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

Health Laboratory Strengthening

Under the revised IHR, countries are required to develop the capacity to detect, investigate and report to the international community through WHO, potential public health emergencies of international concern, such as disease outbreaks. A credible and accessible laboratory service capable of producing reliable results in a timely manner is a cornerstone of any country's capacity to investigate such events.

Although in recent years there have been significant advances in laboratory capacity, in many countries reliable confirmation of suspected infectious diseases is hindered by a lack of standardized methods, sufficient funds, suitably trained staff and laboratory supplies.