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

IHR News

The WHO quarterly bulletin on IHR implementation

What's new in IHR coordination and support?

WHO Secretariat’s report to the 62nd World Health Assembly

The IHR Department has updated the report submitted to the WHO Executive Board for submission to the next World Health Assembly. This report will soon be posted on the WHO web site in the six official languages of the Organization. To facilitate States' reporting to the Assembly a questionnaire was sent out early in the year. The responses are still being received and will be compiled into a summary report and shared with National IHR Focal Points once completed.

WHO Risk Communication Working Group meeting, 4–5 March 2009, Lyon, France

The WHO IHR Risk Communication Working Group gathered risk communication experts and practitioners from national health authorities, regional organizations, UN Agencies and WHO to explore existing and required risk communication capacity building strategies. Building from the designation of risk communication as one of the eight National Level Core Capacities for Surveillance and Response the specific objectives of the meeting were to:

  • share details of ongoing or planned risk communication capacity building strategies
  • consider the definition of risk communication for public health emergencies
  • recommend core capacities and key indicators for risk communication under the IHR.

A meeting report detailing the recommendations of the Working Group will be released shortly.
For more information please contact John Rainford, Project Manager, Risk Communication
at +33(0)4 72 71 64 80 or

Informal consultation on the development of an International Training Programme “International Health Regulations Implementation Course”
11–13 March 2009, Lyon, France

Following a first meeting held in Geneva in December 2008, this meeting gathered 19 participants from the University of Pretoria South Africa, Georgetown University Law Centre USA, the Universities of Lausanne and Geneva Switzerland, and WHO Headquarters, to work on the design of a training programme to strengthen/develop the critical human resources engaged in the implementation of IHR. This meeting made it possible to specify learning objectives and related topics for the whole course. The first session of the course is planned for February 2010, targerting professionals from all Member States. For more information please contact

IHR implementation in national legislation: three legal toolkits

IHR Coordination Geneva has released three documents to assist countries to integrate the IHR requirements into their existing national legislation:

  • A brief introduction to IHR (2005) implementation in national legislation
  • Toolkit for IHR (2005) implementation in national legislation: The National IHR Focal Point
  • Toolkit for IHR (2005) implementation in national legislation: Questions and answers, legislative reference and assessment tool, and examples of national legislation

These documents are available online. They will soon be available in the six official WHO languages.

International Travel and Health

The 2009 edition of the WHO publication International Travel and Health (ITH) is now available online on the new ITH web site (French version available shortly). The new site now also features:

  • an interactive map for yellow fever and malaria country requirements and information;
  • updated and improved disease distribution maps;
  • updates for travellers;
  • useful country web links on travel and health;
  • a poster to advertise the ITH 2009 edition; and
  • a poster for health clinics.
“Surveillance under the International Health Regulations (2005)”

This article (currently available in German only) lays out the main obligations for States Parties and for WHO in the revised Regulations and explores future challenges for the global community to contain or reduce the risk from public health threats that may spread between countries. Published in PubMed, US National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, 12 February 2009.