At the World Health Assembly, countries agreed on efforts to increase pandemic preparedness

Member countries of the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO), on the last day of the seventy-seventh day World Health Assemblyadopted key amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR), including the designation of a “pandemic emergency” as well as a commitment to improve access to medical products and finance.

WHO said in a press release that these steps will help ensure strong, comprehensive systems are in place in all countries to protect people everywhere from the risk of outbreaks and pandemics. Future.

“The historic decisions taken today demonstrate The common desire of member states is to protect their people and the worldfrom the general risk of public health emergencies and future pandemics,” speak Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO.

He emphasized that amendments to the IHR will strengthen countries’ ability to detect and respond to future outbreaks, strengthen national capacities, and improve coordination among countries. experts in disease surveillance, information sharing and response.

“This is built on a commitment to fairness, an understanding that Health threats do not recognize national borders and that preparation is a collective effort,” Mr. Tedros added.

Finalize the pandemic agreement

The countries also agreed to continue negotiations proposed pandemic agreement to improve international coordination, cooperation and equity to prevent, prepare for and respond to future pandemics.

WHO member states have decided to extend their mandate Intergovernmental negotiating body (INB), established in December 2021, aims to complete the work of negotiating a pandemic agreement within a yearby the World Health Assembly in 2025, or sooner if possible.

Speaking at the closing of the World Health Assembly, Tedros applauded the hard work of delegates.

“You have agreed on the way forward for the Pandemic Agreement and I still trust that you will come to a conclusionhe say.

The The conference was held in Geneva from May 27 to June 1 by overarching theme All for health, health for everyone.

IHR amendments

The new amendments to the IHR include the introduction of a pandemic emergency definition to enable more effective international cooperation for events that threaten to become pandemics. This definition raises the stakes by building on existing IHR mechanisms, such as identifying a public health emergency of international concern.

A pandemic emergency is defined as an infectious disease that threatens to spread geographically, overwhelm health systems, cause significant economic or social disruption, and require take swift, equitable and coordinated international action through comprehensive government and society approaches.

In addition, the amendments emphasized solidarity and equality in accessing medical products and financing by establishing a Coordinated Financing Mechanism. The mechanism aims to support developing countries in identifying and obtaining the financial resources needed to address their needs and priorities in pandemic prevention, preparedness and response.

The amendments also establish a Committee of the Member States Promote and support collaboration for effective and productive IHR implementation National IHR Authority to improve the coordination of Regulations within and between countries.

What is IHR?

The International health regulations (IHR) is a legally binding international instrument that defines the responsibilities of states in managing public health events and emergencies with potential transboundary impacts. gender.

Among other things, they establish key reporting obligations and criteria to identify “public health emergencies of international concern” and address travel and transportation requirements. International transfers, ensuring compliance with medical documentation.

The regulations were last updated nearly 20 years ago, in 2005.

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