The WHO quarterly bulletin on IHR implementation
What's new in IHR coordination and support
3rd IHR implementation course
The third edition of the IHR implementation course, aiming at strengthening critical human resources to set up and manage systems for securing global public health under the IHR implementation framework, ended on 26 February 2012. The 3rd cohort was composed of 35 participants, representing 26 countries in five WHO regions. After more than four months of distance learning, participants gathered in Annecy, France, for the face-to-face session, from 30 January to 10 February 2012. After completion of the course, a large majority of participants reported that the course content was relevant to their work and provided them with applicable theoretical information. Participants also valued this course as a great opportunity to initiate or reinforce networking. With this third edition of the IHR i-course, WHO and collaborating institutions have reached the end of the pilot phase of this project. Since March 2010, the first, second and third courses have allowed 89 public health professionals from 57 countries to improve their competencies in a variety of areas related to IHR implementation. Hence, the IHR i-course helped them to become equipped members of a network of professionals that share practical experience and solutions in the face of today’s public health challenges.
Points of entry: Russian version of the Assessment tool for core capacity requirements at designated airports, ports and ground crossings
This document, now available in English, French, Russian and Spanish, was developed to support States Parties in assessing existing capacities and capacity needs at points of entry when deciding which airports, ports and ground crossing to designate under the IHR. The aim of the Assessment is for Member States to develop, strengthen and maintain the IHR public health core capacity requirements at designated ports, airports and ground crossings, related to prevention, early warning and response for public health risks and events. The routine core capacity requirements include facilities, equipment and staff for assessment, medical care and transport of ill travellers, trained personnel for inspection of conveyances; ensuring a safe environment (e.g. water, food, waste); and trained staff and a programme for vector control.
Guide for public health emergency contingency planning at designated points of entry
The guide was designed to assist WHO Member States to bridge the gap between the legal requirements of the IHR (2005) and the pragmatic readiness and response capacity for public health emergencies at designated points of entry. Under the IHR, Member States must comply with the legal requirements set out for designated points of entry. Many countries have prioritized their designation of several international airports, ports or ground crossings, while some countries have chosen to designate only one airport and/or port to handle incoming and departing travellers during public health emergency situations. The document was developed by the SEARO and WPRO, in collaboration with the WHO Office in Lyon and WHO country offices, and with support from countries, ICAO, ASEAN and CDC.
Information to States Parties regarding determination of fulfillment of IHR core capacity requirements for 2012 and potential extensions
This document is for States Parties who would like information and WHO guidance in determining whether they have met or will meet, by the deadline of June 2012, their national core capacity requirements in IHR Annex 1, and whether to seek an extension. States Parties to the IHR are required to develop, strengthen and maintain minimum national core public health capacities and as such, should have developed and been implementing plans of action to ensure that the core capacities required by the IHR are present and functioning throughout their territories by June 2012.
PulseNet Middle East and Global Foodborne Infections Network: Joint meeting in Amman, Jordan, 25 to 29 March 2012
The joint meeting brought together microbiologists, epidemiologists and directors of public health laboratories from 13 Eastern Mediterranean countries with the objective to explore ways to improve and bring synergy of both network activities to better serve the food safety programmes in the Region. This included the assessment of current traditional and molecular laboratory methods for diagnosis and identification of foodborne pathogens; the assessment of current communication and coordination between epidemiologists and laboratory staff members in both networks; the development of joint country action plans for 2012-2013; the provision of hands-on training on Pulse Field Gel Electrophoresis (BioNumerics) analysis and reporting for a national PulseNet database. The overall objective of both PulseNet and the Global Foodborne Infections Network is to strengthen and enhance the capacity of national and regional laboratories in the surveillance of foodborne enteric pathogens isolated from humans, food and animals. This includes improving data flow, epidemiological assessment and investigation of foodborne disease outbreaks. The ultimate goal of both networks is to provide support to countries to fulfill their core capacities, especially in laboratory surveillance, interpretation and assessment to guide control and response.