Highlights of the 2019 IANPHI Annual Meeting

The 2019 IANPHI Annual Meeting took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from December 3-6. More than 150 public health leaders from 59 countries attended the meeting hosted by the Ethiopian Public Health Institute and Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

IANPHI 2019 Annual Meeting Group Photo

Holding its annual meeting in Addis Ababa was of particular significance to IANPHI, in light of the work the organization has been doing to help create and support African NPHIs and its strong partnership with the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The 2019 meeting focused on the theme “Evidence-informed global action for trans-boundary public health challenges”. Ethiopia’s state Minister of Health, Dr. Lia Tadesse, opened the conference, following introductory remarks by Dr. Ebba Abate, director of the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI), and André van der Zande, president of IANPHI. In her speech, Dr. Tadesse highlighted the great strides her country has made in improving key health indicators and renewed her commitment to support and contribute resources to the EPHI.

Over the course of three days, seven plenary and seven concurrent sessions took place, as well as regional network meetings, IANPHI’s executive board and general assembly meetings, and a social dinner with an Ethiopian dance performance. 

Public health topics included the role of NPHIs in a nation’s development, strengthening national preparedness for health emergencies, the importance of working with diverse stakeholders to promote healthier societies and more.

New partnerships

At the annual meeting, IANPHI and Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) signed a letter of intent for a public health partnership to coordinate efforts to support building and strengthening NPHIs in Africa to reduce international disease threats and improve population health on the continent. 

The General Assembly approved a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between IANPHI and the Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region (ASPHER), an independent European organization dedicated to improving education and training of public health professionals in Europe. The MOU will be signed in early 2020 and includes supporting the quality assurance of public health education and training through the Agency for Public Health Education Accreditation (APHEA).

New IANPHI members

IANPHI welcomed five new member organizations this year. IANPHI’s membership now extends to 114 members across 99 countries.

  • Burkina Faso: Institut National de Santé Publique
  • Denmark: Statens Serum Institut
  • Germany: Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA)
  • Guinea: Agence Nationale de Securité Sanitaire
  • Zimbabwe: Zimbabwean National Public Health Institute

Topics discussed at the annual meeting

  • Impact of an NPHI in the health development of a nation
  • Development and strengthening of African NPHIs
  • Role of NPHIs in promoting synergies and balance between universal health coverage (UHC), health security and health promotion
  • Child Health and Mortality Prevention Surveillance (CHAMPS) network update - the role of NPHIs and subnational public health authorities in using the data to support action for improving child survival 
  • Impact of an NPHI’s funding sources on their activities, autonomy and partnerships
  • Building on a proposal for a joint IANPHI-WHO action plan - how to support NPHIs in strengthening public health systems through partnerships
  • Results from the SNAP-GHS pilot program (Strengthening National Accountability and Preparedness for Global Health Security)
  • Intersectoral collaboration for disease prevention and health promotion - approaches taken by NPHIs to strengthen their position with stakeholders, including the industry
  • Global and regional initiatives projects on antimicrobial resistance (AMR)
  • Influenza pandemic preparedness, 10 years after the H1N1 pandemic - the role of public health agencies as part of national responses

Presentations from panelists 

Official conclusions from the IANPHI Executive Board

Flickr photo album of the event

This article was first published in IANPHI Insider #5 (February 2020).

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