The Network of National Institutes of Public Health of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (RINSP-CPLP) was formally constituted in 2011 in Bissau to strengthen the institutes of national health (INS) as structuring entities of the public health systems of its member states, in terms of both its response capacity and the proposal of strategic solutions. Anchored in the CPLP, the network has its executive secretariat by the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz / Brazilian Ministry of Health) and follows a structural cooperation approach among developing countries that prioritizes the use of each country's endogenous capabilities and resources (as opposed to unidirectional transfer of knowledge and technologies). Thus, concrete interventions for generating knowledge are promoted at the same time as the dialogue between the partners involved, in order to allow local agents to take the lead in the health sector processes of each country and to formulate their own agendas independently. development in this area.
National health institutes, often derived from former national public health laboratories, are instances of research, training, monitoring, evaluation, and evidence generation with a view to improving public health policies (which generally have a more permanent character than health authorities). Thus the creation and / or consolidation of these institutes in African countries is essential for the strengthening of their national health systems, especially considering that they have the roles of managing the resources allocated to public health and support the formulation of policies in this sector . The challenge is therefore the sound training of African INS, particularly with regard to its scope of action and the development of available human skills. NIs are in fact strategic-technical bodies considered to be the main way of overcoming long-term public health problems in a structural way.
Following an integrated approach to public health issues, RINSP-CPLP is one of the networks of structuring institutions defined in CPLP's "Strategic Plan for Cooperation in Health". This network aims to promote technical-scientific cooperation among its members in order to: (1) improve the quality of scientific knowledge about the social determinants of health; (2) technically support the ministries for epidemiological, sanitary and environmental surveillance; and (3) improve public health policies based on scientific knowledge. To that end, cooperation in the RINSP-CPLP has focused on the training of human resources in the biomedical and public health areas, as well as organizational strengthening and institutional development. Activities carried out in these areas include: strategic planning workshops, advisory and benchmarking visits, postgraduate courses, in-service training, and polytechnic training in health. The implementation of INS in CPLP Member States that do not yet have them is one of the network's priority areas for action.
As part of its initiatives, RINSP-CPLP has promoted in Mozambique the revision of the strategic plan of the INS, support for the construction of the new institutional building, master's degrees in health sciences (already in its fourth edition) and in systems (with the support of the International Development Research Center - IDRC), the reformulation of the INS scientific journal and the implementation of the National Health Observatory, among others. He also held a master's degree in public health for the training of professionals from the School of Public Health of Angola and has contributed to the reorganization of technical schools of health in this country. With the support of RINSP-CPLP, Guinea-Bissau's INASA was created in 2010 (in particular by supporting the formulation and evaluation of its strategic plan and the improvement of reference laboratories in the country) and Cape Verde's INSP in 2014 (after missions to the country of Fiocruz and the Institute of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine of Portugal, and a Cape Verdean mission to the INS of Peru and Fiocruz, which served as reference for the African institution). In turn, the recently created INSP of Cape Verde will be part of a mission from Fiocruz to São Tomé and Príncipe to support the creation of the INS of this country.
RINSP-CPLP also carries out actions related to the raising of funds from international entities to leverage the development of the INS of its members. Because of its repercussions on the visibility of the African INS, the network enables the articulation of external financing sources to the CPLP, for example the International Association of National Institutes of Health (IANPHI) and IDRC. The network also encourages the articulation of African INS with similar agencies in order to carry out joint research and training initiatives.
In general, the NIs of the network's African countries have gained greater strategic and scientific importance from their respective ministries of health. Thus, in recognition of the development verified in the INS of Mozambique, in 2016 it received missions from Malawi and Sierra Leone interested in knowing its organization.
Supported by: CPLP, Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC), World Bank, IANPHI, ministries of health in Brazil and participating countries of the RINSP-CPLP
Implementing agency: Fiocruz / Ministry of Health of Brazil
Executive Secretary of RINSP-CPLP,
Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz / Ministry of Health)