The role of national public health institutes in health infrastructure developmentBMJ 2007; 335 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39356.406377.BE (Published 25 October 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:834
- Jeffrey P Koplan, director1,
- Courtenay Dusenbury, director2,
- Pekka Jousilahti, secretary general3,
- Pekka Puska, director general4
- 1Emory Global Health Institute, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA
- 2International Association of National Public Health Institutes (IANPHI) Sub-Secretariat, Emory Global Health Institute
- 3IANPHI Secretariat, National Public Health Institute (KTL), FI-00300 Helsinki, Finland
- 4National Public Health Institute (KTL)
Modern day challenges to public health systems include—as well as infectious and chronic diseases—the need to improve environmental health, occupational health, and mental health; to reduce injuries; to strengthen systems for delivering public health services; and to prepare for unanticipated problems and emergencies, such as natural disasters and bioterrorism.
Public health services have developed in a less consistent manner than medical services in hospitals, clinics, and primary care. But, from 19th century pioneers of public health such as Farr, Chadwick, and Snow in England; Shattuck in the United States; and Frank, Villerme, and Virchow on the European continent,1 to Yen and Grant in Ding County, China,2 disciplines and skills have evolved into a set of recognised essential public health capacities. As defined by the Pan American Health Organization3 and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),4 such capacities permit a nation—through its public health authorities—to recognise, measure, and tackle health challenges through population based interventions.3
Many countries find it useful to group target problems …
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