Challenges in IHR implementation

The International Health Regulations (2005) is a good instrument for global health preparedness. Donor countries will find in the IHR many reasons for and ways to investing in public health systems. These were the messages in Preben Aavitsland’s presentation to an international audience at a meeting at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health on December 12, 2013.

The «Stakeholder Meeting about Global Health Preparedness» aimed to examine the role of the IHR in strengthening surveillance systems during crises and in peacetime in low and middle income countries. The summary of Aavitsland’s presentation reads:

«The IHR (2005) is a major step forward in international public health as it introduces a new international surveillance system, including obligations on Member States to build capacities to detect and handle events. The 2011 review of the IHR showed several shortcomings in the implementation. The needs are better surveillance systems, better field epidemiology capacity, improved laboratory capacity, and improved facilities for treatment and isolation. IHR asks Member States to assist and collaborate with other countries in building such capacities. Annex 1 of the IHR can be seen as a priority list for such assistance.»

The whole presentation is here.