The World Health Assembly adopts resolution WHA59.2 on application of the International Health Regulations (2005) to strengthen pandemic preparedness and response
On 26 May 2006 the World Health Assembly adopted resolution WHA59.2 on "Application of the International Health Regulations (2005)." The resolution calls upon WHO Member States to comply immediately, on a voluntary basis, with provisions of the IHR(2005) considered relevant to the risk posed by avian and potential human pandemic influenza. The resolution urges countries and requests the Organization to use the new legal framework provided by the IHR (2005) to further bolster pandemic preparedness and response at the national, regional and global levels. Key provisions of the IHR(2005) relating to surveillance, reporting, information-sharing, transportation of biological substances and public health measures for travelers were identified as important tools to ensure a strengthened and coordinated response on the part of the international community to both the present situation and a possible pandemic in humans.
WHO Member States are specifically urged to name a National IHR Focal Point within 90 days. At the same time, WHO is requested to immediately name WHO IHR Contact Points at the headquarters and/or regional level to ensure a constant flow of information between countries and the Organization before, during and after public health emergencies, including a potential human influenza pandemic. Effective and transparent communications are crucial for the early detection and notification of human cases of influenza, rapid risk assessment and the immediate implementation of appropriate containment and response measures should a pandemic strain emerge.
Countries are also expected to cooperate with each other to boost their vaccine production capacities with the support of WHO, whose role will be to seek solutions to reduce the global shortage of and inequitable access to affordable influenza vaccine for both epidemics and global pandemics. In this connection, it will be the joint responsibility of Member States and WHO to marshal the necessary human, financial, technical, and logistical resources to better prepare the world for the possibility of a human influenza pandemic, including through the reasonable stockpiling of essential drugs.
The Director General of WHO will report to the 60th World Health Assembly on the implementation of this resolution, prior to entry into force of the IHR (2005) on 15 June 2007.