First independent evaluation of surveillance and emergency response capacities in the European Region takes place in Turkmenistan


Turkmenistan was the first country in the WHO European Region, to volunteer for a Joint External Evaluation under the International Health Regulations (IHR) (2005).

From 6 to 10 June 2016, a team of independent and WHO experts together with national specialists jointly assessed Turkmenistan's IHR capacities in 19 technical areas – including national legislation, coordination, laboratory system, surveillance, preparedness and response, risk communication, and points of entry – to prevent, detect and rapidly respond to various public health threats.
The assessment engaged many sectors on the basis of the IHR all-hazard, whole-of-government approach. The team visited national- and local-level hospitals, polyclinics, surveillance units, laboratories, and international airports and a seaport, before discussing the findings and scoring of IHR capacities.

Turkmenistan decided to volunteer for the Joint External Evaluation assessment in view of the Fifth Asian Indoor Games, which will take place in Ashgabat in September 2017. The results of this assessment and expert recommendations will support Turkmenistan's preparations for this major international event and will help the country develop a national action plan to better prepare and respond to health emergencies under the IHR.

About the Joint External Evaluation

It is a voluntary, multisectoral and comprehensive process; one of the four key components of the revised IHR Monitoring and Evaluation Framework. It allows countries to identify critical gaps within the health system and other sectors – such as animal health, transport, and security – relevant for IHR implementation.