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

Report to the 126th Executive Board on the Implementation of the International Health Regulations (2005)

This year's report to the WHO Executive Board summarizes information received from States Parties on IHR implementation and WHO activities in this area, including those relating to the (H1N1) 2009 pandemic. In line with World Health Assembly Resolution WHA61.2 and Article 54.2 of the IHR, the report to be submitted to Sixty-third Assembly in May 2010 will also include the views of the IHR Review Committee on the functioning of the IHR and relevant technical issues.

IHR Decision instrument online training course – French and Spanish versions now available

The online training course on the IHR decision instrument -- Annex 2 -- is now available in French and Spanish. The Arabic, Chinese and Russian versions are in production and will be made available in the first quarter of 2010. For further information:

Third Meeting of the Steering Committee on the laboratory twinning initiative, 22-23 October 2009 WHO Lyon, France

During the third Steering Committee meeting, discussions centered on the following issues: updates on progress made on the 13 ongoing twinning projects from the first call for proposals, lessons learned from the first cycle of twinning projects, recommendations for twinning project management and the evaluation of seven new potential twinning proposals. For further information:

WHO/IATA Train-the-trainer course on Transport of infectious substances", 26–29 October 2009, Geneva, Switzerland

This course included participants from AFRO, EURO and PAHO/AMRO and from disease specific programmes at Headquarters -- Global Influenza Programme, Stop TB, Tropical Diseases Research – and the Global Alert and Response programme. The objective was to train more WHO staff on how to deliver the WHO transport course; the WHO trainers will then deliver the course worldwide. For further information:

WHO Biosafety Level 3 Training for National Influenza Centres. The French Food Safety Agency, 2–3 November 2009, Lyon, France

This training was co-organized by the WHO IHR Coordination and Global Influenza programmes, and the Emory University BSL3. An onsite behavioral based biosafety training programme was delivered to participants from 19 countries. The goal of the programme was to provide participants with the skills needed to modify behavioral practices in high-containment environments. For further information:

WHO Consultation on areas where aircraft disinsection measures are recommended for conveyances (flights and ships) arriving from these areas, 30 November–1 December 2009, Geneva, Switzerland

The two objectives of this consultation were to i) reach an agreement on the methodology, formula or criteria for the selection of areas where disinsection measures would be recommended for conveyances arriving from these areas, and ii) propose a list of country/areas from which disinsection would be required for conveyances (flights and ships) in accordance with Annex 5 of the IHR. Participants included scientists, entomologists and other experts from the six WHO Regions and WHO Headquarters and IHR Coordination. The conclusions and recommendations will be made available in the first quarter of 2010. For further information:

Fourth Global Health Security Communication Network Coordination Meeting, 1−3 December 2009, Lyon, France

The Fourth Global Health Security Communication Network Coordination Meeting was held from 1 to 3 December in Lyon, France. Over eighty participants from Member States, UN Agencies, universities and research institutes gathered to consider the challenge of risk communication for public health emergencies. The meeting explored three main themes: International Health Regulation risk communication capacity building, recent experience concentrating on the public communication response to pandemic (H1N1) 2009, and improved animal health–human health communication coordination. A meeting report and list of recommendations is available to Network members upon request from John Rainford at

Global Laboratory Directory (GLaD) consultation, 7-8 December 2009, Geneva, Switzerland

The GLaD project aims to support the operational capacity of laboratory networks. The project includes components to provide support by mapping global laboratory networks (GLaDMap); to facilitate and provide guidance to networks (GLaDNet); and to archive the resources such as lessons learned, protocols, templates related to network operability (GLaDResource). During the consultation, experts and stakeholders reviewed the GLaD components and strategic plan and endorsed the project. Participants saw a demonstration of the GLaDMap mapping tool and a plan of action and timeline were formulated for launching GLaDMap globally after the pilot evaluation is completed (to be carried out in the first quarter of 2010). For further information:

WHO Consultative meeting to review the WHO microbiology External Quality Assessment Programme in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMRO), 7-8 December 2009, Cairo, Egypt

This External Quality Assessment Programme provides proficiency-testing panels to the EMRO National Public Health Laboratories for the diagnostic of parasitic and bacterial diseases. The objective of the meeting was to review the results from the three last surveys (2007, 2008 and 2009) and propose ways to improve and enhance the programme over the long-term. For further information:

Ports, airports and ground crossings: Informal technical consultation - IHR Implementation and public health measures in response to public health emergencies at ports, airports and ground crossings, 9–11 December 2009, Lyon, France

The consultation brought together representatives from the six WHO regional offices and travel and transport experts from national port authorities and industry associations from around the world. The objectives were to agree how to integrate travel and transport – points of entry (PoE) initiatives into national health surveillance and response activities under the IHR framework; strengthen the network of public health partners at PoE (PAG Net); review the international assessment of health measures undertaken at PoE during the pandemic (H1N1) 2009; update existing and develop new guidance tools for response to public health emergencies of international concern at PoE based on the guidance tool developed by the WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific and on the preliminary results of the international assessment of health measures undertaken at ports, airports and ground crossings during the pandemic (H1N1) 2009. For further information:

Assessment tool for core capacity requirements at designated ports, airports and ground crossings

This document was developed through international collaboration, WHO internal consultations and informal technical working group meetings of point of entry experts from different regions of the world. It is intended to serve as a tool to be used to support States Parties in determining existing capacities and needs at points of entry when deciding which airports, ports and ground crossing to designate under Article 20.1 and Annex 1B. States Parties may also use it when deciding which airports, ports and ground crossing to designate under Article 19(a). It also will be used as the basis for future development of WHO guidance for certification of airports and ports, according to the International Health Regulations (2005) provisions. For further information:

IHR implementation course (IHR i-course): Registration for 1st session successfully underway

Registration for the first session of the IHR implementation course (IHR i-course) is underway (see IHR News, no. 8, 30 September 2009) and registration for 2010 remains open until 31 December 2009. For more information or if you would like to apply, please contact Mrs Anouk Berger: or