study tour of Instituto Nacional de Saúde Mozambique. Both new NPHIs have prioritized the development of public health laboratory capacity, an area in which INS Mozambique excels and has generously shared its expertise.

With IANPHI support, leadership from the two new institutes traveled to INS for the study tour. Dr. Elizabeth Chizema, Dr. Muzala Kapina, and Dr. Max Bweupe from ZNPHI participated, and were joined by Dr. Austin Mnthambala, Mr. Salim Sumaisi, Mr. Felix Sanyala, and Mr. Ambonishe Mwalwimba from PHIM. During the visit, ZNPHI and PHIM leaders learned more about the crucial components necessary for building, maintaining, and running a national public health reference laboratory system. The teams met with INS staff to discuss quality and biosafety issues, as well as the laboratory reference system. The visit also included tours of laboratories for tuberculosis, entomology, parasitology, cellular immunology, microbiology, and other pathogens.

Beyond laboratories, the teams also met with leadership of INS to discuss Mozambique’s health systems research and surveillance work, as well as its field epidemiology training program. With this newly gained knowledge, the visitors returned to their respective NPHIs after the visit with a renewed sense of enthusiasm, and practical strategies for approaching public health laboratory development.

Many thanks to Ilesh Jani, Cynthia Balthazar, and the staff of INS for their generous support in hosting the ZNPHI/PHIM study tour.

IANPHI has supported peer-to-peer study tours for member NPHIs across the globe:

Colombia – Guatemala

Kenya – Canada

Somalia – Norway

Interested in hosting a tour at your NPHI? Contact info@ianphi.org to learn more.