IANPHI's 81-Member Network Strengthens Public Health Everywhere, Says IANPHI's New President

During the past six years, IANPHI has grown into a powerful global network. Health is becoming a more important value for people and an issue that impacts socioeconomic development. New health challenges call for more and more professional and scientific expertise to find solutions and implement successful national public health systems. 

National public health institutes (NPHIs) are thus important instruments for national governments. And the IANPHI network with its 81 institutes strengthens global health work. From the very beginning the purpose of IANPHI has been twofold: First, to support the work of the institutes by exchanging information and by strengthening cooperation. Second, to help low- and middle-income countries set up an NPHI or strengthen the existing public health infrastructure in their countries.

The importance of IANPHI networking was evident at the recent annual IANPHI meeting in Mexico where members and leading experts discussed contemporary public health issues as well as future strategic directions for IANPHI. A challenge for IANPHI—and for NPHIs—is to secure proper resources for vital infrastructure. For funding agencies it is usually tempting to put money into activities to control specific and often visible health problems. IANPHI too must work hard to maintain its infrastructure, which is critical for ensuring our organization’s future. 

The IANPHI meeting in Mexico was historic in that Dr. Jeffrey Koplan, who has been the president of IANPHI since the founding meeting in Rio de Janeiro, stepped aside after serving two, three-year terms. We are all indebted to Jeff for his leadership and look forward to his continued support as past president.

For those of you who weren’t able to attend, you can find most presentations and more about the General Assembly on the IANPHI website

Pekka Puska
President, IANPHI