National Institute of Public Health

Prof. Miroslaw J. Wysocki
Justyna Car
MD, researcher
+48 (22) 542 12 02
+48 (22) 542 13 77
+48 (22) 849 74 84
+48 (22) 542 13 75

National Institute of Public Health
24 Chocimska str.
00-791 Warsaw



The National Institute of Public Health - National Institute of Hygiene (NIPH-NIH) is the main governmental public health reserach institute and the reference centre for the national network of sanitary epidemiological service. It cooperates with public health centres at provinvial level and other medical research institutes and institutions in Poland and abroad.

NIPH-NIH, which is the oldest public health institution in Poland, was created just a few days after the proclamation of the independence of Poland, on 21 November 1918. Together with changes in health and political situation and the development of medical science, the Institute’s functions were also evolving. It has always, however, been performing activities, of a practical and intervention as well as scientific and training nature, in several domains of public health.

At present, the scope of scientific interests of the Institute encompasses issues connected with the prevention of infectious diseases and socially important non-infectious diseases, the monitoring of the population’s health situation, the improvement of hygiene and sanitary conditions as well as the safety of natural environment. The NIPH-NIH is also an important centre of monitoring safety of food and objects of common use.

Moreover, an important part of the NIPH-NIH’s activities constitute: broadly defined health promotion and training specialists in public health. The Institute cooperates with many similar organizations, both national and international (WHO,DG Sanco, ECDC). The Institute also prepares expert’s reports concerning the broadly defined public health for government institutions and participates in the process of creating vital programs concerning public health in Poland (such as the National Health Program 2007-2015 and its monitoring).

Basic goals of NIPH- NIH:

  1. Monitoring the population's health and factors determining diseases.
  2. Quick reaction to health hazards caused by natural disasters, terrorism, epidemics and environmental pollution.
  3. Preventing negative influence of the environment polluted with biological, chemical and physical agents on human health and life.
  4. Health promotion.
  5. Training of the public health sector staff.
  6. Preparation of standards, plans and regulations, creation and assessment of national documents.

International cooperation

The NIPH-NIH extensively cooperates with EU institutions respect to, for instance, preventing and combating zoonoses and controlling HIV infections in Central and Eastern Europe.

The NIPH-NIH represents Poland in the EU’s network for the epidemiological surveillance over infectious diseases (TESSy – The European Surveillance System), coordinated by ECDC (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control). The Institute also cooperates in the creation and development of this network and is responsible for verifying, transferring and updating data about Polish cases of contracting infectious diseases which are under the surveillance in the EU. The Institute maintains epidemiological surveillance over influenza as part of the EISS (European Influenza Surveillance Scheme) and prepares reports about strains of influenza virus for WHO.

The NIPH-NIH also participates in an international project concerning public health genomics and in the EU project, DETERMINE, which concerns, e.g., social and economic determinants of health inequalities .

The NIPH-NIH’s representatives are members of the Advisory Forum of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the Public Health Program Committee of the European Commission.

The Institute cooperates with the WHO Regional Office with respect to the “Health 21” strategy and the Centre for Monitoring and Analyses of Population Health Status of the NIPH-NIH acts as the National Focal Point.

As part of the cooperation with the European Commission in Luxembourg, within the NIPH-PZH the National Focal Point for the “Community Health Program” has been created.


Health in Country

In the context of the project 'Capacity Building for health promotion in Central and Eastern Europe', the Institute elaborated a brief profile of the situation with respect to health promotion in Poland Health Promotion in Poland as well as a Capacity Plan for enhancing health promotion.

Health Status Breifing

The transition period of the 1990s saw a considerable improvement in the health status of the Polish population. This may be related, on the one hand, to the 
economic and social changes that took place and, on the other, to increased health promotion and public health activities as well as the reorganization of health service provision.

More specifically, average life expectancy at birth began to increase in 1993, reaching 80.2 years for women and 71.6 years for men in 2009. Infant mortality has been markedly decreasing, although the rate of improvement has slowed somewhat in recent years. In 2009, the infant mortality rate was 5.6 per 1000 live births, which is still higher than the average rate for the EU27 and the EU15 (4.3 and 3.7, respectively), but lower than the EU12 average.

As in other industrialized countries, cardiovascular diseases are the major cause of death in both men and women, followed by neoplasms and external causes such as injuries and poisoning. As pointed out in a recent report on men’s health by the European Commission, cardiovascular mortality for both genders has not decreased substantially since the early 2000s but has shifted to the older population (aged 65 and above), while premature mortality is nowadays more frequently attributable to neoplasms.

Lifestyle indicators

Gender differences are apparent in lifestyle choices that affect health. A 2007 survey found that 34% of men were daily smokers compared with 23% of women, while the general decrease in smoker numbers slowed down in the mid-2000s (WHO, 2009). An alarming increase in smoking initiation in those aged 13–15 years was also observed in the 1990s. Premature alcoholattributable mortality in Poland was twice as high as the EU15 average in 2002, 
and an overall boom in alcohol consumption was observed after 2003 with a peak in 2008 (9.58 litres of 100% alcohol per capita). The excise tax increase implemented by the government at that point led to a 0.5 litre per capita decrease in 2009.

Research shows that overweight and obesity rates have increased considerably in the adult population (particularly in men), a trend generally observed in eastern Europe after the economic transition. An alarming increase in obesity rates in children aged 6–13 years, particularly among boys living in urban areas, has also been recorded.

