2021 IANPHI Annual Meeting: Highlights of the General Assembly

IANPHI held its annual general assembly today, the first of six virtual sessions of the 2021 IANPHI Annual Meeting hosted by Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz), Brazil’s national public health institute. 

IANPHI President Prof. Duncan Selbie led today’s assembly, which opened with a keynote speech by Dr. Nisia Trindade, president of Fiocruz. “The world of science recognizes the extraordinary role of national public health institutes,” she said, adding that IANPHI had been fulfilling a very relevant role in its brief history. She reminded the audience that Fiocruz held the very first IANPHI Annual Meeting in Rio de Janeiro in 2006, with 39 founding member institutes. As of December 2021, IANPHI has 110 members from 95 countries.

Dr. Trindade also spoke about health equity, the central theme of this year’s meeting. “In order to have a healthier world, we need a more equitable world,” she said. “The agenda presented today by IANPHI is essential to our vision of recovery and to the need of having health equity and the strengthening of health systems as pillars of our future.”

IANPHI Welcomes New Member Institutes

Public Health Scotland and Russia’s Research Institute for Healthcare Organization and Medical Management of the Moscow Department of Healthcare (NIIOZMM DZM) are IANPHI’s newest members.

Established in 2020 by the Scottish government and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities to replace several entities, Public Health Scotland is the national agency dedicated to improving and protecting health and well-being in Scotland. The institute uses data, intelligence and a place-based approach of public health, to serve population health and to provide advice and support to local government and authorities.

Founded in 2014 by Moscow’s government, NIIOZMM DZM is a scientific institution in charge of carrying out research in the field of healthcare development and improvement. Amongst other mandates, the institute is responsible for the Center for Medical and Social Research, the City Center for Public Health and Medical Prevention and the Center of Competence in the Field of Information Security in Healthcare.

Prominent Public Health Leaders Join the Executive Board

IANPHI member institutes elected two new public health leaders to serve on the IANPHI Executive Board for the next three years, replacing Dr. Camilla Stoltenberg, director general of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, who had been on the board since 2015, and Dr. Akhmetov Valikhan Isaevich, former director of Kazakhstan’s National Center for Public Health, who had been on the board since 2019:

Two members were re-elected for a second three-year mandate:

New Partners

IANPHI members approved a new partnership and Memorandum of Understanding with the Task Force for Global Health, and a new partnership with the Global Health Development | Eastern Mediterranean Public Health Network (GHD | EMPHNET).

Established in 1984, the Task Force for Global Health (TFGH) is a non-profit non-governmental organization, based in Decatur, Georgia, USA, whose mission is controlling and eliminating debilitating diseases and building sustainable health systems to protect and promote health. The TFGH has 17 programs, working in more than 150 countries. The vision of the Task Force’s Disease Elimination Strategy is to strengthen in-country health systems through targeted interventions aimed at achieving and sustaining disease elimination and control for priority disease areas.

Established in 2009 and based in Amman, Jordan, GHD | EMPHNET is an umbrella organization for field epidemiology training programs (FETPs) in the Eastern Mediterranean region. Its purpose is to connect and support the region’s FETPs by working on preventing and controlling diseases, conducting and supporting operational research for priority public health domains and strengthening public health programs while working jointly with similar institutions associations, networks and organizations.

Recognition of Success 2021

IANPHI’s Recognition of Success initiative highlights a selection of outstanding projects led by IANPHI member institutes. In 2021, 37 projects from 16 countries were submitted to IANPHI’s regional chairs who selected one significant project per region.

The winners by region:

  • IANPHI Africa Regional Network: South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD). NICD has been conducting a large-scale research project on “Long COVID” to better characterize its prevalence and risk factors in South Africa and fill a knowledge gap in low- and middle-income countries and in Africa. The study has provided evidence for governments to update national COVID-19 clinical guidelines to include Long COVID and to conduct training of healthcare workers on Long COVID. ​
  • IANPHI Asia Regional Network: Pakistan's National Institute of Health (NIH). NIH started implementing the Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR), an evidence-based strategy for strengthening national public health surveillance and response systems under the International Health Regulations (2005). Initially piloted in 11 districts, IDSR has been recently expanded to 26 districts. IDSR has also been included as one of three components of Pakistan’s public sector development program, along with national public health laboratory system and workforce development. 
  • IANPHI Europe Regional Network: Georgia’s National Center for Disease Control and Public Health (NCDC). In 2015, Georgia launched the world’s first hepatitis C (HCV) elimination program, an ambitious commitment to addressing one of the highest estimated HCV prevalence in the world. A nationwide seroprevalence survey was conducted in 2015 and again in 2021 to update HCV prevalence estimates in the general population. Preliminary results of the 2021 survey demonstrate substantial progress in HCV elimination.
  • IANPHI Latin America Regional Network: Instituto Nacional de Salud Publica (INSP). At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, INSP worked to adapt the national health and nutrition survey, ENSANUT-2020, to provide nationwide data on the burden and challenges of COVID-19 and on the seroprevalence of SARS-Cov-2 antibodies in the Mexican population, while capturing a basic set of health and nutrition indicators. The data helped inform policy decision-making during the pandemic.

The winning projects will be the focus of a series of success stories published in the coming months on this website and in the IANPHI Insider newsletter.

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