Palestinian Institute of Public Health formally established
April 10, 2016
Bjorn Gunnar Iverson
On April 5th 2016 The Palestinian government approved a new legislation, and established the Palestinian National Institute of Public Health (PNIPH). This is an important milestone in the efforts for improving public health in Palestine.
For several decades there has been a close collaboration between public health professionals in Palestine and Norway. In November 2011, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Palestinian Authority, the World Health Organization for the occupied Palestinian territory (WHO oPt) and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH). The work received funding from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Dual working tracks
The aim of this collaboration was to establish a Palestinian National Institute of Public Health (PNIPH). The work has followed two parallel tracks; to conduct scientific and technical work in the field of public health, and to establish the legal framework for the PNIPH.
Upon passing the new law in the Palestinian cabinet under the leadership of Prime Minister Dr Rami Hamdallah, a new transition phase now begins. From being a WHO-run project, the PNIPH now is on its way to becoming a scientifically independent institute under the leadership of the Palestinian Prime Minister’s office. The aim of PNIPH is to provide evidence-based public health knowledge to support policy formulation, and the slogan is “Information for action”.
The scientific and technical collaboration between the Palestinian and the Norwegian institutes of public health will be developed further, serving as a role model in collaboration for other member organizations of the International Association of National Public Health Institutes (IANPHI).The adopted legislation will also be available for other countries in the process of establishing a public health institute.