2015 IANPHI Annual Meeting Highlights

The 2015 IANPHI Annual Meeting was hosted by France's Institute for Public Health InVS in Paris from October 14-15, 2015. After introductory remarks from Dr. Francois Bourdillon from InVS, Prof. Pekka Puska, president of IANPHI, and Benoït Vallet, France health general director, the meeting began with an engaging session about vaccine hesitancy. Chaired by Dr Camilla Stoltenberg, director general of the Norway Institute of Public Health, the session included perspectives from Finland, France, and Nigeria, spanning disease threats from polio to HPV. The remarks and discussion that followed were summed up well by Dr. Daniel Levy-Bruhl: “Vaccines are a victim of their own success. When people see less disease, they don’t see the value of vaccinating against them.”

Following a break for lunch, networking, and catching up with colleagues from across the IANPHI network, participants attended a session on the challenges and controversies being faced in public health today. Chaired by Dr. Mwele Malecela, the session bred a lively discussion about many of the controversial topics in public health today, from e-cigarettes to heat waves, and sugar taxes to using participatory models to combat emerging diseases. The comments and questions in the session highlighted the reality that similar public health challenges exist across the globe, and it is crucial that NPHIs learn from each other in order to discover and implement the most effective methods for tackling them in our own contexts. These discussions reveal the value of having such a network – no country’s NPHI faces their public health challenges alone.

The second day of the meeting began with equal enthusiasm. At a plenary session on NPHI leaders responding to organizational challenges, participants heard examples from Finland, France, and Cote d’Ivoire. Learning from the experiences of other NPHIs – be they mergers of multiple institutes, reforming existing organizations, or developing unique models for organizing national public health functions – has proven helpful to other NPHIs undergoing similar changes. The lively Q&A that followed provided a forum for discussing many of the questions IANPHI’s members have about meeting these challenges.

Following the plenary was the IANPHI Award Presentation and the General Assembly. Dr. Jeff Koplan, IANPHI co-founder and former president, received special recognition for his contributions towards and commitment to the organization through its first 10 years of development and growth, receiving the 2015 IANPHI Exceptional Service Award.

At the General Assembly, IANPHI confirmed the following new members: Pakistan (National), Madagascar (Associate), and Zambia (Associate). Three IANPHI Executive Board members were also approved: Camilla Stoltenberg (Norway), Ilesh Jani (Mozambique), and Naima El Mdhagri (Morocco). Dr. Mauricio Hernandez Avila (Mexico) was nominated and elected as president of IANPHI, succeeding Prof. Pekka Puska (2012-2015).

The meeting closed with a presentation by Dr. Koplan looking back over the first 10 years of IANPHI, and asking members to share their priorities for fostering continued growth and development of the IANPHI network in the next decade.

Next year, IANPHI will celebrate its 10th anniversary as an organization. The 2016 Annual Meeting will be hosted by China CDC.

Watch the annual meeting video: 

Here is a list of plenaries and concurrent sessions held throughout the 2015 IANPHI Annual Meeting. 

Vaccine Hesitancy: a Multi-Country Perspective

People who delay or refuse vaccines for themselves or their children are presenting a growing challenge for countries seeking to close the immunization gap. Find out how some NPHIs are meeting the challenge, and discuss strategies from global, national, and community-level perspectives.

  • Camilla Stoltenberg, Chair (Norway)
  • Juhani Esokla (Finland) - Summary of WHO work on vaccine hesitancy
  • Daniel Levy-Bruhl (France) - Vaccine hesitancy in France, a reality?
  • Innocent Ujah (Nigeria) - Vaccine hesitancy in the polio eradication program in Nigeria

Challenges and Controversy in Public Health

What were NPHIs grappling with in 2015? Participants will recount some of the challenges that NPHIs confronted in the past year.

  • Mwele Malecela, Chair (Tanzania)
  • Duncan Selbie (England) - E-Cigarettes: the evidence and implications for policy and practice in England
  • James Hospedales (CARPHA) - Chikungunya in the Caribbean reveals need for new participatory paradigms of epidemic control
  • Agnés Lefranc (France) - Heat waves - a challenge for national public health institutes in the context of climate change
  • Mauricio Hernandez (Mexico) - Public policy to contain obesity and diabetes - the case of Mexico

Program Planning, Monitoring, and Evaluation Tools

Learn about IANPHI’s NPHI-to-NPHI evaluation tool and the other tools for planning and assessing an NPHI’s public health functions and services.

  • Shelly Bratton (United States) and Anne-Catherine Viso (France), Chairs
  • Anne-Catherine Viso (France) - IANPHI's peer-to-peer evaluation tool
  • Ezra Barzilay (United States) - US CDC's NPHI staged development tool
  • Andre Van der Zande (Netherlands) - Expectations from an NPHI peer-to-peer review
  • Johan Peeters (Belgium) - Lessons learned from the WIV-ISP peer-to-peer review
  • Placido Cardoso (Guinea Bissau) - Experience with the US CDC's NPHI Staged Development Tool

Tackling Health Inequalities: Why, How, & Who?

