Lima Conference Creates New South American Network

Public health decision makers from nine countries and several representatives from high level regional institutions have begun outlining a plan to create a South American Network of National Institutes of Health that will not only strengthen each national public health institute (NPHI) but will also improve the public health capacity of the region. Meeting in March in Lima, Peru, NPHI directors from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela signed the Lima Declaration on the National Institutes of Health as a first step toward creation of the new network.

Next steps will include creating the Quinquennial Plan of Cooperation 2010-2015 among South American NPHIs. 

"Information sharing and collaboration among NPHIs leads to faster responses and more informed decisions in times of crisis - one of the essential functions of a national public health institute," says Dr. Paulo Buss, representative of Brazil's Fiocruz and one of the signers of the declaration.

Dr. Buss, an IANPHI executive board member, helped open and close the event and presented the IANPHI Framework for building NPHIs.

The next meeting of the network will be in October 2010 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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