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International Health Regulations (IHR 2005)

 Context: The 77th World Health Assembly adopted amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005), incorporating 300 proposals by member states following the Covid-19 pandemic.

  • Also, decided to extend the mandate of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (established in 2021) to finish its work to negotiate a Pandemic Agreement within a year.

Aim: These amendments aim to enhance countries’ readiness and response to Public Health Emergencies of International Concern and Pandemic Emergencies.

About International Health Regulations (IHR):

  1. Successor: International Sanitary Regulations (1951).
  2. Aim Legally binding framework defining countries’ rights and obligations in handling cross-border public health events and emergencies.
  3. Members: Includes 194 WHO Member States, plus Liechtenstein and the Holy See.
  4. Need for Amendments: Experience from epidemics like Ebola and COVID-19 emphasized the necessity for enhanced public health surveillance, response, and preparedness mechanisms globally.

Key Amendments:

  1. Definition of Pandemic Emergency: Defined as a communicable disease with wide geographical spread or high risk, exceeding national health system capacities.
  2. Coordinating Financial Mechanism: Addressing needs and priorities of developing countries.
  3. States Parties Committee: Facilitate effective IHR implementation.
  4. National IHR Authorities: Improve coordination among countries.

About World Health Assembly (WHA):

The World Health Assembly (formed in 1948) is the forum through which the World Health Organization is governed by its 194 member states. It is the world’s highest health policy setting body and is composed of health ministers from member states

International Health Regulations
IHR 2005

 Source: PIB