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

IHR News

The WHO quarterly bulletin on IHR implementation

What's new in IHR coordination and support

IFRC, UNICEF, WHO consultation on communication interventions in selected outbreaks, 13-14 December, 2012, Geneva, Switzerland

IFRC hosted a jointly organized consultation which brought together a multidisciplinary group from infection prevention and control; risk communication, communication-for-development; epidemiologists and disease experts; applied communication scholars and researchers; and outbreak analysis and modeling. The main aim of this preliminary meeting was to generate a hypothesis, to be tested, on how to effectively incorporate and measure critical communication inputs necessary to improve epidemic preparedness and response at the local and operational levels.

IHR implementation legal workshop, 28 November – 1 December 2012, Almaty, Kazakhstan

In collaboration with the WHO Regional Office for Europe and selected country office staff, a multi-country workshop on assessment and revision of national legislation for IHR implementation was held from 28 November - 1 December in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The main objectives of the workshop were to provide technical/legal advice and information on assessing and strengthening national legislation, to facilitate IHR implementation, and to support and prepare national experts in conducting the assessment and potential revision of national legislation for public health and IHR implementation. Participating countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. For further information:

Tabletop exercises 3-6 November 2012, Delhi, India

As more countries move from establishing core capacities to monitoring and maintenance, exercises are acknowledged as a means to validate implementation levels in the absence of an actual threat to public health. A three day training workshop was held from 3 to 6 November in Delhi in which 9 SEARO member states as well as country and regional office representatives were trained in how to develop, conduct and evaluate a tabletop exercise in the context of the IHR core capacities. The workshop was followed by a tabletop exercise with the same participants, based on a food product with radiation contamination. A tabletop exercise component is included in each of the regional stakeholder meetings to map unmet needs in IHR implementation. For further information:

IHR training toolkit for epidemiologists

The main goal of the IHR training toolkit for epidemiologists is to provide epidemiologists with a common competencies framework and related contents -- standard quality materials -- that will contribute to the harmonization of IHR understanding and practices. The toolkit, based on course material developed for the IHR implementation course, is to be used by relevant training institutions (field epidemiology training programmes (FETPs), schools of public health, etc.) to design and deliver customized training modules on the IHR adapted to local context and needs, and to be integrated into existing courses/training programmes for epidemiologists. The concept and potential contents of the toolkit were presented and discussed during a pre-conference workshop during the 7th TEPHINET Conference in Amman, Jordan, on 10 November 2012. The workshop gathered more than 45 participants, mainly FETP directors and programme coordinators, CDC resident advisors, representatives of ministries of health and FETP trainees. Participants were largely in favour of this toolkit and provided valuable input on its draft content and structure. A selected number of them, representing the 6 WHO regions, joined a working group to validate further stages of the toolkit development. A draft version of the training toolkit for epidemiologists will be ready for field-testing by the second quarter of 2013.
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IHR implementation course

Following the delivery of 3 IHR implementation courses over the past 2 years, WHO commissioned an independent consultant to carry out a comprehensive evaluation of the project. This evaluation was conducted from March to October 2012. It collected and reviewed evidence from the three courses to determine 1) the relevance of the course to IHR and to WHO support to Member States implementing IHR; 2) the effectiveness of the course design and delivery; 3) the impact of the course on individual learning; 4) whether or not the course is sustainable, and 5) whether it is cost-effective. The evaluation concluded that the IHR i-course is effective at enabling participants to increase capacities related to IHR, and to use these to directly support IHR implementation. The IHR i-course has achieved demonstrable impact in how it supports Member States. Evidence indicates that the IHR i-course is an integral element to capacity-building for IHR implementation, as it gives participants practical tools and approaches for IHR implementation while creating a common understanding of IHR. Based on the outcomes of this evaluation, as well as on outcomes of the regional stakeholders meetings, WHO will explore various options concerning the future of the IHR i-course, taking into account financial prospects in the mid to long term as well as learning priorities on IHR at country level. For further information: