• PHA highlights the importance of stopping smoking during pregnancyPHA highlights the importance of stopping smoking during pregnancy

    Smoking during pregnancy is the largest preventable cause of ill-health and death in young babies and infants.

    Statistics from the 2010 Infant Feeding Survey show that in Northern Ireland 28% of mothers smoked in the 12 months before pregnancy. It is encouraging that of those mothers who smoked before or during pregnancy, approximately half gave up at some point before the birth of their baby. Sadly, 15% didn’t stop and continued to smoke during pregnancy [see reference].

  • Remember to wash your hands after visiting the farmRemember to wash your hands after visiting the farm

    Now that schools are finished for the summer and parents are thinking of activities to keep their children entertained, the Public Health Agency (PHA) is reminding families about the importance of washing hands after visiting the farm.

    All animals naturally carry a range of organisms, some of which can be transmitted to people. Some organisms which may be contracted on farms present a serious hazard and can potentially cause severe infection, particularly in young children.

    To reduce the risk of illness, both adults and children should wash their hands thoroughly using soap and water after they have handled animals or touched surfaces at the farm and always before eating or drinking.

  • ‘Spell it out’ during Transplant Awareness Week‘Spell it out’ during Transplant Awareness Week

    The Public Health Agency (PHA) is urging everyone in Northern Ireland to “spell it out” when it comes to their organ donation wishes by telling their family and friends that they want to be a donor and by signing the NHS Organ Donor Register.

    The call coincides with National Transplant Awareness Week, which runs from 7-13 July.

    Dr Eddie Rooney, Chief Executive of the PHA and Chair of the Northern Ireland Committee for Organ Donation, said: “There have been great improvements in donation over recent years in Northern Ireland. In 2013/14 we had a record number of live kidney donations and associated transplants (53 in 12/13 to 61 in 13/14) and an increase in deceased donations (40 in 12/13 to 46 in 13/14).

  • PHA expresses concerns on e-cigarettesPHA expresses concerns on e-cigarettes

    The Public Health Agency (PHA) is urging caution on the use of electronic cigarettes, known as ‘e-cigarettes’, saying it is too early to determine whether suggested benefits outweigh potential risk.

    Devices currently on the market do not meet appropriate standards of safety and quality. The level of risk associated with their use is not known. Their contents are particularly dangerous for children, and if swallowed, could be potentially fatal.

    Gerry Bleakney, Strategic Lead for Tobacco Control at the PHA, said: “The Public Health Agency recommends that members of the public who wish to stop smoking and are ready to do so should avail of one of over 600 free stop smoking services across Northern Ireland, commissioned by the PHA. These services, based in community pharmacies, GP surgeries, hospitals, community centres and workplaces, provide personal support and free nicotine replacement therapy, such as gum or patches. 

  • Working in the sun safelyWorking in the sun safely

    With the recent spell of good weather, the Public Health Agency (PHA) and Cancer Focus Northern Ireland are reminding people who work outdoors to ensure that they protect themselves from skin damage that may result from sun exposure.

    Sun protection was recently the focus of an event at Greenmount College led by PHA and Cancer Focus NI, with representatives from a diverse range of outdoor occupations.

Visit Want2Stop Visit Lifeline Visit Minding Your Head Visit Organ Donation NI Visit Choose to Live Better

The switchboard number for the PHA’s Headquarters at Linenhall Street, Belfast has changed to 0300 555 0114. Click here for more information.


The Public Health Agency (PHA) was established in April 2009 as part of the reforms to Health and Social Care (HSC) in Northern Ireland. We are the major regional organisation for health protection and health and social wellbeing improvement. Our role also commits us to addressing the causes and associated inequalities of preventable ill-health and lack of wellbeing. We are a multi-disciplinary, multi-professional body with a strong regional and local presence.


In fulfilling our mandate to protect public health, improve public health and social wellbeing, and reduce inequalities in health and social wellbeing, the PHA works within an operational framework of three areas: Public Health, Nursing and Allied Health Professionals, and Operations. Our corporate and business plans reflect these arrangements and our purpose as an organisation.

Public Health

Nursing and Allied Health Professions



PHA highlights the importance of stopping smoking during pregnancy

Wednesday, 23 July 2014 - News

Smoking during pregnancy is the largest preventable cause of ill-health and death in young babies and infants.

Statistics from the 2010 Infant Feeding Survey show that in Northern Ireland 28% of mothers smoked in the 12 months before pregna...

Summary CDI and MRSA incidence tables, 1st April 2006 to present

Tuesday, 22 July 2014 - Publication

Summary Tables for Clostridium difficile and MRSA (Meticillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus) cases 2006/07 to 2013/14

Surveillance of Influenza in Northern Ireland 2013-2014

Wednesday, 16 July 2014 - Publication

The 2013/14 influenza season started later than in 2012/13, it did not last as long and was noted at generally lower levels throughout than the previous season. Clinical indices began to increase in early January and peaked in mid-March,...

Workplace Active Travel Programme

Wednesday, 9 July 2014 - News

Organisations are invited to submit proposals to the Public Health Agency (PHA) for the development and delivery of a three-year pilot Workplace Active Travel Programme.

This programme will be delivered in four sites and will...