Strengthening health security by implementing the International Health Regulations (2005)

IHR News

The WHO quarterly bulletin on IHR implementation

What's new in the WHO regions

AFRO: International Scientific Meeting on Nodding Syndrome, 30 July-1 August 2012, Kampala, Uganda

WHO, in collaboration with the MOH-Uganda and CDC convened the first ever scientific meeting on NS in Kampala-Uganda. The meeting, convened by the Ministry of Health, Uganda in collaboration with WHO and the US Centers for Disease Control, brought together over 100 technical staff from the Ministries of Health from Tanzania, South Sudan and Uganda, training and research Institutions, local NGOs supporting NS interventions, training and research institutions, technical and bilateral partners. The meeting created a forum for sharing information from research on NS and experiences from countries. It aimed at defining the critical research agenda for NS based on knowledge gaps, defining and/or recommending interventions for management and control of NS based on current information, harmonizing surveillance case definitions and defining a collaborative framework for taking forward the recommendations from the meeting.

EMRO: Sub-regional meetings workshops on IHR national legislation, 2−4 July 2012, Marrakech, Morocco, and 9−11 September 2012, Cairo, Egypt

National IHR Focal Points as well as legal advisors from Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco,Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Yemen attended the meeting. The delegates discussed and exchanged country experiences and challenges in strengthening legislative capacity to implement IHR (2005). Key objectives of the meeting were to identify main gaps in legislation capacities; identify appropriate mechanisms and solutions to address these gaps; and propose a set of recommendations to improve legislation capacities and compliance with IHR (2005).

EMRO: Sub-regional meetings on laboratory capacities as per the requirements of IHR (2005), 5−6 July 2012, Marrakech, Morocco, and 12−13 September 2012, Cairo, Egypt

Participants included two representatives from each of the countries, the IHR Focal Point within the country’s Ministry of Health and a laboratory staff member serving as, or soon to be designated as, the IHR laboratory coordinator. Half of the Eastern Mediterranean Region countries participated in the first meeting, and the remainder were represented at the second meeting. The objectives of the meetings were to: provide an overview the global and regional situation for laboratory capacities under IHR (2005); propose a framework to establish a link between National IHR Focal Points and laboratories; assure the importance of establishing Laboratory Quality Management System (LQMS); and draw the attention to the importance of networking and collaboration with other sectors in building laboratory capacities.

EURO: Mass gatherings support to European Football Championship, 8 June−1 July 2012 and Olympic and Paralympic games, 27 June−12 August 2012

Activities included the deployment of a technical expert to Poland and Ukraine to support preparedness activities, produce a travellers’ health leaflet in 6 languages and holding multi-country workshops on IHR implementation. Support was provided for the Olympic and Paralympic games in collaboration with the UK Health Protection agency, the WHO Collaborating Centre on Mass gatherings since 2011. Joint activities included the development of a tool for planning and risk assessment in preparation for major mass gatherings and an assessment of health-system crisis preparedness, carried out with the national authorities.

PAHO/AMRO: Laboratory Quality Management System Training of Trainers in the Caribbean, 11-16 June 2012, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

This workshop was designed to strengthen regional and national public health laboratory networks in quality management systems (QMS) through the training of a cadre of laboratory quality officers within the Caribbean region. It was co-organized by WHO, PAHO, and the Caribbean Epidemiology Centre (CAREC), and is part of the PAHO and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) joint initiative on Laboratory QMS (LQMS) implementation in a stepwise improvement process. 29 participants from 20 CAREC Member Countries received training on the 12 Quality System Essentials (QSE) using the WHO LQMS Training Toolkit (developed by WHO, CDC, and the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI)) and on adult learning and communication techniques. The main objectives were for participants to understand the concepts of the 12 QSE on which the LQMS Training Toolkit is based and become more familiar with the toolkit; and acquire the skills to become trainers themselves and design and organize laboratory quality management workshops in their countries.

SEARO: Review of IHR core capacities in Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, 23 July−1 August 2012

The review of IHR core capacities included interviews with the National IHR Focal Point and with staff from public health institutes and health facilities at points of entry. Recommendations and follow up activities have been made based on gaps and needs identified in the course of the review.

WPRO: 21st Meeting of the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) on Immunization and Vaccine Preventable Diseases in the Western Pacific Region, 21-23 August 2012, Manila, Philippines

The TAG provides a forum for technical discussion of new developments in immunization, ensures acceptability of TAG recommendations, provides an opportunity for Member States and partners to learn from each other's experiences and challenges and receive advice from the TAG with special emphasis on targeted disease control goals (measles/rubella, hepatitis B, poliomyelitis, maternal and neonatal tetanus). introducing new and underutilized vaccines, strengthening routine immunization systems, vaccine safety and security, and resource mobilization. The objectives of the 21st meeting were to review progress, identify obstacles and recommend key actions required to achieve the regional goals of measles elimination, rubella and hepatitis B control and maintaining poliomyelitis-free status; identify priority areas for strengthening immunization systems; propose ways forward to accelerate the introduction of new vaccines and technologies in the Region.