Implementation of International Health Regulations in Palestine
IHR IN PALESTINEProgress and a way forward for building coreIHR capacitiesV. Harutyunyan M.D.
IHR at a glance International agreement that is legally binding on 194countries, including all WHO member countries One of only two legally binding agreements endorsed by theWHA Palestinian MoH applied to be recognized as a signatory to IHRon 25th of January 2010 Important for the Palestinian public health security and statebuilding Purpose:to prevent, protect against, control and provide a public healthresponse to the international spread of disease Adopted by World Health Assembly: May 2005 Came into force: June 15, 2007
Key Palestine’s obligations Designate and establish a National IHR Focal Point Assess core capacities and develop action plan to buildthem to ensure full compliance with the IHR requirements Develop, strengthen and maintain, the capacity todetect, assess, notify (within 24h) and respond to eventsthat have the potential to become public healthemergencies of international concern Implement public health measures recommended by theDirector General, WHO
National Focal Point The national centre for communications with WHO On a24/7 basis (by telephone, fax, email) NOT an individualpersonAccessible 24/7 for communication with WHO and domesticpartnersUrgent communications with WHO IHR contact pointsDisseminating information to, and consolidating input from, relevantdomestic sectors Potential additional tasks as determined by State: Riskassessment, coordinated response etc.
IHR implementation timelinesTimeline15 June 2007 2009 2012 2014 2016Planning Implementation2 years + 3 + (2) + (up to 2)"As soon as possible but no later than five years from entry into force"Countries are mandated to asses their progress on development of IHR capacities and ifnecessary submit formal request for extension to WHO with a justified need and animplementation plan no later than 15 June 2012
IHR core capacities1. National legislation, policy and financing2. Coordination and NFP communications3. Surveillance4. Response5. Preparedness6. Risk communication7. Human resources8. Laboratory
IHR core capacities(preparedness at points of entry and IHR hazards)• Points of Entry• Zoonotic events• Food Safety• Chemical events• Radiation emergencies
Palestine IHR capacities(informal assessment by the MoH and WHO)• Structured• Small group MoH/WHO• Levels of development of some of the core capacities mayhave been overestimated as documented evidence ofavailability of the core capacities was not checked
Palestine IHR capacities(Overall score 24%)0% 0%50%31%0%75%0%33%0%100%67%0% 0%0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%80%90%100%
Palestine IHR capacities(ProposedActivities)• Develop clear, specific mandate and functions for thePalestine’s IHR NFP (ToR, JD)• Ensure that Palestine’s IHR NFP has adequate capacityto fulfill its functions• Form a multi-sectoral, multidisciplinary committee toassess Palestine’s IHR core capacities and developaction plan for IHR capacity building in 2012-14• Allocate a budget to support Palestine’s IHR NFP andmultidisciplinary committee’s activities
Palestine IHR capacities(ProposedActivities-continued)• Conduct formal assessment of the Palestine’s IHRrelevant public health capacities• Develop plan of action to ensure that the core capacitiesrequired by the IHR are present and functioning by 2014• Apply to WHO for extension of the deadline for achievingIHR capacities in Palestine (by 15th of June 2012)