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Home About Us What the Agency Does International Work

International Work

The Health Protection Agency is now part of Public Health England [external link], an executive agency of the Department of Health.

In 2008, the HPA was awarded £1.9 million and tasked with both improving global health security and undertaking more international health research as part of the UK government’s Health is Global Strategy [external link]. The award was focused on developing a range of sustainable projects to assist the implementation of the WHO International Health Regulations (IHRs) [external link] in priority countries including Brazil, India, China and South Africa, as well as Commonwealth member states. The purpose of the IHRs is to enhance national, regional and global public health security by increasing surveillance and response capacities.

A map detailing the HPA’s international activities 
Click image to view larger (interactive) version 

The map highlights some of the Agency’s key projects, which include:
  • building public health emergency preparedness and response in India through training courses and UK-India staff exchanges
  • developing an influenza surveillance network across South America to detect antiviral drug resistance
  • building meningococcal serology capacity across sub-Saharan Africa through training workshops
  • collaborative working with the WHO to design training materials for the public health management of chemical incidents

Additionally, the agency has funded strategic secondments to key public health institutes overseas. Staff secondees have provided disease surveillance training at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases in South Africa and leadership on local capacity building projects at the Public Health Foundation of India in New Delhi, India.

A further secondment to the Australian National University will develop the agency’s expertise on the health effects of climate change, while another to the Commonwealth Secretariat in London has allowed the agency to make significant contributions in the area of non-communicable diseases. While host organisations benefit directly from each project and secondment, an important aim of these assignments is to forge sustainable long-term links with countries, regions and networks.

For more information see the project and secondment reports.

Professor Anthony Kessel, Director of Public Health Strategy and Medical Director, provides further details on HPA’s legacy global health activities in the audio PowerPoint presentation ‘Global Health: Overview of HPA activities’.

The agency is a member of several international networks, some of which are listed on this list of projects.

PHE regards international partnership and collaboration as a natural extension of the agency’s domestic remit, recognising the transnational nature of many public health threats. Public Health England continues to expand its international activities and welcomes collaboration with other organisations interested in working with these countries.

The agency currently holds Memoranda of Understanding with:

  • National Institute for Communicable Diseases, South Africa
  • Ministry of Health, Socialist Republic of Vietnam
  • National Institute for Food and Drug Control, China

For further information regarding the international work of the agency, please contact us [external link].