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 regions1

AFRO: Progress towards IHR implementation

From October to December 2009, the following activities were carried out to support IHR implementation in the WHO African Region: - country assessments to assess IHR core capacities in Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Eritrea. The results were shared with major stakeholders and partners, and a plan of action for strengthening IHR core capacities will be developed shortly based on the findings and recommendations. - Integrated Disease Surveillance (IDSR) review meeting from 2-4 December 2009 at AFRO Headquarters, Brazzaville, Congo. The meeting was held in collaboration with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, WHO Headquarters and representatives from WHO intercountry teams and country offices. The objective was to finalize the revised Technical Guidelines for Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response in the African Region2, which now reflect the requirements under the revised IHR. For further information on the activities above:

EMRO: Interim guidance on public health measures for the returnee Hajj Pilgrims

The continuing spread of pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus may potentially pose a risk to the countries from their returnee Hajj pilgrims owing to the special religious rituals that the Hajjees go through in very crowded conditions during the pilgrimage. Respiratory infections are the commonest illnesses encountered at the Hajj among others; increases in the incidence of influenza may therefore be expected in these countries when the Hajjees return after the pilgrimage. The objective of this interim guidance is to assist Member States of the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region to design their own surveillance measures for monitoring the health of their returnee Hajjees. The following guidance statements are not exhaustive.

PAHO/AMRO: Availability of Pandemic Influenza Vaccine for the Americas

PAHO/AMRO has been supporting countries in the Region to prepare for the use of the vaccine. Following the instructions of its Member States, the WHO Regional Office for the Americas has coordinated actions to guarantee wide and equitable access to the vaccine. For further information on the mechanisms in place to deliver the vaccine, please visit:

SEARO and WPRO: WHO-ASEAN meeting on international points of entry,

The WHO-ASEAN Meeting on Public Health Measures at International Points of Entry: New Role under the new International Health Regulations, was jointly convened by WHO WPRO and SEARO in collaboration with the ASEAN Secretariat. This was the first meeting to bring together senior health officials with the competent authorities and other responsible stakeholders to discuss public health measures at international points of entry under the IHR. Over 60 participants attended the workshop from WPRO and SEARO countries and regions, representatives from ASEAN, WHO Headquarters and other international organisations. For further information:

1 The six WHO regional offices: AFRO – Regional Office for Africa; EMRO - Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean; EURO - Regional Office for Europe; PAHO/AMRO – Pan American Sanitary Bureau/Regional Office for the Americas; SEARO - Regional Office for South-East Asia; WPRO - Regional Office for the Western Pacific.

2Technical Guidelines for Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response in the African Region WHO and US CDC, July 2001: