The WHO quarterly bulletin on IHR implementation
What's new in the WHO regions
AFRO: Biorisk Management and Infectious Substances Shipping Training for English-speaking African countries in Dar-Es-Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania
WHO held the WHO Biorisk Management Training course and Infectious Substances Shippers Training course for English-speaking African countries in Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania, from 11 to 15 July 2011. The former introduces the new concept of biorisk management, which combines risk assessment, risk mitigation, and performance systems. The latter is designed to train and certify shippers of infectious substances against applicable international transport regulations. The course covers the following topics: shipping terms, categorization, packaging, marking and labelling, documentation and refrigeration. The course is recognized by the air transport authority International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
AFRO: Surveillance Project in Central Africa – SURVAC
The SURVAC project aims to improve disease control by strengthening the surveillance and response capacity in three countries in Central Africa: Cameroon, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The project which is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is managed by the WHO Intercountry Support Team for Central Africa, based in Libreville, and is implemented by the Country Office in each of the three countries with the support of the Regional Office for Africa and the IHR Department, in coordination with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the CDC Foundation. Pilot tests are currently ongoing to set up data management systems, standard operating procedures and SMS data transmission tools in order to collect and transmit disease surveillance data.
AFRO and EURO: Biorisk Management Advanced Trainer Programme in Prague, Czech Republic and in Bamako, Mali
In September, two sessions of the Biorisk Management Advanced Trainer Programme were organized, one in English in the Czech Republic, 12–22 September 2011, and the other one in French in Mali, 19–29 September 2011. The courses introduced the new concept of biorisk management, which combines risk assessment, risk mitigation, and performance systems. They targeted professionals in biosafety, biosecurity training and education, and gave participants an opportunity to use a robust methodology to identify and control the risks associated with pathogens in bioscience laboratories. These highly interactive workshops built the knowledge and skills of individuals who train and educate others in the biorisk management community. The workshops increased the number of qualified trainers able to support biorisk management globally. The courses brought together biosafety and laboratory training experts from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania in Prague, and from Algeria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Senegal in Bamako. Newly trained trainers are expected to carry out at least two follow-up training courses in biorisk management in their countries or regions within a year of taking the WHO Biorisk Management Advanced Trainer Programme course.
PAHO/AMRO: Second Regional IHR implementation meeting
The Second meeting on IHR implementation in the Americas was organized by PAHO/AMRO and held from 31 August to 3 September 2011 in Cancun, Mexico. The meeting included 90 participants from the National IHR Focal Points from all States Parties in the Region, strategic partners, representatives of sub-regional integration initiatives and PAHO/WHO staff. The objectives of the meeting were to share updates on the status of IHR implementation and discuss critical topics in depth, provide an opportunity for intersectoral IHR-related advocacy and facilitate the institutionalization of IHR functions through the mobilization of sustainable resources. Priority areas for requiring additional guidance include points of entry and the positioning of the National IHR Focal Points.
SEARO/WPRO: TAG meeting
The First Meeting since the launch in 2010 of the Asia Pacific Technical Advisory Group (TAG) on the Asia Pacific Strategy for Emerging Diseases (APSED) 2010 took place in Manila, Philippines, from 24 to 29 July 2011. The meeting was co-organized by WPRO and SEARO and brought together representatives from 14 countries in the WHO Western Pacific Region and 3 countries from the WHO South-East Asia Region, partner agencies and WHO headquarters. The main objectives of the meeting were to review the outcome of national level consultations and planning on development of national workplans for managing emerging diseases, develop a draft 5-year workplan for implementation of the updated APSED 2010 strategy and recommend common priority activities for 2012. APSED serves as a roadmap to enable all countries in the Region to fulfil the requirements of the revised IHR, thus ensuring regional health security and contributing towards the global IHR goal.