IANPHI Names New Mentor-Mentee Pair from France and Togo

Public health leaders from France and Togo have teamed up as the newest participants in IANPHI’s Mentorship Program. Dr. Jean-Claude Desenclos, scientific director of France’s Institute for Public Health Surveillance (InVS), will mentor Dr. Abiba Banla, director of Togo’s Institut National d'Hygiène (INH), as she leads her nation’s efforts to create a new national public health institute (NPHI). 

The IANPHI Mentorship Program facilitates active partnerships between experienced public health professionals and promising current or potential NPHI leaders. This program is part of an ongoing IANPHI effort to build human capacity and provide a career path for public health professionals through training in strategic leadership and management. Part of this commitment involves providing current and future NPHI leaders with the public health tools, training, and support they need to develop their full potential.

Jean-Claude Desenclos is an alumnus of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) and is a specialist in tropical medicine, public health, epidemiology and biostatistics. He practiced medicine in Thailand for several years, first with the Embassy of France, then as a doctor in a refugee camp with Doctors Without Borders (MSF). He later joined the European Centre for the Epidemiological Monitoring of AIDS (Saint Maurice). Since then, he has been with the National Network of Public Health (later InVS), since its inception and now heads the Department of Infectious Diseases. With his national and international field experience, the author of more than 140 international scientific publications has trained epidemiologists in France for many years. 

Dr. Abiba BanIa graduated as pharmacist biologist from the University of Dakar (Senegal) in 1986, and received her MPH at the University Henri Poincaré of Nancy (France) in 2006. She worked in the Togo Ministry of Health from 1986 to 2000 and was responsible for pharmacy, laboratory, and blood transfusions in Sokodé, central Togo. Since 2000, she has provided leadership at the National Institute of Hygiene of Togo (INH), coordinating the activities of laboratories for surveillance of epidemic diseases, assuring quality control of water and food, vaccinating travelers to meet International Health Regulations. and training laboratory technicians and assistants. Since INH joined IANPHI in November 2010, Dr. Banla has worked to strengthen disease surveillance, research, staff training, and health promotion. 

Created in 2009, the IANPHI Mentorship Program now has paired mentors and mentees from ten countries. The IANPHI Mentorship Program is funded by a generous gift from Dr. David Heymann, derived from a Heinz Family Foundation award and through the Better World Fund.

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