IANPHI Authors Contribute to Journals Participating in CSE Global Theme Issue

The BMJ, a weekly peer-reviewed medical journal and one of the world's oldest general medical journals, and Emerging Infectious Diseases, an open access, peer reviewed journal published monthly by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), both published in their October 2007 issues commentaries by IANPHI members, partners, and Secretariat staff.

In the BMJ, Dr. Jeffrey Koplan, a former director of  U.S. CDC and co-founder of IANPHI, and his colleagues make a compelling argument for providing donor funding directly to national governments to strengthen public health infrastructure. They note that the burgeoning aid community has created a chaotic situation in which low-resource countries are deluged with thousands of unconnected and uncoordinated vertical programs while “the national public health systems in these countries stagnate or dwindle.” As the focus of national public health responsibilities, national public health institutes (NPHI) are a logical site for donor investment in public health infrastructure.

NPHIs will also have a critical role in achievement of new global health initiatives, which depend for their success on strong national public health infrastructure. In Emerging Infectious Diseases, Dr. Guénaël Rodier and others note the importance of strong NPHIs in implementation of the International Health Regulations. “By targeting the core of public health systems… IANPHI will strengthen [global health security and] yield global public health benefits of disease control and prevention….”

Both publications were part of an initiative of the Council of Science Editors (CSE) in which 235 science journals throughout the world — including the BMJ and Emerging Infectious Diseases — simultaneously published articles on the topic of global povery and human development on October 22, 2007. The goal of the CSE Global Theme Issue was to stimulate interest and research in poverty and human development and disseminate the results of this research as widely as possible. 

An additional article published in the November 2007 issue of the South African Medical Journal highlights the role of NPHIs in Africa and the contributions of IANPHI.

With a particular focus on Africa, the article in the South African Medical Journal describes the challenges and opportunities that NPHIs face in performing and coordinating core public health functions. The authors make a strong case for the role of IANPHI is national public health capacity building.

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