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

International partnership for an IHR implementation course

Further to the series of face-to-face briefings and online training modules developed by the IHR Coordination Department to support countries to implement the IHR, WHO has also stimulated a more extensive and longer-term training programme, which aims to empower key players engaged in the implementation of the IHR. This programme has been developed in collaboration with the University of Pretoria, South Africa, Georgetown University Law Center, USA, and the Universities of Lausanne and Geneva, Switzerland. The course targets public health professionals, mainly belonging to National IHR Focal Points (NFP), but also professionals from other related sectors from national or international organizations, in the public and private sectors. Two courses will be organized per year. Each course will target 40 trainees and will represent 220 hours of work over a period of four months, combining distance-learning periods with a two–week regrouping session. The first course will take place in March–July 2010, with the face-to-face session to be held in Lyon, France, from 12–23 July. The courses will be delivered in English initially, and will be developed subsequently in other WHO official languages.

For detailed information on the course curriculum, registration, eligibility, please contact Dr Pierre Nabeth or Ms Anouk Berger:

62nd World Health Assembly, 18–22 May 2009, Geneva, Switzerland

Member States demonstrated a high level of commitment towards the implementation of the International Health Regulations (IHR), underscoring its importance as the only international legal framework for the management of international health crises such as the current pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus. Delegates further stressed the need for training on the IHR, particularly in the areas of points of entry and laboratory capacity strengthening, as well as the need for enhanced collaboration in global epidemic surveillance.

Case management of Influenza A (H1N1) in air transport, 18 May 2009, WHO, Geneva, Switzerland

This document is the result of collaboration between the International Health Regulations Coordination Department and the Task Force for the Influenza A (H1N1) Response at WHO, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA). It compiles recommendations from existing guidelines for air travel and health as well as specific WHO guidelines related to the pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus where applicable for air transport, and outlines measures to be taken by aircraft operators, airport operators airport personnel, crew members and national authorities. It can be used together with the document Guide to Hygiene and Sanitation in Aviation, 3rd edition (please see below). Useful guidance related to this subject is also available from the web sites of ICAO.

Note: similar guidelines for the management of pandemic (H1N1) 2009 cases on board of ship, particularly cruise ship, will be released soon.

Guide to hygiene and sanitation in aviation, 3rd edition, WHO, Geneva, Switzerland, 2009

The third edition of the Guide to Hygiene and Sanitation in Aviation addresses water, food, waste disposal, cleaning and disinfection, vector control and cargo safety. It was developed by the Department of Public Health and Environment in collaboration with IHR Coordination to assist all airport and aircraft operators and other responsible bodies to achieve high standards of hygiene and sanitation to protect travellers and crews engaged in air transport. These guidelines lay out procedures and quality specifications that must be applied in domestic and international air travel in all developed and developing countries.

Laboratory Quality Management System: Training toolkit

This training toolkit, developed in collaboration between WHO, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute, covers the 12 topics that are essential for quality management in the public health or clinical laboratory. It has been designed for use by trainers in national or international settings, and the materials contained in it can be customized to conduct workshops that meet the local training and target audience needs. For more information: