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

About WHO Department of Global Capacities Alert and Response (GCR)

International Health Regulations implementation

Field Epidemiology, Surveillance and Networks

Under the International Health Regulations (IHR), adopted by the World Health Assembly in 2005, Member States have made a legally binding commitment to detect and report events that may constitute a potential public health emergency of international concern.

The Field Epidemiology, Surveillance and Networks (FSN) team works closely with WHO Regional Offices and in collaboration with other WHO teams in assessing and supporting the acquisition or strengthening of core capacities for surveillance and response as described in Annex 1A of the IHR 1.

The FSN project focuses on the most vulnerable countries and responds to the priorities they have identified.

A need for guidance and tools for strengthening early warning surveillance systems, including electronic tools has been expressed, and also that of establishing stronger links with laboratory- based surveillance and with points of entry.

Strengthening the skills and competencies of public-health personnel has also been set as a priority in the sustainment of public-health surveillance and response at all levels of the health system and in the effective implementation of the IHR.