1 February 2016 -- WHO Director-General, Margaret Chan, announced today a Public Health Emergency of International Concern regarding the increase in neurological disorders and neonatal malformations. This comes after the Emergency Committee agreed that a link between Zika infection during pregnancy and microcephaly, though not yet scientifically proven, is strongly suspected and constitutes an “extraordinary event” and a public health threat to other parts of the world.
Core functions of the IHR
In today’s connected world, health security is a global issue. We must all protect ourselves, and each other, from threats like infectious diseases, chemical and radiological events.
That is why 196 countries have agreed to work together to prevent and respond to public health crises. The agreement is called the International Health Regulations, or IHR (2005), and WHO plays the coordinating role. Through the IHR, WHO keeps countries informed about public health risks, and works with partners to help countries build capacity to detect, report and respond to public health events.
Handbook for the assessment of capacities at the human-animal interface
This Handbook was developed by WHO and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) to facilitate the assessment of public health capacities in countries for areas in which veterinary services contribute to the implementation of the IHR (2005). It highlights complementarities between the WHO IHR Monitoring Tool and the Performance of Veterinary Services (PVS) Pathway, and aims at facilitating annual reporting on country compliance with IHR (2005) requirements by using the results of the PVS Pathway missions. Through this process, it also endeavours to highlight the importance of the collaboration between the human and animal health sectors.
Strengthening the competencies, including the knowledge and skills, of public health personnel is critical to the sustainment of public health surveillance and response at all levels of the health system and the effective implementation of the IHR.
WHO provides leadership and contributes to building the capacity of public health professionals working on the implementation of the IHR; it has fostered the development and offers a variety of learning solutions, including training activities, materials and tools, tailored to specific needs of public health workers and partner institutions.
Zika virus infection – United States of America - United States Virgin Islands
Circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus – Lao People’s Democratic Republic
1 December 2015
Monitoring and evaluation of functional core capacity to implement the International Health Regulations (2005): IHR Monitoring Framework post 2015
In supporting States Parties to measure their national public health capacities and in accordance with the recommendations of the 2014 IHR Review Committee that WHO consider a variety of approaches for the shorter- and longer-term evaluation and development of IHR core capacities, a concept note exploring options for the way forward was developed in June 2015 to facilitate discussions between States Parties and the WHO Regional Committees and propose options for their consideration.
Following a series of virtual discussion regarding the proposed approaches set out in the concept note, participants from Member States, key international organizations, partners, and WHO regional and headquarters staff met at a technical consultation on 20-22 October in Lyon, France, to further develop the evaluation approach called for by the 2014 IHR Review Committee.
Development, monitoring and evaluation of functional core capacity for implementing the International Health Regulations (2005): Concept note
Technical consultation on monitoring and evaluation of functional core capacity to implement the International Health Regulations (2005), Lyon, France, 20-22 October 2015: Executive summary
Technical consultation on monitoring and evaluation of functional core capacity for implementing the International Health Regulations (2005), Lyon, France, 20-22 October 2015: Key points and recommendations
- Development, monitoring and evaluation of functional core capacity for implementing the International Health Regulations (2005): Concept note
IHR national capacities
All States Parties are required to have or to develop minimum core public health capacities to implement the IHR (2005) effective in accordance with articles 5 and 13 of the IHR (2005).