WHO Director Advocating for NPHI Creation As Way to Develop Sustainable Public Health Systems

(May 4th, 2010) WHO Director-General Margaret Chan intends to be actively engaged in promoting IANPHI’s projects to create national public health institutes, which she views as a much-needed way to develop sustainable public health systems over the long term. Meeting with IANPHI Executive Board members in early April at WHO Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, Dr. Chan discussed next steps for their ongoing partnership. She noted that NPHIs are necessary in every country to provide a central focus for the infrastructure and human resources required to resolve public health challenges: disease outbreaks, disaster response, risk assessment, health education and programs to address diabetes, obesity, tobacco, injury and other threats. 

Moving forward, she will join IANPHI in encouraging governments to consider creating NPHIs as a way to strengthen their capacity and to promote evidence-based policy development. IANPHI and WHO signed a Memorandum of Understanding in October 2009 that includes a focus on NPHI development projects and a framework for NPHIs.