Lusaka, 04 December 2012 -- The World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa (WHO/AFRO) in collaboration with WHO Global Capacities, Alert and Response has organized a regional meeting for mapping of unmet country needs to accelerate the implementation of the International Health Regulations (2005) in the African Region. Since the IHR (2005) came into force in 2007, many countries in the WHO African Region have developed IHR implementation plans and improved their surveillance and response capacities.
However, a significant number of Member States still have limited capacity to effectively and comprehensively prepare for, investigate and respond to public health emergencies of international concern. There are gaps and weaknesses relating to other IHR core capacities particularly legislation, preparedness, risk communication, human resources, food safety, chemical and radio-nuclear.
Many countries faced challenges in fulfilling the obligation to have established the core capacities for detection and response to all hazards by the deadline of 15 June 2012, and have applied for a 2 year extension.
In view of the new deadline of June 15, 2014, this 4 days stakeholder meeting has been convened to provide a forum for governments, technical agencies, foundations, academia and donors to share experiences and challenges in IHR implementation and to identify the next steps in IHR core capacity development.