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Postcards from the field
Narodowy Instytut Zdrowia Publicznego - Państwowy Zakład Higieny (PZH) 



Contact details
Prof. Andrzej Zielinski
National Institute of Public Health – National Institute of Hygiene (PZH)
Department of Epidemiology
Chocimska 24
00-791 Warsaw, Poland
Tel +48 22 54 21 204
Fax +48 22 54 21 327


Description of the Institute
PZH was established in 1918 and is the national public health institute appointed by the Polish Ministry of Health to act in different areas of preventive medicine. Its activities relate to epidemiology of communicable and chronic diseases, food safety, environmental health, and health promotion. PZH supervises a national network of public health laboratories (sanitary-epidemiological stations). Four PZH departments are involved in communicable disease surveillance: Department of Epidemiology, Department of Bacteriology, Department of Virology and Department of Parasitology. All four departments strictly cooperate in terms of surveillance, research and training of local public health officers. The mission of the Department of Epidemiology is analysis of surveillance data, supervision of communicable diseases notification system, design and implementation of field studies, providing a link with international surveillance networks.

The Department has WHO collaborating centres for polio, measles, influenza and participates in the EU Dedicated Surveillance Networks: EUVAC-NET, ENTER-NET, EURO-HIV and other. The Department participates actively in the work of ECDC. Our scientists and highly skilled technical personnel work in a beautiful almost 100-year old building in the centre of Warsaw. It has a Public Health Training Centre (member of ASPHER) and a library with a wide spectrum of public health journals. Additionally, a national medical library adjacent to the Institute offers access to a wide range of scientific journals.

Training oportunities
The EPIET fellow, depending on his/her areas of interest, will participate in analysis of surveillance data, assessment of surveillance systems, vaccine efficacy studies, and/or development of serological surveys and field studies.

The fellow will be invited to join the currently developed projects at the Department of Epidemiology:

  • Development of predictive models for tick-borne encephalitis incidence (project funded by the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD)
  • Cross-sectional survey assessing the prevalence of blood-borne infections among intravenous-drug users in Poland (funded by National Bureau for Drug Prevention)
  • Assessment of burden of food-borne zoonoses in Poland (several ongoing studies partly supported by MED-VET-NET – Network of Excellence)
The fellow will also participate in field investigations in local health departments. There will be opportunities to participate in workshops and training courses carried out in PZH and to present its own results on local and international conferences. The fellow is expected to write scientific reports and articles. Other opportunities will be to learn practical skills in microbiological diagnostic methods in PZH reference laboratories, or to analyze surveillance data with the assistance of times-series experts from the Department of Medical Statistics.

Training supervision
The EPIET fellow will be based in Department of Epidemiology, but he/she will be invited to projects in other departments, as needed. He/she will have access to optimal office space, with computer equipment, and access to both Intranet and Internet. The fellow will be fully integrated in the team and will have access to all information and databases of the Department.

The following resource people, working in the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology will serve as supervisors for EPIET training:

  • Pawel Stefanoff, MD, MS in Epidemiology, with expertise in epidemiology of vaccine-preventable diseases and tick-borne diseases, teaching epidemiology, including EPIET introductory courses in 2005-2008.
  • Magda Rosinska, MD, MS in Biostatistics, MS in Mathematics, with expertise in epidemiology of HIV/AIDS, infectious disease modeling, teaching epidemiology and biostatistics.
  • Malgosia Sadkowska-Todys, PhD, with expertise in epidemiology of food-borne infections, outbreak investigations, molecular biology.

Language requirements
Most researchers do speak English, but administrative and technical staff do usually not. Knowledge of Polish will be of great value during fieldwork.

Training history
Number of EPIET Fellows trained at institute: 1 (2008)

Available as a training site for cohort 15: Yes