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Projects & Programmes

NIPH-NIH participates in many EU programs and networks, e.g.:

  1. EUROHIV (Exchange of epidemiological data on AIDS and HIV infection in Europe)
  2. EPIET (European Programme for Intervention Epidemiology Training)
  3. MedVetNet - Network of Excellence (Network for Prevention and Control of Zoonoses)
  4. EUVAC.NET programs (Surveillance Community Network for Vaccine Preventable Infectious Diseases)
  5. EU-IBIS (European Union Invasive Bacterial Infections Surveillance)
  6. POLYMOD (Improving Public Health Policy in Europe through the Modeling and Economic Evaluation of Interventions for the Control of Infectious Diseases)
  7. IPSE (Improving Patient Safety Europe)
  8. CASCADE (Concerted Action on SeroConversion to AIDS and Heath in Europe)
  9. INSIGHT (International Network of National Public Health Institutes Sharing Information, Expertise and Capabilities in Order to Grapple with Major Health Threats)
  10. VACSATC (Vaccine Safety – Attitudes, Training, Communication)
  11. EQADeBa - Establishment of Quality Assurances for Detection of highly pathogenic Bacteria of potential bioterrorism risk.
  12. PASEO - Building Policy Capacities for Health Promotion Through Physical Activity Among Sedentary Older People.
  13. CLEAR - Climat Change, Environmental Contaminants and Reproductive Health.
  14. VENICE II - Projekt Vaccine European New Integrated Collaboration Effort
  15. EuSANH-ISA Improving Science Advice for Health in Europe, European Science Advice Network for Health.

The Institute is also a member of the International Association of National Public Health Institutes (IANPHI)

News & Publications

  1. Health situation of the Polish population, ed by B. Wojtyniak and P. Goryński, Warsaw, NIPH-NIH 2008 (in Polish)
  2. Wysocki M. J., Zejda J. E.: Development of epidemiology of non-communicable diseases in Poland. W: Walter W. Holland, Jorn Olsen, Charles du V. Florey (ed.): The Development of Modern Epidemiology: Personal Reports From Those Who Were There. Oxford University Press.,Oxford 2007, 385-393.
  3. Cianciara D.: Health Education and Its Workforce in Political Transition – The Case of Poland. W: Leading-Edge Health Education Issues, ed. Lennard V. Sebeki, Nova Science Publishers, Inc., New York, 2008,19-24.
  4. Romanowska M., Nowak I., Brydak L. B., Wojtyła A.: Testing of human specimens for the presence of highly pathogenic zoonotic avian influenza virus A(H5N1) in Poland in 2006-2008 – justified or unnecessary steps? AAEM 2009, 16, 239-247.
  5. Więsik-Szewczyk E., Romanowska M., Mielnik P., Chwalińska-Sadowska H., Brydak L. B., Olesińska M., Ząbek J. Anti-influenza vaccination in systemic lupus erythematosus patients: an analysis of specific humoral rsponse and vaccination safety. Clinical Rhumatology 2010, 29(6), 605-613.
  6. Romanowska M., Banaszkiewicz A., Nowak I., Radzikowski A., Brydak L. B.
    Immunisation against influenza during the 2005/2006 epidemic season and the humoural response in children with diagnosed inflammatory bowel disease Medical Science Monitor 2010, 16(9), CR: 433-439.
  7. Stecko S., Jurczak M., Urbańczyk-Lipkowska Z., Solecka J., Chmielewski M.: Synthesis of pyrrolizidine alkaloids via 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition involving cyclic nitrones and unsaturated lactones, Carbohydrate Research 343, 2215-2220, (2008).
  8. Stecko S., Solecka J., Chmielewski M.: Synthesis of casuarine-related derivatives via 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition between a cyclic nitrone and an unsaturated γ-lactone, Carbohydrate Research 344, 167-176 (2009).
  9. Stecko S., Paśniczek K., Jurczak M., Solecka J., Chmielewski M.: Synthesis of the potential mannosidase inhibitor via 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition involving cyclic nitrowe and unsaturated chiral γ-lactone. Polish J. Chem., 83, (2009).
  10. Stecko S., Jurczak M., Staszewska-Krajewska O., Solecka J. and Chmielewski M.: Synthesis of polyhydroxylated 7-aminopyrrolizidines and 8-aminoindolizidines. Tetrahedron 65, 7056-7063, (2009).
  11. Solecka J., Rajnisz A. and Laudy A. E. A novel isoquinoline alkaloid, DD-carboxypeptidase inhibitor, with antibacterial activity isolated from Streptomyces sp. 8812. Part I: Taxonomy, fermentation, isolation and biological activities. The Journal of Antibiotics advance online publication, 28 August 2009; 65, 7056-7063, 2009 ;doi:10.1038/ja.2009.85.
  12. Solecka J., Sitkowski J., Bocian W., Bednarek E., Kawecki R. and Kozerski L. A novel isoquinoline alkaloid, DD-carboxypeptidase inhibitor, with antibacterial activity isolated from Streptomyces sp. 8812. Part II: Physicochemical properties and structure elucidation. The Journal of Antibiotics advance online publication, 28 August 2009; doi:10.1038/ja.2009.86.
  13. Polcyn P., Jurczak M., Rajnisz A., Solecka J., Urbanczyk-Lipkowska Z.: Design of Antimicrobially Active Small Amphiphilic Peptide Dendrimers. Molecules 2009, 14, 3881-3905; doi:10.3390/molecules14103881.
  14. Skotak K, Świątczak J. Environment and Health. Performance Review. Poland. WHO Regional Office for Europe, 2009.
  15. Quaterly journals
  • Przegląd Epidemiologiczny (since 1947)
  • Medycyna Doświadczalna i Mikrobiologia (since 1949)
  • Roczniki Państwowego Zakładu Higieny (since 1950)

Useful Links



EuroHealthNet illustrates the strong links which exist between health, poverty and social exclusion
European Quality of Life Survey 2012
See video