How can we keep ourselves and our environment healthy? That is the challenge facing government authorities at all levels, from the local to the international. The Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) conducts research and provides advice to assist them in this task.

RIVM works to prevent and control outbreaks of infectious diseases. We promote public health and consumer safety, and we help to protect the quality of the environment. RIVM collects and collates knowledge and information from various sources, both national and international. We apply this knowledge ourselves, and we place it at the disposal of policy-makers, researchers, regulatory authorities and the general public. Each year, RIVM produces numerous reports on all aspects of public health, nutrition and diet, health care, disaster management, nature and the environment.

RIVM has a total of approximately 1,600 staff. We are mainly commissioned by:

Key Public Health Challenges

(On-screen title: Public health challenges in a world in transition. Voice-over:)



VOICE-OVER: Today we are living in a world in transition.
An open world without boundaries. A world in which people can go anywhere.
In this open world, we can identify several trends,
one of which is migration.
More and more people are moving to the city.
And more and more people are fleeing from war and poverty.
Resilience and sustainability are of key importance.
Increasing urbanisation leads to increasing social isolation.
Population growth also causes a massive strain on our natural resources.
For example, fossil fuels will become scarce
and more hazardous waste will be produced.
An open world inherently brings with it the risk of threats.
Crowded cities are a target for terrorism, including bioterrorism.
We need to be ready to control these threats
and be prepared for the impact hazardous substances may have
on our health, our food and on vital ecosystems.
An open world also brings with it major challenges to public health.
The promotion of good and equitable health is of paramount importance.
In coming years, life expectancy will continue to rise
and it is vital for the entire population to age healthily.
This can be achieved by influencing lifestyle, environmental conditions,
socio-economic determinants and food safety.
To boost the well-being of society and to maintain prosperity,
it's important to have a sustainable circular use of resources
and energy transitions.
Another necessity is the surveillance of infectious diseases.
Preventing the spread of antimicrobial resistance
has made it firmly onto the global health security agenda.
New times also create new possibilities.
We need innovative ways to promote health and environmental quality.
We need integrated approaches, for we should not only control risk factors,
but manage conditions and assets as well.
Increasingly RIVM is seeking international partners and stakeholders
with which to exchange knowledge and expertise
to find the answers to these complex and global challenges.
Trustworthy knowledge for authorities, public and private partners, and citizens.
For this generation and future ones.


(The screen turns orange and white. On-screen text: This is a production of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment.)

What RIVM does

A film about RIVM's commitment to public health and a clean and safe living environment.