Strengthening health security by implementing the International Health Regulations (2005)

IHR Committees

Yellow fever vaccination, Angola
EPA

19 May 2016 – The first WHO convened Emergency Committee on yellow fever has met in response to the ongoing outbreak of the disease in central Africa. While not considering the outbreak as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, the Committee emphasized the serious national and international risks posed by urban yellow fever outbreaks and offered advice on immediate actions to be taken.

Core functions of the IHR

<b>Prevent<b/><br />Build capacity in countries to minimize disease and prevent the escalation of public health emergencies.<br /><br /><b>Detect<b/><br />Gather and analyze public health data to rapidly detect health security risks as they develop.<br /><br /><b>Inform<b/><br />Keep stakeholders informed with essential facts about public health events that affect them, and report public health risks to WHO.<br /><br /><b>Respond<b/><br />Protect public health by responding with actions and resources where and when they are needed.<br /><br /><b>Facilitate<b/><br />Coordinate WHO's work with partners so that together we can help countries build capacity for health security.

In today’s connected world, health security is a global issue. We must all protect ourselves, and each other, from threats like infectious diseases, chemical and radiological events.
That is why 196 countries have agreed to work together to prevent and respond to public health crises. The agreement is called the International Health Regulations, or IHR (2005), and WHO plays the coordinating role. Through the IHR, WHO keeps countries informed about public health risks, and works with partners to help countries build capacity to detect, report and respond to public health events.

Ebola is no longer a public health emergency of international concern

IHR Emergency Committee on Ebola, 29 March 2016
WHO/C. Black

29 March 2016 -- The 9th meeting of the Emergency Committee convened by the WHO Director-General under the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR) regarding the Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa took place on 29 March 2016. In the Committee’s view, the Ebola situation in West Africa no longer constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern and the temporary recommendations adopted in response should now be terminated.

Learning

Interactive session during the first IHR implementation course.

Strengthening the competencies, including the knowledge and skills, of public health personnel is critical to the sustainment of public health surveillance and response at all levels of the health system and the effective implementation of the IHR.

WHO provides leadership and contributes to building the capacity of public health professionals working on the implementation of the IHR; it has fostered the development and offers a variety of learning solutions, including training activities, materials and tools, tailored to specific needs of public health workers and partner institutions.

In focus


Highlights

IHR national capacities

All States Parties are required to have or to develop minimum core public health capacities to implement the IHR (2005) effective in accordance with articles 5 and 13 of the IHR (2005).