Occupied Palestinian territory | News | Palestine’s Prime Minister endorses institutionalization of Palestinian Public Health Institute project, October 2013

Palestine’s Prime Minister endorses institutionalization of Palestinian Public Health Institute project, October 2013

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Dr Rand Salman, project manager for the PNIPH project Mr Stein Torgersbråten, Minister Counsellor of the Representative Office of Norway to the Palestinian Authority the Prime Minister of Palestine, Dr Rami Hamdallah, acting Head of the WHO oPt office, Dr Mahmoud DaherDr Rand Salman, project manager for the PNIPH project, Mr Stein Torgersbråten, Minister Counsellor of the Representative Office of Norway to the Palestinian Authority, the Prime Minister of Palestine, Dr Rami Hamdallah, acting Head of the WHO oPt office, Dr Mahmoud Daher23 October 2013, Ramallah - The Acting Head of the WHO oPt office, Dr Mahmoud Daher, met with the Prime Minister of Palestine, Dr Rami Hamdallah, to discuss WHO activities in Palestine, and in particular the institutionalization of the ongoing project to establish a Palestinian National Institute of Public Health (PNIPH), funded by the government of Norway. The meeting took place in the Prime Minister’s office on 21 October, 2013. WHO is seeking to develop the governance structure for the PNIPH with the cooperation of the Palestinian Government.

It was the first meeting between Dr Daher, who was appointed by WHO in April 2013 and Dr Hamdallah, who was appointed by Palestinian President Dr Mahmoud Abbas in June 2013. Also present for the meeting were: Mr Mazen Jadallah, Advisor to the Prime Minister; Mr Stein Torgersbråten, Minister Counsellor of the Representative Office of Norway to the Palestinian Authority; Dr Rand Salman, Project Manager for the PNIPH Project and Dr Bjorn Iversen, Senior Technical Advisor for the PNIPH Project. The Minister of Health, Dr Jawad Awwad, was unable to attend the meeting.

The Prime Minister expressed his appreciation and support for the aims of the Palestinian National Institute of Public Health Project, which had been formally agreed between the Palestinian Government and the Norwegian Government in a Memorandum of Understanding in 2011 and launched in 2012. Norway has provided the operational funding of US$ 4 million for the 3-year establishment project. Dr Daher reviewed the preparatory phase of the project, focusing on the project building its staff, developing partnerships with the Ministry of Health and academia, and carrying out technical assessments to improve the public health information base.

Dr Bjorn Iversen, Senior Technical Advisor for the PNIPH Project, Dr Rand Salman, Project Manager for the PNIPH Project, acting Head of the WHO oPt office, Dr Mahmoud Daher, Mr Stein Torgersbråten, Minister Counsellor of the Representative Office of Norway to the Palestinian Authority, the Prime Minister of Palestine, Dr Rami Hamdallah and Mr Mazen Jadallah, Advisor to the Prime MinisterNorway sees the National Palestinian Institute of Public Health as an important component of state building efforts as it strengthens national efforts to protect and improve the health of the Palestinian people

The Prime Minster emphasized the importance of involving the health sector in the Gaza Strip in the Institute’s activities to enhance cooperation between West Bank and Gaza Strip in the field of public health and health care. Dr Hamdallah appointed his advisor, Mr Mazen Jadallah, as his focal point at the Office of the PM to follow up with the transition of the project into an autonomous agency for scientific work and public health guidance.  

Mr Torgersbråten conveyed the support of Norway to the Palestinian Authority, especially in their state building activities, as exemplified by the PNIPH. Dr Hamdallah thanked the Norwegians for their support to Palestine and WHO for their engagement and activities. 

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