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The Building Stronger Public Health Institutions and Systems (BIS) Program in Ethiopia

Under the BIS program, NIPH is collaborating with Ethiopia to contribute to strengthening public health capacity with the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI).

Illustrative photo of street in Ethiopia
Busy street in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Photo: Colourbox.com

Under the BIS program, NIPH is collaborating with Ethiopia to contribute to strengthening public health capacity with the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI).

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Aims of the BIS Collaboration in Ethiopia

Environmental health is an important part of any comprehensive public health system. At NIPH, our key activities in the field of environmental health include research, emergency preparedness, laboratory services, investigations, and consultancy, both at national and international levels. 

Our collective aim through this collaboration is to establish practices of systematic collection of quality information, analyses and research and enhance uptake for decision making. Our overarching ambition is to strengthen both Ethiopia and Norway’s public health institutions towards competent and resilient public health systems.

The focus area of this collaboration is to conduct environmental epidemiological studies to understand the consequences of air pollution and climate change on population health. This collaboration is facilitated by the recruitment of one PhD student to be funded under the BIS program. Closer institutional collaboration between NIPH and EPHI will be facilitated through an MoU.

EthAir Project Updates

August 2022 - the ISEE conference

The BIS Ethiopia team, with members from NIPH and EPHI, participated at the 34th annual conference of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE).

The ISEE's mission is to:  

  • foster epidemiological studies on the effects of environmental exposures in people 
  • stimulate communication between health professionals 
  • sromote methodological advances 
  • strengthen environmental health policy 

Our vision and expected impact of the BIS-Ethiopia collaboration mirror these principles.

This flagship project under the BIS-Ethiopia collaboration was presented in a poster  called "The EthAir project: Deciphering the burden of air pollution in Ethiopia - A project under the Building Stronger Public Health Institutions (BIS) program." The submitted abstract and poster were co-written by NIPH and EPHI researchers. The abstract will be published in a special issue in Environmental Health Perspectives, one of the most prestigious journals in the environmental health field.

Environmental inequalities, the global aspects of environmental health and the visibility of the work in LMICs were a major part in the conference program, reflecting how society has recognized the urgency to think globally and how environmental hazards know no borders. “Capacity building of LMIC researchers and more research collaboration between global north and south will further improve public health” noted Dr. Adetoun Mustapha, Adjunct Associate Professor from the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research and Councilor for Africa in ISEE Global Council.

The BIS Ethiopia project collaboration between NIPH and our partners at the Ethiopian Public Health Institute is well underway. Our next steps include moving forward with the EthAir project, as well as a joint effort to apply for Horizon Europe project funding together with more collaborators and partners. 

History of Collaboration with Ethiopia

The NIPH has engaged in collaboration with partners in Ethiopia over many years. Collaboration has included several institutions, such as the Armauer Hansen Research Institute and several academic institutions. Over the past years, the Ethiopian Institute of Public Health (EPHI) has joined IANPHI and is currently a member of the Board. There has been contact between the NIPH and the EPHI, and a delegation from NIPH-led by Director Camilla Stoltenberg visited Addis Ababa in December 2019, in connection with the IANPHI General Assembly.   

We have for the past year established contact with EPHI through work related to a Lancet commission, a joint NFR proposal and in preparation for this proposal. EPHI is also closely involved with Africa CDC in supporting the development and strengthening of NPHIs in Africa. 

NIPH Collaborative Team