This article in The Lancet examines the role of national public health institutes (NPHIs) in dealing with health emergencies in the Eastern Mediterranean region. NPHIs are science-based organisations or networks concerned with public health functions in countries. The Covid-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of NPHIs and their potential in future emergency preparedness and response (EPR).
A 2022 global review acknowledged the contribution of more than 13 NPHIs in the Eastern Mediterranean region during the pandemic and called for more clarity on the future role of NPHIs in EPR. These NPHIs have different governance models, organisational mandates, capacities and links within national and global systems—and this complexity raises questions about how they should best be engaged in EPR.