One Year of COVID-19: IANPHI President's Letter for March 2021


Dear IANPHI colleagues,

I hope this brief message finds you all safe and well.

For many countries this month marked a year since COVID-19 began profoundly affecting people’s lives. The global effort to bring us to a place of having multiple vaccines available has been one of the greatest feats of science and cooperation we have ever seen. IANPHI co-founder Jeffrey Koplan held a virtual discussion on transatlantic cooperation during the pandemic, touching on what more the United States and Europe can do to provide equitable access to vaccines around the world and enhance pandemic preparedness and response. It is worth watching and can be found here.

I am delighted that Dr. Juan Rivera, Director of the NPHI Mexico and an IANPHI executive board member, has been elected as our new treasurer and know he will bring great oversight and continued transparency to the role. We are also shortly to say farewell to Edris Nikjooy in the Paris Secretariat who will be sadly leaving us for a new role in EU-project management in Barcelona. I am sure you will all join me saying a warm thank you to Edris for his hard work and many contributions and best of luck in his next adventure.

This month we spoke to the Global Fund to help inform the next Global Fund strategy. We look forward to participating in discussions in the months ahead as they undertake their review.

The IANPHI European Region spring network meeting is due to be held on 21-22 April, 2021 and will be hosted by the Estonian National Institute for Health Development with simultaneous Russian and English interpretation. The meeting has a full and interesting agenda with discussions on regional collaboration, the Strategic Vision, digital public health, COVID-19 and members’ medium term strategies for their institutes. Please contact the Secretariat if you have not yet received links to register.    

The latest version of the IANPHI Strategic Vision has been shared with our external partners in this final phase of consultation. We are already receiving good challenge and comments back, which is exactly what we need. We plan to publish this next month, following approval by the Executive Board. We are also exploring options for refreshing and further investing in our Communications Strategy with a special focus on the regions.

We are continuing the dialogue with WHO on how to further deepen our relationship with them to give IANPHI a voice in their high level events and to assist in securing more investment in strengthening national public health institutes and agencies and health systems resilience and development. More on this to follow soon.

And finally, we are soon to host the first IANPHI webinar of 2021, which will focus on NPHIs roles and activities in COVID-19 vaccination and the challenges they identified. This interactive session will be held on 14 April, we invite you to register if you wish to participate; interpretation will be offered upon request.

Stay safe and well and be proud of what you lead and do; this is being openly recognised by every contact I and the Secretariat have with global leaders at the WHO, the Global Fund, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and many others.

With best wishes,

Duncan Selbie

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