Work with colleagues in small groups to consider & discuss why health inequalities matter, what NPHIs can do to address inequalities, and how to develop frameworks for success.

  • Owen Metcalf (Ireland) and Sue Mably (Wales), Chairs
  • Owen Metcalf (Ireland) - Health Inequalitites: Why, How, & Who

Child Health and Mortality Prevention Surveillance (CHAMPS) Network

This Gates-funded network of disease surveillance sites aims to gather more accurate data on how, where, & why children are dying in sub-Saharan Africa & South Asia, and ensure the delivery of the right interventions to those who need them most. Join potential CHAMPS country representatives and partners to discuss the launching of this new initiative.

  • Jeff Koplan, Courtenay Dusenbury (United States) - CHAMPS: New Gates Foundation partnership to reduce child dealths

NCDs: NPHI Achievements, Challenges, & Perspectives

Chronic, non-communicable diseases remain the number one cause of death and disability in the world. Take this opportunity to learn about NPHI involvement in national and supranational NCD plans and initiatives, and how supranational initiatives offer opportunities to strengthen the NPHIs role for better prevention and control at the national and global level.

  • Jackson Kioko, Chair (Kenya) - Kenya's new NCD Strategy
  • Christopher Wild (WHO) - Cancer control in the context of NCDs, beyond shared risk factors
  • Ivan Erzen (Slovenia) - Economic burden of diabetes in Slovenia
  • Herman van Oyen (Belgium) - The BRIDGE-Health Project, toward a health information system in Europe

Ebola: Lessons learned for better preparedness & response

The recent Ebola outbreaks in West Africa have galvanized the global public health community around the world, with ‘lessons learned’ discussions proliferating in the literature and at conferences and symposia everywhere. This session will take a different and longer-term perspective on this and other recent public health crises from the perspective of NPHIs, with the goal of improving their preparedness for future similar epidemics.

  • Mauricio Hernandez-Avila, Chair (Mexico), Jean-Claude Desenclos, Chair (France)
  • Innocent Ujah (Nigeria), Paul Cosford (England), Lamine Kiovogui (Guinea), Wang Yu (China CDC), Panel
  • Plácido Cardoso (Guinea-Bissau) - Ebola Outbreak: Guinea-Bissau Preparedness

NPHI Leaders Meeting Organizational Challenges

In many countries, public health leadership and infrastructure go through periodic stages of change, whether due to governmental reorganization, health reform, budget cuts, or any other reason. Meet some NPHI directors who have managed recent organizational changes and challenges, and share your own issues, approaches, and solutions.

  • Ilesh Jani, Chair (Mozambique)
  • Francois Bourdillon (France) - Challenges in establishing the National Agency for Public Health
  • Juhani Eskola (Finland) - THL Reform in 2014
  • Dinard Koiassi (Cote d'Ivoire) - A novel NPHI platform for coordination of public health institutes in Cote d'Ivoire (in English);  (En Français)
  • Jackson Kioko (Kenya)
  • Austin Mnthambala (Malawi)
  • Amha Kebede (Ethiopia)

Interaction of Public Health & Law

Efforts to promote public health can implicate many areas of the law. Countries planning new institutes also must grapple with many legal and policy issues related to NPHI creation. Join this discussion of issues in public health law and policy as they relate to NPHIs.

  • Amha Kebede, Chair (Ethiopia)
  • André Verani (United States) - Legal and regulatory frameworks for NPHIs
  • Sofia Charvel (Mexico) - Obesity risk regulation -- role of NPHIs in generating the required evidence
  • Pekka Puska (Finland) - Evaluation of the impact of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control
  • Bettina Borisch (WFPHA) - A Global Charter for the Public's Health -- a WFPHA/WHO project

One Health & the Impact of Changing Land Use on Emerging Infectious Diseases: Role of NPHIs

The emergence of zoonotic diseases associated with changing land use poses challenges and opportunities for collaboration between human and animal health, with NPHIs often at the forefront of new strategies for interaction. Take part in a discussion of roles and responsibilities of NPHIs in One Health initiatives.

  • Lothar Wieler, Chair (Germany)
  • Felix Rosenberg (Brazil) - Session Introduction
  • Plácido Cardoso (Guinea-Bissau) - One Health and the impact of changing land use on Emerging Infectious Diseases: Guinea-Bissau experience
  • Ernesto Gozzer (Peru) - One Health: The case of plague in La Libertad, Peru
  • Ilesh Jani (Mozambique)
  • Tsogtbaatar Byambaa (Mongolia)
  • Henriette de Valk (France)

Approaching 10 Years of IANPHI: Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Jeff Koplan reflects on IANPHI’s course since its founding in 2006, and opens a discussion on a path for the future.

  • Jeff Koplan (United States) - Approaching 10 Years of IANPHI: Looking Back, Looking Ahead

To view each individual presentation, please go to this page.

To see the photo gallery, please go to this Flickr page.

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