IANPHI Adds Four New Member Institutes on Frontlines Against Disease and Outbreaks

(November 17, 2009) The International Association of National Public Health Institutes (IANPHI)—based jointly at Emory University’s Global Health Institute in Atlanta, Georgia, and at Finland’s National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) in Helsinki—has added four new members:
  • Albania’s Institute of Public Health
  • Angola’s National Institute of Public Health
  • Jordan’s Ministry of Health (associate member) and
  • Myanmar’s National Health Laboratory
The new members, approved at IANPHI’s Fourth Annual Meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, bring the organization's roster to 67, representing more than 60 percent of the world’s population. 

Public health leaders from around the world gathered at the meeting to discuss topics such as H1N1 influenza, vaccine strategies, innovative technologies in resource-constrained settings, lab-based disease surveillance, and noncommunicable disease prevention and control.

National public health institutes (NPHIs) are science based organizations—such as the US CDC, the China CDC, the UK Health Protection Agency and Mexico’s National Institute of Public Health—that provide national leadership for public health and coordinate core public health functions including disease monitoring and surveillance, health promotion and education, laboratory science, and outbreak investigation and control.

“Since IANPHI was launched in 2006, our membership has almost doubled, adding impetus to our mission to connect and strengthen national public health institutes, which are often on the frontlines against widespread disease and national outbreaks such as H1N1,” said IANPHI President Jeffrey Koplan, one of the founders of IANPHI, former director of the US CDC, and now director of Emory’s Global Health Institute. “We are encouraged by our growing roster of members who embrace the importance of that mission to the health of people everywhere.” 

The new members will benefit from IANPHI’s peer-assistance approach, which works to create stronger regional and international networks that link the assets and solutions of fellow NPHIs. 

Since its creation, IANPHI has implemented 35 projects in more than 20 countries around the world.

At the meeting, members also approved a second term for Dr. Koplan as president of IANPHI. Barry Schoub, director of South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases, was elected as a new member of the Executive Board. Mohammed Hassar, director of Morocco’s Institute Pasteur in Morocco, and Marc Sprenger, director general of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in the Netherlands, were named to second terms on the board.

IANPHI is an international advocacy and professional organization for NPHI directors as well as a major investor in public health infrastructure projects in low-resource countries. It is funded through Emory University’s Global Health Institute by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. For more information about IANPHI, visit www.ianphi.org.
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Since IANPHI was launched in 2006, our membership has almost doubled, adding impetus to our mission to connect and strengthen national public health institutes, which are often on the frontlines against widespread disease and national outbreaks such as H1N1.

- Jeffrey P. Koplan, president of IANPHI