RIVM National Institute for Public Health and the Environment welcomed a delegation from Paksitan, November 13, 2017, on request of IANPHI.
The Pakistanis are currently in the process of transforming a National Institute of Health into a National Public Health Institute and they visited RIVM National Institute for Public Health and the Environment to see a well-performing NPHI. RIVM welcomed the delegation on request of IANPHI (International Association of National Public Health Institutes). It comprised of the Director-General, Centers of Disease Control and Prevention CDC , IANPHI and Public Health England.
The National Health Institute of Pakistan exists since 1967. Pakistan’s main activities are on vaccine and sera production, Public Health laboratory services, medicine control and traditional medicines division, nutrition division, field epidemiology and disease surveillance division. The objectives for the transformation of the National Health Institute are to strengthen the existing system, rejuvenate the team, curtail unnecessary expenses and increase functionality.
At RIVM the delegation from Pakistan enjoyed a full day programme ranging from an overview of the RIVM activities regarding Infectious Diseases (tasks and lab research) and Public Health and Public Health Services, to Dutch Screening Programmes, Environmental monitoring and community involvement – preparedness.
The delegation welcomed the programme as very interesting and eye opening. Highlights of the day were the for the delegation novelties in approaches and domains of work that RIVM presented and General overview of RIVM by RIVM Director General André van der Zande who already provided the delegation with points that they considered very important and valuable. They were interested to learn about the key factors that led to success and long-term existence of RIVM . RIVM is adaptable, flexible and not possessive, it takes on a modest and serving role rather than dominating, that it is crucial to do our work well when there is a crisis, the consultation of its own staff and of the general public, and to learn from every incident and improve.
The delegation was impressed by RIVM's investment in risk communication and involvement of the general public through an enquiry every two years and acting upon the outcome.