Alert, response, and capacity building under the International Health Regulations (IHR)

The International Health Regulations (1969)

The International Health Regulations (1969) were first introduced to help monitor and control four serious diseases that had significant potential to spread between countries, and involve:

  • Notification of cases:
    • WHO Member States are obliged to notify WHO for a single case of cholera, plague or yellow fever, occurring in humans in their territories, and give further notification when an area is free from infection.
    • These notifications are reported in WHO's Weekly Epidemiological Record.
  • Health-related rules for international trade and travel.
  • Health organization: Measures for deratting, disinfecting, and disinsecting international conveyances (ships, aircraft, etc.) are to be implemented at points of arrival and departure (ports, airports and frontier posts). The health measures called for are the maximum measures that a state may apply for the protection of its territory against cholera, plague and yellow fever.
  • Health documents required: Requirements are included for health and vaccination certificates for travellers from infected to non-infected areas; deratting/deratting exemption certificates; health declarations- Maritime Declaration of Health; Aircraft General Declaration.
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