A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

Emory University (Atlanta), in partnership with Finland’s National Public Health Institute, Kansanterveyslaitos (KTL; Helsinki), has received a five-year grant of nearly $20 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support the International Association of National Public Health Institutes (IANPHI), an alliance focused on improving public health service delivery and decision-making around the world.

Jeffrey Koplan, MD, VP for academic health affairs in Emory University’s Woodruff Health Sciences Center and former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC; Atlanta), is IANPHI president and principal investigator for the IANPHI grant.

“In our increasingly interconnected society, the public health issues of one country can quickly affect the entire world,” Koplan said. “A global perspective is important not only in thinking about public health problems, but also in developing and disseminating public health solutions.”

IANPHI says that the cornerstone of its approach is a peer-assistance model for strengthening national public health institutes, with an emphasis on low-resource countries without a national public health focus or with NPHIs in their early stages of development.

IANPHI was launched in January 2006 with 39 founding members and a one-year planning grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. With the five-year grant, the members will continue to expand the association and implement a global network of NPHIs to address public health challenges.

IANPHI co-investigators are Pekka Puska, MD, PhD, director general of KTL and IANPHI VP, and Pekka Jousilahti, MD, PhD, KTL research professor and IANPHI secretary-general.

Emory’s Global Health Institute, directed by Koplan, is a university-wide initiative established to develop innovative research, training and programs to address the most pressing health challenges around the world, particularly in poor countries.

Among the activities an NPHI says it may undertake are health status monitoring, disease surveillance, disease prevention and control, health promotion, diagnostic services and laboratory support, emergency preparedness, outbreak investigation, public health research and training.