The International Association of National Public Health Institutes of the World (IANPHI) has ended its Annual Meeting in Rome, Italy. The meeting which was held from October 22 – 25, 2017, saw Liberia’s Tolbert Nyenswah and Director General of the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) serving as panelist at a special session of the annual meeting.
According to a NPHIL release, the International Association of National Public Health Institutes (IANPHI) Annual Meeting provides opportunities for NPHI directors to share experiences and expertise, discuss common issues, and plan for future collaborations. In addition to robust scientific benchmarking and technical sessions, the meetings are rich settings for developing professional and institutional linkages.
The Panel was facilitated by Camilla Stoitenberg, Director General, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Fellow panelists with Director General Nyenswah were Rand Salman, Director, Palestinian National Institute of Public Health, Annemiek Van Bolhuis, Director PHI of Netherlands, Alain Poirier, Vice President communication Canada, Nancy knight, Director, Division of Global health Protection, Center for Global Health, US CDC and Eduardo SamoGudo, Scientific Director, PHI of Mozambique.
It can be recalled that after the Ebola epidemic, the human and economic devastation associated with Ebola epidemic of 2014-2015 highlighted the need for better coordination and strengthening of public health functions and services and improved preparedness for the next public health threat.
Liberia established a National Public Health Institute, in December 2016, Liberia’s legislature passed a bill to establish the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL); in January 2017, the President of Liberia signed the bill into law. The mission of NPHIL is to prevent and control public health threats; its vision is to be a “center of excellence for better health outcomes through a strong health system.”
On the margins, Dr. John Nkengasong the first Africa CDC Director during the Rome Meeting, met with African Directors of Public Health Institutes in Africa. Dr. Nkengasong share his vision of ensuring that by 2020 every African country will have a National Public Health Institute that will serve as the national coordinating body of the African CDC working closely with the five (5) regional centers
These surveillance and laboratory networks will be established by Africa CDC’s five Regional Collaborating Centers (RCCs) in Egypt, Nigeria, Gabon, Zambia, and Kenya in collaboration with all available public health assets in their region, including universities, national public health institutes, private laboratories, Centres of Excellence, non-governmental organizations, and veterinary networks.