Workshop on rapid risk assessment of acute public health events

5-7 December 2016, Vienna, Austria

Through the PIP Partnership Contribution Implementation Plan, WHO/Europe is collaborating with WHO country offices and national counterparts to provide technical assistance in strengthening systems for influenza surveillance in five Member States of the Region: Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

As part of this, the December workshop in Vienna, Austria, aims to strengthen the capacities of these countries in using the International Health Regulations’ Annex 2 decision instrument to decide whether an acute public health event may constitute a public health emergency of international concern that requires notification to WHO.

The effective use of Annex 2 depends on each national authority and its IHR National Focal Points carrying out risk assessments. In order to provide technical guidance to Member States, WHO recently published the Rapid Risk Assessment of Acute Public Health Events Manual. This manual is an important tool for professionals who join multidisciplinary risk assessment teams.

The general objectives of the workshop are to strengthen critical human resources engaged in public health risk assessment of acute events at the national level, and to ensure a common understanding and systematic approach to risk assessment across different sectors.

The workshop will use case studies to:

  • employ a systematic approach to collecting and analysing information about the hazard, exposures and context in which the event is occurring;
  • identify evidence-based control measures;
  • rank the suitability and feasibility of control measures; and
  • ensure that control measures are proportional to the risk posed to public health.

In addition to each of the five priority countries’ PIP focal points, the target audience for the workshop includes one representative from each country’s ministry of health/national focal point responsible for the implementation of the International Health Regulations; and one representative from each country’s ministry of agriculture responsible for outbreak preparedness and response.