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

Laboratory Biorisk Management

Under the International Health Regulations (IHR), all States Parties have made a legally binding commitment to assess, develop and maintain their national core capacities for surveillance, assessment and response. Appropriate laboratory capacities are essential to a wide range of public health operations for all States Parties, and are specifically identified as IHR core capacities (IHR Annex 1A.6).

Laboratory services are essential to identify and confirm the agents involved in public health events, including those which may cause public health emergencies of international concern (PHEIC). To meet the IHR requirements, each State Party needs access to laboratory services, domestically or internationally.

Rapid access to laboratory services should rely on adequate sample collection and transport systems. Strong laboratory biorisk management measures and laboratory quality systems should then ensure that laboratories release results in a safe, secure, timely and reliable manner.

The management of laboratory biorisk is addressed through the implementation of appropriate biosafety and biosecurity measures.