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

IHR News

The WHO quarterly bulletin on IHR implementation

What's new in risk and disease control?

Polio eradication and control

In response to a polio outbreak originating in Nigeria, an eight-country synchronized vaccination campaign in West Africa was launched on 27 February 2009. Nigeria and seven of its neighbours immunized more than 53 million children over four days and again in late March. More than 162 000 vaccinators implemented the campaign in the affected countries.

Short Field Epidemiology Course
23 March – 8 April 2009, Mauritius

This course was developed within the framework of the Indian Ocean Surveillance and Outbreak Investigation Network (RSIE-COI), launched at the close of 2008. It was organized jointly by the Indian Ocean Commission and WHO (WHO Lyon Office and AFRO), and hosted by the Mauritius Institute of Health. Thirty one professionals from Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, la Réunion (France) and Seychelles, working in the areas of disease control and epidemiological surveillance and response (human and animal health), are attending the course to improve their competencies in the areas of surveillance and investigation. This course constitutes the first major activity of the RSIE-COI and, as such, will make an important contribution to the development of the Network.

WHO Outbreak Communication Planning Guide

The WHO Outbreak Communication Planning Guide, 2008 edition, has now been released. The Guide, developed in collaboration with more than 120 experts and practitioners, provides detailed capacity building recommendations for national public health authorities. To receive an electronic copy, please contact Ms Tiffany Domingo at

Guidance on Regulations for the Transport of Infectious Substances — 2009–2010

These guidelines provide practical guidance to facilitate compliance with current international regulations for the transport of infectious substances and patient specimens by all modes of transport, both nationally and internationally, and include the changes that apply from 1 January 2009. They replace the guidelines issued by WHO in 2007 (document WHO/CDS/EPR/2007.2). Guidance on regulations for the transport of infectious substances – 2009–2010 is available in English and Spanish.

Communicable Disease Alert and Response for Mass Gatherings, Report of the technical workshop
29–30 April 2008, Geneva, Switzerland

This report provides a summary of the discussions and agreements reached during the workshop on mass gatherings held on 29–30 April 2008. The document is designed to help countries hosting mass gatherings to assess the level and nature of the public health risks and the capacity of existing systems and services in order to anticipate public health needs for the duration of the occasion. The main focus of the document is alert and response to outbreaks of communicable diseases, however, the principles and practices described may prove valuable in planning other aspects of mass gatherings. It may be downloaded from the link below.

Core Components for Infection Prevention and Control Programmes:
Report of the Second Meeting of the Informal Network on Infection Prevention and Control in Health Care
26–27 June 2008, Geneva, Switzerland

This report summarizes the discussions and conclusions that came out of the meeting on infection prevention and control (IPC) programmes. It identifies the core components that must be considered in the development of IPC programmes, such as prevention of health care-associated infections in patients, in health-care workers and visitors; preparation of health-care systems for the early detection and management of epidemics and effective response to these; coordinating community response to infectious diseases; prevention of the emergence of antimicrobial resistance and/or dissemination of resistant strains; and minimization of the impact of HAI infections on the environment. The report is available at the link below.