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WORLD HEALTH ASSEMBLY and PANDEMIC PREPAREDNESS TOOLKIT



  May 27, 2024

WORLD HEALTH ASSEMBLY (WHA) and PANDEMIC PREPAREDNESS TOOLKIT



WHAT IS THE WORLD HEALTH ASSEMBLY (WHA)?

The World Health Assembly (WHA) is the decision-making body of the World Health Organization (WHO), comprising representatives from all WHO member states. It meets annually to discuss global health issues and make policy decisions.

WHAT ARE THE INTERNATIONAL HEALTH REGULATIONS (IHR)?

The International Health Regulations (IHR) are a set of legal guidelines adopted by the WHA to manage public health events that have the potential to cross borders. They aim to enhance global health security by improving countries' abilities to detect, report, and respond to public health emergencies.

WHY ARE THE IHR BEING AMENDED?

The amendments to the IHR are being proposed to address gaps and improve the response to public health emergencies based on lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal is to enhance the effectiveness of global health measures and ensure better preparedness for future pandemics.

WHAT DO THE PROPOSED AMENDMENTS INCLUDE?

The proposed amendments focus on strengthening surveillance systems, ensuring timely detection and reporting of public health events, and enhancing international coordination during health emergencies. They also emphasize protecting individuals' rights regarding personal data, informed consent, and non-discrimination.

HOW DO THE IHR PROTECT TRAVELERS AND THE PUBLIC?

The IHR includes safeguards to protect the rights of travelers and individuals. These safeguards cover the treatment of personal data, informed consent, and non-discrimination in the application of health measures. The goal is to manage public health risks without causing unnecessary disruption to travel and trade.

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF SURVEILLANCE SYSTEMS UNDER THE IHR?

Under the IHR, countries are required to have surveillance systems capable of detecting and assessing acute public health events. These systems must report potential public health emergencies to the WHO and respond promptly to limit the spread of health risks to neighboring countries.

WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE NEW PANDEMIC AGREEMENT?

The new pandemic agreement, being developed alongside the IHR amendments, aims to establish a coordinated international response to pandemics. It focuses on ensuring equitable access to vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics, and enhancing global collaboration during health crises.

HOW WILL THE AMENDED IHR AND THE NEW PANDEMIC AGREEMENT WORK TOGETHER?

The amended IHR and the new pandemic agreement are designed to complement each other. The IHR will focus on building countries' capacities to detect and respond to public health events, while the pandemic agreement will ensure a coordinated international response to pandemics, prioritizing equitable access to necessary health resources.

WHAT IS THE IMPACT OF THESE CHANGES ON GLOBAL PUBLIC HEALTH?

The amendments to the IHR and the new pandemic agreement represent a significant step forward in global public health. They aim to strengthen international mechanisms for pandemic preparedness and response, protecting people worldwide from the impact of epidemics and pandemics.


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