Summary of Africa Regional Meeting 11 2009 by X9RE37qi



Results of discussion
We conducted a very interactive session about ways in which IANPHI could help NPHIs in Africa to build
capacity to conduct core public health functions, in addition to the programs already being conducted
by IANPHI. Participants were first asked as individuals to envision what could be possible with IANPHI
support and then worked in small groups to generate as many ideas as possible. The entire group then
worked together to organize their ideas into categories and discuss them in more depth. The following is
a summary of the ideas and categories generated. Note that the categories are not mutually exclusive. A
complete summary of the ideas generated is in Appendix 1.

Some of the issues raised in the discussion included:
 IANPHI support for human resources development and for training: NPHIs in Africa need assistance
   in human resources development at all levels. They would like leadership training and support for
   institutional processes that support leadership, such as programs to enhance mentorship. The idea
   of resident advisors was also discussed. They also need training in the range of technical areas that
   are critical for an NPHI, including laboratory, epidemiology, health professionals, research proposal
   and journal article writing, and monitoring and evaluation. There was some interest in management
   training being conducted at the regional level was also discussed, as well as a discussion of
   advantages and disadvantages of e-learning courses.
 IANPHI support for NPHIs to acquire technology and have internet access, as well as helping NPHIs
   to use the internet for networking, identifying opportunities, etc.: Access to technology, the
   internet, and information are also critical. Participants also talked about the potential use of
   technology for networking. For example, IANPHI could foster e-communities of practice, provide a
   way for organizations to learn from each other, have databases of funding opportunities, etc.
 Political support and advocacy: Participants thought that IANPHI could use its weight to create
   change in countries---that IANPHI could communicate about and support actions that might be
   more difficult for NPHI Directors to be visible on. IANPHI could also provide tools for NPHI Directors
   to help them encourage politicians to support NPHIs as essential to meeting the challenges of the
   21st Century.

HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria
In addition, one representative from each African country participating (8 out of 9 of which are IANPHI
members) filled out forms that described their work on HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. All
participating organizations conduct substantial work in HIV/AIDS. Most conduct substantial work in
tuberculosis (5 participants, of which 4 are IANPHI members) and malaria (8 participants, of which 7 are
IANPHI members).

The IANPHI members provided specific examples of their efforts in HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.
This list is not all-inclusive:
     The Uganda Viral Research Institute is a national reference laboratory for HIV and conducts
          research on topics such as drug resistance and prevention methods, such as circumcision and
          behavior change programs
     Guinea-Bissau's INASA supports anti-retroviral therapy throughout the country, is the referral
          laboratory for HIV, conducts epidemiologic studies, and is expanding its laboratory capacity to
          conduct laboratory work on tuberculosis

   Mozambique's Instituto Nacional conducts quality assurance for HIV laboratory assays,
    surveillance for ARV drug resistance, training of health workers, and surveillance related to
    malaria (e.g., vectors, drug resistance)
   Nigeria's Institute of Medical Research is internationally recognized for its work in HIV/AIDS and
    tuberculosis. Work in malaria includes studies and evaluations of rapid diagnostic techniques
    and other support for national efforts.
   The Ethiopian Health and Nutrition Research Institute is the lead public health agency for
    Ethiopia, and, as such, has responsibility for many aspects of HIV, TB, and malaria prevention
    and control. This includes surveillance for HIV drug resistance; diagnostics services for HIV;
    laboratory work on tuberculosis, with a prevalence survey expected to be implemented in the
    near future; evaluation of malaria indicators; reference laboratory services for malaria; and lot
    testing for malaria rapid diagnostic test kits.
   The South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases conducts an annual survey for
    HIV (over 35,000 sampled); community HIV surveillance; laboratory testing, including for
    resistance; epidemiologic assessments of MDR and XDR TB; and monitoring of insecticide
    resistance for malaria.

Appendix 1. Summary of the ideas generated during discussion. Note that this is a summary of ideas and
does not reflect group endorsement of any particular ideas.

Capacity development/technical support
Capacity development is a broad category that includes several of the more specific topics discussed in
more detail below. Because of lack of time, the following topics related to capacity development that
were generated during the visioning part of the meeting were not discussed in depth.
 Support resident advisors in NPHIs
 Up-to-date technology
 Training and assistance in grant writing
 Conduct audits and/or evaluations of institutes
 Strengthen disease surveillance
 Remember that local capacity is a critical base for public health
 Access to health information
 Core capacity building

Human resources development
 Leadership training and institutional processes to support leadership
 Leadership and management training for senior staff
 Fully staffed laboratories
 Stop brain drains
 Mentorship training
 Formal and informal human capacity development
 Engage youth
 Mentees develop to become mentors
 Train the trainer for mentors
 Institutionalization of mentorship
 Develop a technical MPH program
 Strengthen labs
 Facilitate internet access

Participants described several training needs:
 Fellowships
 Fellowship program for health professionals
 Support for field epidemiology training programs in institutions
 Capacity development in field epidemiology
 Research proposal writing
 Journal article writing
 Training in monitoring and evaluation
 E-learning courses
 Technical regional courses
 Management training conducted at the regional level

Technical activities
Support for operational research

Help get resources
 Database of funding opportunities
 Resource mobilization
 Make NHPIs a donor priority
 Help NPHIs mobilize country-level resources
 Maintain a mailing list of funders
 Fundraising for NPHIs
 Make support for NPHIs a priority of donors

Political influence and advocacy
 Put the IANPHI weight behind the NPHI Director
 Advocate for NPHIs
 Tools to bring politicians to support development of strong NPHIs as a challenge of the 21st century
 Key messages for NPHIs to take to donors (e.g., a template for communicating the benefits of an
    NPHI, using local information and data)

 Facilitate links between NPHI leadership
 Have networks focused on particular interests, diseases, etc.
 Develop IANPHI African network
 IANPHI Facebook
 Database of NPHI capacity
 Foster local communities of practice
 Social networking
 Share information so organizations can learn from each other
 Share electronically information about meetings or new methods or other issues
 Post institute descriptions, feature a different institution each month

Communications/access to information
 Videoconferences
 Help NPHIs improve messaging

Health as a bridge to peace
 IANPHI should embrace all countries, a place where health professionals from countries with
   political differences can come together and transcend politics

Translate research into practice
 Help NPHIs translate research into policies and action
 Develop institutional capacity in knowledge translation
 Develop a program in translation of research into policy
 Incentives for implementation work (comment was that current incentives are for publication and
    getting grants; awards and other measures could be used to reward research that results in health
    systems changes)

Help NPHIs increase the comprehensiveness and balance of their portfolios (e.g., add NCDs and injury)

Coordination for synergy: IANPHI should coordinate with other groups, encourage coordinated support

Normative functions
 Develop norms for NPHI functions, best practices, what is an NPHI


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