Trade, foreign policy, diplomacy and health

8. International Health Regulations and Epidemic Control

Johan Giesecke

GPG characteristics of epidemic alert & control measures

There are a number of specific measures that may comprise epidemic alert and control functions, which will be too numerous to consider in detail here. However, the global public goods characteristics of some illustrative examples of alert and control measures are provided in this table.

It can be seen that achieving the global public good of freedom from epidemics has many problems, as measures which may comprise an alert and control function may often be private or club goods. The question is therefore to what extent the IHR can be a mechanism to solve some of the potential problems that may result in the widespread use of alert and control measures, and thus achieve the final global public good of epidemic control. Before moving on to explore the IHR in more detail, however, it may be instructive to consider a specific example of international coordination of alert and control measures.