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December 2007 edition

PAHO's Emergency Operations Center will play a key role in regional surveillance under the new International Health Regulations. The center will serve as a clearinghouse for outbreak and hazard communications, with staff on call 24/7 to provide "continuous, proactive epidemic intelligence." (Photo ©Sonia Mey-Schmidt/PAHO)

Health security

PAHO Countries:
Ready for IHR?

For the new International Health Regulations to work, PAHO/WHO member countries must live up to their part of the bargain.

The new International Health Regulations (IHR)—designed to halt the international spread of dangerous diseases and other threats—formally took effect in June.
But are member countries of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) ready to comply with these "faster, stronger, and broader" rules?
"The question is, do our countries have the structures and resources needed to meet their core responsibilities?" said Marlo Libel, PAHO regional communicable diseases advisor, at a meeting of PAHO's Epidemic Alert and Response Task Force in April. "Not all of them do, but we can help them to identify and address the gaps."

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PAHO Countries: Ready for IHR?

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PAHOtoday is published by the Area of Public Information, Pan American Health Organization, Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization. Address: 525 23rd Street, N.W.,Washington, D.C. 20037, U.S.A. Phone: (202) 974-3458. Fax: (202) 974-3143. Text and photographs may be freely reproduced provided that: 1) the author/photographer is properly credited; 2) text is accompanied by the credit line "Reprinted from PAHOtoday, newsletter of the Pan American Health Organization, Regional Office for the Americas, World Health Organization; and 3) two tear sheets are sent to the Editor.

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Editor: Donna Eberwine
Art Director: Gilles Collette
Production: Tagino Lobato

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Staff Photographers: Sonia Mey-Schmidt, David Spitz
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