Highlights of the IANPHI Executive Board Meeting

The IANPHI Executive Board (EB) held a virtual meeting on June 8, 2022. IANPHI President Duncan Selbie welcomed EB members and chaired the meeting. 

IANPHI Vice-President Prof. Meerjady Sabrina Flora welcomed EB members, the chairs and vice-chairs of the IANPHI Regional Networks, the representatives of the IANPHI Foundation, IANPHI's staff and guests, including representatives of EB members’ NPHIs and of the International Biosafety and Biosecurity Initiative for Science/Nuclear Threat Initiative. The quorum to vote on the decisions was not reached as four out of 14 Executive Board members were attending, additional to one proxy. The vote was postponed to the August EB meeting. All decisions were approved during August EB meeting. 

1. Presidency Updates and IANPHI Representation

  • IANPHI participated in the Commonwealth Health Ministers Meeting on health systems recovery, on May 18-19, 2022, represented by D. Selbie and N. Squires. 
  • The Public Health and Emergency Workforce Roadmap led by WHO and to which IANPHI contributed was published in May 2022.  
  • The Norwegian Institute of Public Health hosted a virtual meeting on June 24, 2022 to inform the WHO World Report on Social Determinants of Health Equity. Several IANPHI member representatives participated in the meeting as well, including T. Ottersen, F. Rosenberg, and S. Bratton among others.  
  • The Public Health Agency of Canada hosted a Roundtable on Strengthening Public Health Functions to Prepare for 21st Century Challenges, with a focus on a changing climate, during the World Health Assembly Meeting, moderated by N. Squires.
  • Health Ministers from the G-7 expressed their support for NPHIs and IANPHI in the communiqué to achieve climate-resilient and sustainable, climate-neutral health systems and the IANPHI Roadmap on Climate Change and Public Health. 
  • The European Commission invited IANPHI to present its report on COVID-19 Lessons Learned at a meeting to be held at the end of 2022. The IANPHI Secretariat acknowledged the contributions from the NPHIs who helped with the translation of the report in Spanish, Portuguese and French. 

2. IANPHI Regional Networks Activities Update

IANPHI Europe Regional Network

The updated work plan of the regional network contains three main pillars – seminar series, activities to engage new members and the work on assisting Public Health Center of Ukraine (PHCU). One of the core events of the IANPHI Europe Network was its annual meeting, which took place on May 19-20, 2022 in Tallinn, Estonia, hosted by the Estonian public health institute, TAI. More than 60 participants attended the meeting, including 22 in-person and 47 virtual.

A mission of several European NPHI representatives to Poland preceded the meeting in mid-May to look at how the Polish government and NPHI are handling the migrant crisis.

IANPHI Latin America Regional Network

The network is preparing its regional meeting, which will take place in September 2022 and will be hosted by Mexico's Instituto Nacional de Salud Publica in Cuernavaca. The meeting will focus on “The Role of NPHIs in Facing Health Inequities in Latin America”. The representatives of NPHIs from following countries are invited to the meeting: Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico, Peru, Cuba, Chile, Uruguay, and Paraguay. The meeting will be co-organized with the Ibero-American Network. 

3. International Biosafety and Biosecurity Initiative for Science 

The Secretariat has been approached by the International Biosafety and Biosecurity Initiative (IBBIS), a new independent international organization launched this year by the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) with the participation of key advisors from around the world. IBBIS views IANPHI as instrumental in helping NPHIs govern bioscience and biotechnology, not only making decisions about what is acceptable and what is not, but also in the practical implementation. Many tools that IBBIS will develop and implement at scale could help support these efforts. NTI has been receiving requests to develop proposals for governments to incentivize or require biosecurity practices, as well as for the assistance in defining national regulations and guidelines. EB members and their institutes remain open for further individual discussions on a possible cooperation.            

4. IANPHI Membership Applications

The Botswana Public Health Institute has applied to become an IANPHI national member. The institute was created in September 2020 as a state-owned institute/parastatal entity. It is now in the process of developing the legal framework to establish the NPHI and its operationalization.

