Original Article

Reading between the lines: A qualitative case study of national public health institute functions and attributes in the Joint External Evaluation

Jacob Clemente, Shelby Rhee, Bridget Miller, Elisha Bronner, Ellen Whitney, Shelly Bratton, Caroline Carnevale
Journal of Public Health in Africa | Vol 11, No 1 | a553 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4081/jphia.2020.1329 | © 2024 Jacob Clemente, Shelby Rhee, Bridget Miller, Elisha Bronner, Ellen Whitney, Shelly Bratton, Caroline Carnevale | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 April 2024 | Published: 29 April 2020

About the author(s)

Jacob Clemente, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, United States
Shelby Rhee, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, United States
Bridget Miller, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, United States
Elisha Bronner, International Association of National Public Health Institutes, Atlanta, United States
Ellen Whitney, International Association of National Public Health Institutes, Atlanta, United States
Shelly Bratton, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, United States
Caroline Carnevale, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, United States

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Abstract

National Public Health Institutes (NPHIs) are national-level institutions that can lead and coordinate a country’s public health system. The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) considers NPHI development critical to strengthening public health systems in Africa. This paper describes how Joint External Evaluation (JEE) reports demonstrate the role NPHIs can play in supporting the goals of IHR compliance and global health security. This study is a secondary document-based qualitative analysis of JEE reports from 11 countries in the WHO AFRO region (Botswana, Ethiopia, Liberia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Uganda, and Zambia). Researchers found three distinct thematic areas: i) core public health functions, ii) governance, and iii) coordination, collaboration, and communication. These themes and their interlinkages, both in pairs and all three, were of importance in displaying the roles that NPHIs could play in the strengthening of health systems. The data suggests that NPHIs, though not always explicitly mentioned in the data, may have a vital role in strengthening health systems across Africa and their governments’ goals of achieving IHR compliance.

Keywords

National public health institute; global health security; joint external evaluation

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