The implementation of the international health regulations on vector-borne diseases - a scoping review of the qualitative evidence performed worldwide
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Public Health Unit - Almada-Seixal Health Centres Cluster Public Health National School (NOVA University Lisbon) Portugal
Public Health Unit - Arco Ribeirinho Health Centres Cluster
Public Health Unit - Loures-Odivelas Health Centres Cluster Public Health National School (NOVA University Lisbon) Portugal
Public Health Unit - Pinhal Interior Norte Health Centres Cluster Public Health National School (NOVA University Lisbon) Portugal
Public Health Unit - Lisboa Norte Health Centres Cluster
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A275
Background and objective:
The International Health Regulations were created by the World Health Organization with the purpose of preventing the international spread of diseases. The 196 signatory countries are bound by this international agreement. In this article we performed a review of the literature on the implementation and operationalization of measures at a continental and national level to prevent the spread of vector-borne diseases. The purpose was to understand the main strategies and policies adopted and how they have been operating.

Out of an initial search on PubMed™, SCOPUS™ and Web of Science™ using combinations of “International Health Regulations” and “vector-borne diseases”, 75 references were obtained, of which 27 were included after careful qualitative analysis.

Included articles ranged from 1996 to 2022. Four major categories of measures were found: a) Surveillance and Epidemic intelligence; b) Declaration of Public Health Emergency of International Concern; c) Measures in Points of Entry; and d) Vaccination status. Implemented measures were found in all continents: Africa, Oceania (Australia), Asia (China, India, Taiwan), Europe (Ireland, Netherlands and Mediterranean countries) and North (USA) and South America (Brazil). Yellow fever, Zika, Dengue and Chikungunya were the most cited vector-borne diseases but Crimean Congo haemorrhagic fever, Japanese encephalitis, Lyme disease, Malaria, Leishmania, Tick-borne encephalitis and West Nile fever were also mentioned.

There are severe asymmetries across countries on the implementation of international regulations with regards to vector-borne diseases, particularly on the issue of surveillance systems. State Parties should consider the lessons learned from the pandemic and perfect their core capacities to prevent future outbreaks of infectious diseases.

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