The institutionalization of preventive activity in Macedonia began in the twenties of the last century. Hygiene Institute, whose function was the protection and promotion of health, was established under the auspices of Dr. Andrea Shtampar and with contributing from Rockefeller Foundation in Skopje, 1924. This preventive medical institution was operating in conditions in which infectious diseases were the main feature of the period’s national pathology. However, the foundations of the modern organization and achievements in preventive medical care in Macedonia and the Institute of public health in Macedonia, as a top institution specializing in this field, were set just before the World War II.
As a result of the efforts of the Institute of public health to improve water supply, by 1990, already 70 percent of the rural population drank hygienic drinking water (tap water) in their homes, according to WHO criteria. Malaria, typhoid and polio were eradicated.
The number of infectious diseases was decreasing steadily. The institution bore the name National Institute for medical care until 2009. With health reforms and the development of scientific research, the institution has been re-branded as Institute of Public Health, that works within accredited laboratories for testing of water, food, medicines, general consumption … which are also a reference to Macedonia and the wider region. The main progress was made after the application of European standards through education, promotion and evaluation of standards in health sector and implementation of HACCP through educational courses.
The main activity of the Institute of Public Health of the Republic’s health care is prevention through monitoring, researching and studying of health condition, the causes and spread of communicable and non-communicable diseases of social and medical importance, the impact of environmental factors and taking measures for protection and promotion of health.
The activity of IPH defined in the health care law and other legislation is run through the collection, processing and analysis of data, organization and planning of health care, research and monitoring of hygiene and other conditions for the protection of air, food products, general items use, drinking water, wastewater and solid waste materials, participation in preventive sanitary supervision over construction and other facilities, monitoring and implementation of active measures to protect the population from infectious and other diseases, the study of nutrition and proposing measures to overcome the consequences of improper diet, keeping health statistics, and determining the unique professional-methodological doctrine, proposing and participation in unique health programs, conducting reference laboratory analysis, coordination of medical care centers in Macedonia, establishing and implementing measures to disasters, accident emergencies, participation in educational activities and creation and implemention of professional medical doctrines in their field of expertise.
Control of medicaments, medical substances and supplements, hygiene and cosmetics. IPH is a reference center for identification and control of harmful biological and chemical agents. Institute of Public Health of the Republic coordinates tasks related to legislation in collaboration with regional health centers, the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning, Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, Ministry of Interior, institutes and other health institutions in the public and private health, Local self government, NGOs, retailers, manufacturers, trading companies, and other entities related to the activity performed by this institution. The cooperation with the Institute of Public Health is in (the) interest of the population of Macedonia, because preventive care is a postulate of a healthy and long life.