Linking Science & Action: 115 Global Public Health Leaders from 90 Countries Gather for 10th IANPHI Annual Meeting

October 15, 2015

The 2015 IANPHI Annual Meeting was hosted by France's Institute for Public Health InVS, in Paris, from October 14-15, 2015. After introductory remarks from Dr. Francois Bourdillon (InVS), Prof. Pekka Puska (IANPHI President), and Marisol Touriane (Minister of Social Affairs, France) the meeting began with an engaging session about vaccine hesitancy. Chaired by Dr. Camilla Stoltenberg, Director General of Norway Institute of Public Health, the session included perspectives from the Finland, France, and Nigeria, spanning disease threats from polio to HPV. The remarks and discussion that followed were summarized by Dr. Daniel Levy-Bruhl: “Vaccines are a victim of their own success. When people see less disease, they don’t see the value of vaccinating against them.”

Participants attended a session on the challenges and controversies facing public health today. Chaired by Dr. Mwele Malecela, the session led to a lively discussion about many of the controversial topics in public health today, including e-cigarettes, heat waves, sugar taxes, and using participatory models to combat emerging diseases. The comments and questions in the session highlighted the reality that similar public health challenges exist across the globe. The session provided opportunity for NPHIs to learn from each other and think about ways to tackle these issues in the context of their own countries. These discussions reveal the value of having such a network – no country’s NPHI faces their public health challenges alone.

The second day of the meeting began with equal enthusiasm. At a plenary session on organizational challenges facing NPHI leaders, participants heard examples from Finland, France, and Cote d’Ivoire. Learning from the experiences of other NPHIs – merging of multiple institutes, reforming existing organizations, or developing unique models for organizing national public health functions – has proven helpful to other NPHIs undergoing similar changes. The lively question and answer session that followed provided a forum for discussing many of the questions IANPHI’s members have about meeting these challenges.

Following the plenary was the IANPHI Award Presentation and the General Assembly. Dr. Jeffrey Koplan, IANPHI co-founder and former president, received special recognition for his contributions towards and commitment to the organization through its first 10 years of development and growth, receiving the 2015 IANPHI Exceptional Service Award.

At the General Assembly, IANPHI confirmed the following new members: Pakistan (National), Madagascar (Associate), and Zambia (Associate). Three IANPHI Executive Board members were also approved: Camilla Stoltenberg (Norway), Ilesh Jani (Mozambique), and Naima El Mdhagri (Morocco). Dr. Mauricio Hernandez Avila (Mexico) was nominated and elected as IANPHI President, succeeding Prof. Pekka Puska (IANPHI President 2011-2015).

The meeting closed with a presentation by Dr. Koplan looking back over the first 10 years of IANPHI, and asking members to share their priorities for fostering continued growth and development of the IANPHI network in the next decade.

Next year, IANPHI will celebrate its 10th Anniversary as an organization. The 2016 Annual Meeting will be hosted by China CDC.

Many plenaries and concurrent sessions were held throughout the 2015 IANPHI Annual Meeting. Please find all presentations below:

Vaccine Hesitancy: a Multi-Country Perspective

People who delay or refuse vaccines for themselves or their children are presenting a growing challenge for countries seeking to close the immunization gap. Find out how some NPHIs are meeting the challenge, and discuss strategies from global, national, and community-level perspectives.

Challenges and Controversy in Public Health

What were NPHIs grappling with in 2015? Participants will recount some of the challenges that NPHIs confronted in the past year.

Program Planning, Monitoring, and Evaluation Tools

Learn about IANPHI’s NPHI-to-NPHI evaluation tool and the other tools for planning and assessing an NPHI’s public health functions and services.

Tackling Health Inequalities: Why, How, & Who?

Work with colleagues in small groups to consider & discuss why health inequalities matter, what NPHIs can do to address inequalities, and how to develop frameworks for success.

Child Health and Mortality Prevention Surveillance (CHAMPS) Network

This Gates-funded network of disease surveillance sites aims to gather more accurate data on how, where, & why children are dying in sub-Saharan Africa & South Asia, and ensure the delivery of the right interventions to those who need them most. Join potential CHAMPS country representatives and partners to discuss the launching of this new initiative.

NCDs: NPHI Achievements, Challenges, & Perspectives

Chronic, non-communicable diseases remain the number one cause of death and disability in the world. Take this opportunity to learn about NPHI involvement in national and supranational NCD plans and initiatives, and how supranational initiatives offer opportunities to strengthen the NPHIs role for better prevention and control at the national and global level.

Ebola: Lessons learned for better preparedness & response

The recent Ebola outbreaks in West Africa have galvanized the global public health community around the world, with ‘lessons learned’ discussions proliferating in the literature and at conferences and symposia everywhere. This session will take a different and longer-term perspective on this and other recent public health crises from the perspective of NPHIs, with the goal of improving their preparedness for future similar epidemics.

  • Mauricio Hernandez-Avila, Chair (Mexico), Jean-Claude Desenclos, Chair (France)
  • Innocent Ujah (Nigeria), Paul Cosford (England), Lamine Kiovogui (Guinea), Wang Yu (China CDC), Panel
  • Plácido Cardoso (Guinea-Bissau) - Ebola Outbreak: Guinea-Bissau Preparedness

NPHI Leaders Meeting Organizational Challenges

In many countries, public health leadership and infrastructure go through periodic stages of change, whether due to governmental reorganization, health reform, budget cuts, or any other reason. Meet some NPHI directors who have managed recent organizational changes and challenges, and share your own issues, approaches, and solutions.

Interaction of Public Health & Law

Efforts to promote public health can implicate many areas of the law. Countries planning new institutes also must grapple with many legal and policy issues related to NPHI creation. Join this discussion of issues in public health law and policy as they relate to NPHIs.

One Health & the Impact of Changing Land Use on Emerging Infectious Diseases: Role of NPHIs

The emergence of zoonotic diseases associated with changing land use poses challenges and opportunities for collaboration between human and animal health, with NPHIs often at the forefront of new strategies for interaction. Take part in a discussion of roles and responsibilities of NPHIs in One Health initiatives.

Approaching 10 Years of IANPHI: Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Jeff Koplan reflects on IANPHI’s course since its founding in 2006, and opens a discussion on a path for the future.

2015 Meeting

Visit the Annual Meeting Website for more information on the Agenda, Sessions, Location and more...

The 10th Annual Meeting of IANPHI was held in Paris, France on October 14-15, 2015. 

The agenda of our meeting reflects the many ways the public health functions that national public health institutes are carrying out, ranging from assisting policy and decision making to the practical work in public health laboratories and with surveillance and monitoring.

Learn more at

2015 Meeting

Images from the 2015 Annual Meeting will be available on IANPHI's FLICKR page.

Do you have images to share? Email to upload your photos. 

View more images on FLICKR