2022 IANPHI Annual Meeting: Global Health Partnerships

During its 2022 annual meeting, IANPHI hosted discussion on global and regional initiatives of relevance for NPHIs. This session was moderated by Prof. Geneviève Chêne, immediate past chief executive of Santé publique France and member of the IANPHI Executive Board.  

Attendees had the opportunity to hear about the new EU Global Health Strategy, released the previous day by the European Commission. The European Commission’s Team Europe Initiative (TEI) for strengthening public health institutes in Sub-Saharan Africa was also presented.

The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) spoke about their partnership under the African Union-European Union agreement.

Two regional CDCs also shared regional challenges and opportunities for global health cooperation. The strategy of the newly established Gulf CDC was presented, as well as the specific public health challenges in the Gulf region, which covers six countries. On behalf of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), Prof. Chêne gave a short summary to outline the perspectives, specificities and challenges of the Caribbean region. 

Overall, the meeting highlighted ongoing and upcoming major partnerships and initiatives in global health, linking IANPHI and its members with larger multilateral institutions to work towards greater regional collaboration and strengthened global public health capacity.

Dr. Raji Tajudeen, head of the Division of Public Health Institutes and Research at Africa CDC, and Dr. Andrea Ammon, director of ECDC  

Global Health Partnerships with IANPHI

EU Global Health Strategy

By Francisco Perez Canado, Senior Expert of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety (SANTE) and Adviser to the Director-General on the External Dimension of Health

The new EU Global Health Strategy was presented for the very first time during this public health event. The strategy aims to strengthen public health institutions and systems by:

  1. Enhancing wellbeing through the life cycle (addressing determinants of health),
  2. Strengthening health systems by focusing on primary health care,
  3. Combating health threats with a One-Health perspective from lessons learned from COVID-19. 

The importance on regaining lost ground concerning the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was highlighted, as was the importance of achieving universal health coverage and going back to the basics by enhancing the level of health of citizens worldwide by supporting health systems strengthening. The strategy intends to use public health levers to achieve these objectives and it will focus on the essential roles of public health institutes for its successful implementation.

Team Europe Initiative (TEI) for Strengthening Public Health Capacity in Sub-Saharan Africa

By Silvia Logar, International Aid/Cooperation Officer at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Partnerships 

Silvia Logar presented the Team Europe Initiative (TEI) for Sub-Saharan Africa aimed at strengthening public health capacity by supporting public health institutes (PHIs) in the region. The TEI’s specific objectives include:

  1. Strengthening core-functions, attributes and services of schools and institutes of public health (national level),
  2. Establishing/Enhancing regional collaboration between PHIs to jointly develop research, training, policy advice and advocacy (regional level),
  3. Enhancing collaboration between European and African PHIs and integration of African PHIs in international public health networks.

When designing this TEI, a scoping study was commissioned across 49 Sub-Saharan countries in order to examine the core functions and core attributes across PHIs, identify areas of interest for the European Commission as well as participating Member States, and determine the maturity level of PHIs in order to set a baseline. The results of this scoping study were presented and they highlighted the variability in PHI maturity levels across sub-regions of Sub-Saharan Africa as well as the variability in the roles that PHIs play in these sub-regions and across countries, particularly in relation to their respective Ministries of Health. The need for systematic support to PHIs beyond emergency contexts was also called to attention as was the need for coherent and strengthened regional governance across PHIs.  

Africa CDC-ECDC Partnership

By Dr. Raji Tajudeen, Head of Division of Public Health Institutes and Research at Africa CDC and Dr. Andrea Ammon, Director at ECDC

Dr. Tajudeen and Dr. Ammon presented Africa CDC and ECDC’s ongoing collaboration under the African Union-EU agreement. This partnership is focused on three work packages, which include:

  1. Preparedness, response and emergency operations,
  2. Surveillance,
  3. Workforce development and capacity strengthening. 

Both agencies actively work with NPHIs to identify needs and gaps and both shared progress made in the past year for each of the work packages. In terms of regional collaboration, the importance of NPHIs as entry points for Africa CDC was emphasized. 

Through this ongoing collaboration, Africa CDC and ECDC are working to build the foundations for long-term collaboration beyond the ongoing work packages. They plan to continue their project implementation and will continue to seek opportunities for additional collaboration.

Regional CDCs: Challenges in Global Health Cooperation

The Experience of Gulf CDC

by Dr. Pasi Penttinen, Director of the Gulf Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) 

The strategy of the newly established Gulf CDC was presented by Dr. Penttisen, who provided insight on the specificities and priorities of the region in terms of public health, calling to attention the socio-economic transformation underway in the region. The challenges that the Gulf CDC faces in building up its role in global health were also presented.

Disease prevention was highlighted as a pillar in this regional transformation and Dr. Penttinen presented the key strategic objectives for this CDC, which are to:

  1. Support the development of collaborative public health programs, policies and practices,
  2. Strengthen regional public health training and capability building,
  3. Enable the collection, integration and utilization of public health data across key indicators through surveillance and research,
  4. Enhance preparedness, early detection and rapid response to health hazards in the Gulf region.

The Experience of CARPHA

by Dr. Lisa Indar, Director for Surveillance, Diseases Prevention and Control at the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA)

The perspectives and specificities of the Caribbean region, in which CARPHA operates and serves 26 countries, were highlighted by Prof. Geneviève Chêne on behalf of Dr. Lisa Indar. The specific regional challenges in terms of health security were also presented, stressing the need for strengthened global health security.

In both presentations, the importance of support from IANPHI was highlighted in order to work towards greater regional collaboration and strengthened global public health capacity. 

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