Implementing the new International Health Regulations in the Pacific--challenges and opportunities.

Hitoshi Oshitani, L. Ailan, Maria Concepcion Roces, Dato' Tee Ah Sian, Chen Ken, Tom Kiedrzynski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The newly revised International Health Regulations, i.e. IHR (2005), adopted by the World Health Assembly in May 2005, are the legally binding international instruments for preventing and controlling international spread of disease while avoiding unnecessary interference with international traffic and trade. IHR (2005), which will enter into force in June 2007, set out new obligations for detection, assessment and notification of and response to public health events of international concern. In particular, under the IHR (2005), each Member State is required to notify WHO directly of any event that may consititue a public health emergency of international concern. Although the implementation of the new IHR to contribute to regional and global health security will be very challenging in the Pacific, they provide new opportunities for the Pacific Island Countries and areas (PICs) to build, strengthen and maintain their core capacities for surveillance and response. This article describes the major changes in the new Regulations and discusses the opportunity of using existing mechanisms for the implementation of IHR (2005). In the PICs, while strengthening the capacity of national public health surveillance and response systems is essential and the key to the effective implementation of the new Regulations, the Pacific Public Health Surveillance Network (PPHSN) can also be utilized to facilitate the IHR implementation, including disseminating updated information related to IHR such as WHO guidelines and capacity building, whenever possible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-143
Number of pages9
JournalPacific health dialog : a publication of the Pacific Basin Officers Training Program and the Fiji School of Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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