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

National surveillance and response

The International Health Regulations (2005) include a number of procedures for event management as well as requirements related to national disease surveillance and response systems. The latter are named 'core capacity requirements for surveillance and response' and are defined in Part A of Annex 1 of the Regulations.


States Parties, with the support of WHO Regional Offices, must meet these requirements as soon as possible but no later than five years after the entry into force. The Regulations (Articles 5 ,13, Annex 1) define a maximum timeline that, for most countries1, can be summarized as follows:

15 June 2007–15 June 2009:
two years for the assessment of existing national structures and resources, which must lead to the development of plans of action.

15 June 2009–15 June 2012:
three years for the implementation of these plans of action to ensure that core capacities are present and functioning throughout the country and/or relevant territories.

On the basis of a justified need, an extension of two years may be obtained. In exceptional circumstances, and supported by a new implementation plan, the Director General of WHO may grant a further extension not exceeding two years.

Guidance, advice and tools

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1 Countries that have made a reservation to the Regulations follow the same timeline (two years for national assessment, three years for implementation of national action plans) but they do not share the same starting date.