Highlights of the 2012 IANPHI Annual Meeting

The Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública, Mexico’s national public health institute, hosted the 2012 IANPHI Annual Meeting from September 30 to October 3 in Mexico City.

Dr. Mauricio Hernández Ávila, director general and dean of the Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública (INSP), welcomed the participants to three days of networking with colleagues, sharing challenges and solutions, and building stronger partnerships. Presenters at this seventh annual meeting addressed innovative approaches to improved health outcomes, training in public health, modern surveillance for developing countries and complex problems of obesity and malnutrition as well as other public health challenges.

Strong national public health systems based at NPHIs and their partnerships with research centers, scholars, and populations to create a safer world were commended in October by Dr. Romeo Rodríguez Suárez, head of INSP and of the High Specialty Regional Hospitals Coordinating Commission.

In his keynote address to the world's public health leaders attending the meeting in Mexico City, Rodriguez-Suárez said that recent epidemics of SARS and the A(H1N1) influenza epidemic put health systems around the world to the test.

"The lesson is clear we must be better prepared," he said, setting the tone for the three-day gathering. It is very clear to everyone: society and government are the indispensable and interdependent bridge between human development and health.

During the business meeting, the General Assembly approved the addition of two new institutes to the IANPHI fold. The assembly also elected a new IANPHI president and vice president, respectively: Pekka Puska from the National Institute for Health and Welfare-THL of Finland, and Mwele Malecela from the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) of Tanzania. 

Pekka Puska is a founding member and immediate past president of IANPHI. He also chairs the Governing Council of the International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is part of WHO, and is past president of the World Heart Federation.

Mwele Malecela is the first woman and first African to serve in a leadership position at IANPHI. She is also the first woman to lead NIMR. She is known for her work promoting health research, particulary the control and elimination of neglected tropical disases such as lymphatic filariasis. 

Dr. Hernandez-Ávila was confirmed as a new Executive Board member and Ilesh Jani, director of the Mozambique National Institute of Health, was also named to the board. The gathering gave Dr. Koplan a standing ovation when the outgoing founding president of IANPHI received a silver medal from Dr. Hernandez.

The General Assembly minutes are available here.

IANPHI participants also enjoyed a unique opportunity to visit the National Museum of Anthropology, one of Mexico's greatest historical treasures, topping the evening off with authentic Mexican cuisine set in the museum's gardens accompanied by the violin section of the renown Mexican Navy Symphonic Orchestra.

The meeting concluded with 40 members visiting the extensive INSP headquarters in Cuernavaca where they were given an overview presentation of the INSP organizational structure, a tour of the facility, and a farewell lunch to sample the unique gastronomy from the Yucatan, home of the Mayas.


Welcome by Romeo Sergio Rodríguez Súarez

Innovative Approaches to Improved Health Outcomes in Mexico: Making NPHIs countpresented by Dr. Mauricio Hernández Ávila

Effective Networking for Bio-surveillance for Health Security, moderated by Dr. Celia Alpuche, INSP faculty and former director of the Institute of Epidemiological Diagnosis and Referral, and Dr. Hugo López-Gatell, INSP director of National Health Surveys

Training in Public Health: Challenges and Future Scenarios, moderated by Dr. Laura Magana, associate dean of the School of Public Health

Tracking Obesity and Malnutrition, moderated by Dr. Juan Rivera, director of the Center for Nutrition and Health Research, INSP

Public Health Surveillance in the National Institutes of Public Health, presented by Dr. Jaime Sepulveda, executive director of global health sciences at the University of California

Complex Problems of Obesity and Malnutrition and the Role of NIPHs, presented by Dr. Rivera

The burden of disease measurement and how to use data to influence policy, presented by Dr. Christopher Murray, professor of global health at the University of Washington and director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME)

Transition of NCD: challenges after the NY Summit, given by Dr. Pekka Puska, director general of the National Institute for Health and Welfare in Finland (THL)

IANPHI Member Accomplishments 2012, led by Jeffrey Koplan, director of the Emory Global Health Institute and vice president for Global Health at Emory University

Translating policy to action to improve health systems, by Carel IJsselmuiden, director of the Council on Health Research for Development (COHRED)

Tools for Developing External Evaluations of Public Health Institutions, moderated by Jean Claude Desenclos, scientific director at the French Public Health Surveillance Institute (INVS); and Anne-Catherine Viso, deputy director of science and quality management at INVS

Public Health response to Humanitarian Crises, moderated by Mark Salter, consultant for Global Health for the Health Protection Agency, UK, with the participation of Peter Bloland, director of the Division of Public Health Systems and Workforce Development at the U.S. CDC; Jean-Luc Poncelet, area manager, Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief, PAHO; and Virginia Murray, dead of Extreme Events and Health Protection, HPA, UK

In addition, IANPHI members reported on the progress of IANPHI-funded capacity building projects: 

Disease Surveillance in Bangladesh: Moving Towards e-system, presented by Prof. Mahmudar Rahman from the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research

National Institute of Hygiene (Togo) Towards a National Public Health Institute, presented by Dr. Abiba, director of the Togo NIH, with the assistance of Prof. Mohammed Hassar, former director of the Institute Pasteur of Morocco

The IANPHI/CDC-supported Laboratory Project in Nigeria, presented by Dr. Oni Idigbe, coordinator, research planning and manager, of the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research

Cooperation between INS-Mozambique and FIOCRUZ-Brazil, presented by INS Director Ilesh Jani and  Dr. Felix Rosenberg, FIOCRUZ

How Seed Funds from IANPHI Spurred Self Sufficiency and Health Research Growth at Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI), presented by Dr. George Miiro, research capacity building coordinator at UVRI

Share This Story