IANPHI Annual Meeting Shows the Importance of NPHIs in an Emergency

2022 IANPHI Annual Meeting in Stockholm. From left to right: Karin Tegmark Wisell, Director General, Public Health Agency of Sweden, Jakob Forssmed, Swedish Minister for Social Affairs and Public Health, HRH The Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden

After a year of shared preparations between IANPHI and the Public Health Agency of Sweden, the 2022 Annual Meeting finally took place in Stockholm at the end of November. After the initial side meeting with participants from Ethiopia, Mozambique, Somalia and Zimbabwe, the conference kick-started with an introduction from Duncan Selbie, president of IANPHI, and a speech by the Minister for Social Affairs and Public Health, Jakob Forssmed, in the presence of Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess Victoria.

For the Swedish hosts and co-organizers, it was long-awaited to finally be able to meet all the participants in person for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the world. Together we created something really special.

National Public Health Institutes have received a lot of attention and appreciation during the pandemic and played an important role in managing the control efforts. The network that IANPHI is fostering is moving into a new phase in the post-pandemic era and its importance cannot be underestimated. Our institutes have a crucial role to play during the multiple crises confronting humanity now; crises with global reach and global public health effects. It was therefore a top priority for the Swedish NPHI and IANPHI to make as much as possible out of the annual meeting.

The theme; Pandemics, Conflicts, Climate Change: New Roles and Challenges for National Public Health Institutes, was the starting point for three days of very interesting and important discussions, which led up the publication of the Stockholm Statement on the Role of NPHIs in Emergencies and Crises. Together we need to respond to longstanding global public health challenges. It is crucial to continue the work to strengthen the role and mandate for National Public Health Institutes in the way that IANPHI is already doing. It is equally important that we continue to support each other in prioritizing health equity and to commit, through an appropriate investment, in prevention and health promotion and resilient public health systems.

We are very happy with the outcome of the meeting and would like to thank all participants for joining us. We now hand over to our colleagues at the Rwanda Biomedical Center in Kigali, and wish them all the best in the preparations for next year´s annual meeting!

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