The EB approved the membership request from the Botswana Public Health Institute as a national member to be presented during the 2022 General Assembly.

5. Discount and Waiver Requests

The IANPHI Secretariat received three discount requests and one waiver request fro members due to their severe budget cuts problems. All discount and waiver requests were approved according to the IANPHI payment policy, conditional to a reduction granted no more than two years in a row. 

6. Strategic Action Plan Implementation Update

An update on the progress of the 2022 IANPHI Strategic Action Plan implementation was provided to the EB. The following activities were implemented for the first half of 2022: 

  • The IANPHI Annual Meeting in Stockholm, Sweden is under preparation. 
  • The four IANPHI Regional Networks organized their regular online meetings, developed their work plans for 2022, and one annual meeting, that of IANPHI Europe, was held in May 2022 in Estonia.
  • Thematic Committees:
    1. The Thematic Committee on Climate Change & Public Health has been established, has organized several meetings, and conducted a survey on the indicators of the climate change on NPHIs
    2. Terms of Reference for the Thematic Committee on Social and Public Health Inequalities are ready.
    3. Interested NPHIs were identified to launch the Thematic Committee on Essential Public Health Functions.
  • The formalization of the Focal Point Network is underway and first meeting is planned in September.
  • The Report on COVID-19 Lessons Learned has been published.
  • An update of IANPHI's main guidelines and tools (SDT, Peer-to-peer Reviews) has been initiated.
  • An Integrated Disease Surveillance systems reinforcement project is being implemented with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  
  • A concept note was developed for the Knowledge Platform. The platform will be launched in the second half of 2022.
  • Partnership agreements under preparation with the World Health Organization and the International Academy of Public Health. 
  • Fundraising:
    1. An investment case prepared by Sadaf Lynes will be presented on August 4 to the EB.
    2. Two expressions of interest have been sent to the Public Health Agency of Canada.
  • Collaborative work with the Norwegian Institute of Public Health continues to identify areas of collaboration as part of a funding from the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) and adaptation of IANPHI's tools to certain low- and middle-income country contexts.  

7. Call for Joining IANPHI Thematic Committees on Essential Public Health Functions and Social and Public Health Inequalities

The Terms of References (ToR) for the Thematic Committee on Social and Health Inequalities have been finalized. The working group will consist in representatives from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Fiocruz (Brazil) and Santé publique France.

The Thematic Committee on the Essential Public Health Functions has identified experts for leading the work on the development of its ToR.

Both committees are calling for the wide participation from the entire global network of NPHIs to launch discussions and proceed with the roadmap of activities. 


8. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Project and IANPHI Support to WHO/Berlin Hub

Updates on the three workstreams of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-funded project on Integrated Disease Surveillance:

  1. The rapid review of the evidence is in the stage of completion with the report to be handed in July 2022.
  2. The final draft of the survey questionnaire is completed. It is planned to send out the survey around July 5-6, 2022.
  3. Deep dives are planned in 8 countries – Pakistan, Mozambique, Malawi, Saudi Arabia, UK and Canada and awaiting confirmation from France and Sweden. Additionally, the inclusion of Uganda and Paraguay is explored via U.S. CDC contacts. With the deep dive protocols soon to be completed, the data collection team is in the process of identification, to be sent out to the countries to gather information over July and August. As per the realistic estimations, after the collection and treatment of all data, the synthesis and the final report will be finalized in October 2022.

The WHO Hub and the RKI provided IANPHI an opportunity to present the project results during a 3-day meeting in October 2022 in Berlin. A complimentary activity will be the presentation at the World Health Summit to a wider range of partners.

This online version of the IANPHI Executive Board meeting report reflects actions taken at the most recent meeting of the IANPHI Executive Board and is provided for the convenience of IANPHI members. This online document is not the official, complete record of the actions of the IANPHI Executive Board, it is merely a summary of actions taken. The IANPHI Executive Board’s official minutes, in their entirety, are on file with the IANPHI Secretariat. Should you have any questions about this online summary of the agenda, actions taken, or the minutes of the meetings of the IANPHI Executive Board, please contact the IANPHI Secretariat at secretariat@ianphi.org. 

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