A Historic Agreement with WHO: IANPHI President's Letter | October 2022

Dear IANPHI colleagues,

On Sunday I sat down with Dr. Tedros and an IANPHI delegation before the start of the World Health Summit in Berlin, and we signed a Memorandum of Understanding between our Association and the World Health Organization.

This agreement marks a historic moment for both organizations and initiates collaborative action to improve public health, which will be discussed at our annual meeting. It aims to strengthen national public health capacity and capability to deliver health gains through prevention and promotion measures, and emergency preparedness and response.

I would like to warmly thank our Executive Board members, Geneviève Chêne of Santé publique France and Aamer Ikram of the National Institute of Health of Pakistan, as well as Neil Squires of the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and Quentin Sandifer, our strategic advisor, for attending the signing event with the IANPHI Secretariat team. Special thanks go to Anne-Catherine Viso and Juliette Fugier for all their excellent work that has underpinned this agreement.

Signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between IANPHI and WHO

That same day, Geneviève, Aamer and I participated in a session of the World Health Summit at the invitation of our dear colleague and friend, Chikwe Ihekweazu, who leads the WHO Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence. We were joined by another Executive Board member, George Fu Gao of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as Johanna Hanefeld of Germany’s Robert Koch Institute, Eduardo Samo Gudo of Mozambique’s National Institute of Health, and Natalie Mayet of South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases to discuss collaborative and integrated disease surveillance (IDS). Andrew Lee of UKHSA, our technical lead on the IDS project, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), shared initial findings including the preliminary survey results, which you contributed to. The final report will be published within the next couple of months.

World Health Summit session on outsmarting pandemics

Credit: World Health Summit

Earlier last week, we were hosted by the Robert Koch Institute to discuss our respective project findings and initial recommendations, which we then shared with teams from BMGF and the WHO Hub in Berlin. I look forward to exploring and discussing those findings in depth with all of you at our annual meeting in Stockholm next month. In the meantime, I want to thank all members that participated in the survey and the deep dives and provided their expertise to the working groups. Special thanks go to the project team, in particular to Sadaf Lynes, Jean-Claude Desenclos, Andrew Lee and Quentin Sandifer.

IANPHI delegation visiting the Robert Koch Institute

Credit: Robert Koch Institute

That same week in Berlin, IANPHI was also represented at a G7 Technical Meeting on Collaborative Surveillance by Fu-Meng Khaw of Public Health Wales and Bjørn Iversen of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. In Geneva, Neil Squires spoke on behalf of IANPHI and NPHIs at the first meeting of the WHO Steering Committee on Public Health Workforce, which aimed to accelerate the implementation of the Roadmap on Public Health and Emergency Workforce that IANPHI helped co-write.

This unique succession of high-profile events contributed to bringing greater visibility and recognition to IANPHI’s mission and NPHIs of the world. I am confident that our efforts will help attract new members, donors and partners, and continue to grow the Association. 

See you all in Stockholm!

With best wishes,


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