Letter from the President

Our annual global gathering is only a couple of weeks away, and over 100 participants have registered to attend the IANPHI Annual Meeting in Paris October 13-15, hosted by Institut National de Veille Sanitaire (InVS). I am happy to see that so many members and partners are able to join the event. The program encompasses the multifaceted functions of a comprehensive national public health institute, ranging from land use changes’ impact on health, to public health legislation, vaccine hesitancy, child mortality prevention and organizational leadership. This inspiring agenda is sure to prompt many discussions, and hopefully lead to more collaborative projects amongst IANPHI members and our partners.

During our General Assembly, we will vote to fill three vacancies on the Executive Board as well as for IANPHI President and Vice President. Additionally, the General Assembly will vote on new NPHIs that have applied for membership. It is my wish that all IANPHI members, old and new, actively participate in discussions and share their views on how IANPHI would best benefit its members and fulfill its mission. I also encourage members to think about our network’s funding in the future years. Even though all members show their commitment to the Association by contributing through annual membership fees, it is also important for us all to consider new means of fundraising for joint projects and activities to best serve the membership. Members’ ideas and experience are valuable building blocks in this work. The Secretariat offices in Mexico, the US, and France, as well as my office, always welcome you to share your thoughts on IANPHI’s future.

NPHIs work on all areas of public health. To me, the complexity of our work has recently been demonstrated as I was appointed as Chair of WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), an expert team designed to assess the impact of the treaty on tobacco control that was passed 10 years ago and is currently ratified by 180 countries. A broad understanding on how international and national legislation intertwines with national policies, different cultures and socio-economical circumstance is required to be able to begin an assessment on health impact, and that knowledge and expertise is the exact pinnacle of IANPHI’s members’ daily work. In our framework we have defined the essential criteria of a comprehensive NPHI, and we take pride in working towards further capacitating all our members to meet the standards.  Against this backdrop, I am happy to know the expert network of IANPHI can both contribute and benefit from the complicated assessment project I am now to lead.

Next year marks the 10th anniversary of IANPHI. In Paris, we will hear about activities planned for our anniversary year. During our first decade, members have continuously reported on the importance of national public health institutes for global wellbeing, and the key role IANPHI plays as an umbrella organization for NPHIs all over the world. NPHIs represent strong infrastructure that protects and improves the health of population globally. Celebrating our anniversary is celebrating public health worldwide!

Looking forward to seeing many of you soon in Paris,

Pekka Puska 
IANPHI President
Former Director General, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Finland