Global capacities for Implementation of International Health Regulations
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Institute of Public Health of Serbia, Faculty of Dentistry, Pancevo, Serbia, Dr Subotica 5, Serbia
Institute of Public Health of Serbia
Institute of Public Health of Serbia, Dr Subotica 5, Serbia
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1693
Background and objective:
In 2005, World Health Organization’s (WHO) General Assembly adopted the International Health Regulations (IHR) as an international legal instrument aimed at strengthening global health security and empowering the global community to prevent and respond to public health threats. In 2019, European Commission launched new Joint Action Strengthened International Health Regulations and Preparedness in the EU (SHARP JA) with the aim to strengthen EU preparedness for serious cross-border health threats, and support the implementation of the IHR. Within the SHARP JA we have assessed the capacities of participating countries to implement IHR. The aim of this work is to expand that analysis to the global level.

Desk review and data analysis were done. The source of data was the WHO States Parties Annual Report (SPAR) for the years 2019, 2020, and 2021 for six WHO regions - African Region (AFRO), Americas Region (AMRO), Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMRO), European Region (EURO), South-East Asia Region (SEARO), and Western Pacific Region (WPRO).

The average IHR global capacity remained unchanged from 2019-2021, (64, 65, and 64%, respectively). The highest capacities for indicated period without any noticeable changes have been recorded in EURO (75, 74, and 74% respectively). In AMRO, the overall IHR capacities were over 70% in 2019 and 2020 (71 and 72%), while in 2021 there was a decrease (67%). The lowest capacities in observed period were in AFRO (44, 49, and 49%, respectively). Although capacities in AMRO are the lowest, increase during the pandemic is noted.

The results show the regional differences in IHR capacities. The SPAR results which represent countries’ self-assessment on IHR capacities indicate some improvements during pandemic in countries with the lowest capacities. However, there is still room for IHR capacities improvement in all WHO regions.