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Keywords:

  • International Health Regulations;
  • disease surveillance;
  • notification

Abstract

The World Health Organization's (WHO) Revised International Health Regulations [IHR(2005)] entered into force in Summer 2007. The purpose of the IHR is to promote an environment of enhanced global cooperation in order to protect populations from emerging health threats. In order to obtain guidance on the development of the core capacities to support IHR implementation, we surveyed a select group of disease surveillance and global health experts from academia, government, non-governmental organizations, and international organizations as to how they assess IHR (2005) implementation efforts. These experts identify essential disease surveillance components, including laboratory capacity, communication networks, human resources, and technological infrastructure, as well as social and cultural issues necessary for effective IHR implementation. The results offer guidance to policymakers and those in position to make decisions on the top priorities for the implementation of the IHR (2005).