International Health Regulations

The International Health Regulations (IHR) constitutes an international legal instrument that is binding on 194 countries across the globe, including all WHO Member States. The IHR are intended to help the international community prevent and respond to acute public health risks, while limiting interference with international traffic and trade.

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Ebola outbreak in West Africa declared a public health emergency of international concern

The Director-General of WHO on 8 August declared the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in West Africa a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) under the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR 2005).

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International Health Regulations

In response to the exponential increase in international travel and trade, and emergence and reemergence of international disease threats and other health risks, 194 countries across the globe have agreed to implement the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR). This binding instrument of international law entered into force on 15 June 2007.

Points of entry

The IHR (2005) define a point of entry as "a passage for international entry or exit of travellers, baggage, cargo, containers, conveyances, goods and postal parcels, as well as agencies and areas providing services to them on entry or exit".

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Multisectoral collaboration

The IHR (2005) envision a multisectoral approach (Article IV and Annex I.A.6) with all relevant sectors of Member State national authorities contributing to detection, assessment, and response to potential public health events of international concern.

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Multimedia

Video: IHR implementation at points of entry - ports, airports and ground crossings

Multimedia

Video:Responding to international health threats: 5 things you should know