“5th Emergency Meeting of IHR (2005) Committee on Multi-Country Health Crisis”

"5th Emergency Meeting of IHR (2005) Committee on Multi-Country Health Crisis"
"5th Emergency Meeting of IHR (2005) Committee on Multi-Country Health Crisis"

“5th Emergency Meeting of IHR (2005) Committee on Multi-Country Health Crisis”

The 5th Emergency Meeting of IHR (2005) Committee on Multi-Country Health Crisis: Reviewing Important Decisions

The International Health Regulations (2005) have been instrumental in providing a legal framework for countries to detect, assess, report, and respond to various public health emergencies. To ensure its effective application during multi-country health crises, the WHO convened the fifth Emergency Committee meeting on 22 January 2021. Here are the key decisions shared in the meeting.

Outbreak of COVID-19 Variants and its Impact on Travel Measures

The Committee acknowledged the emergence of new variants of SARS-CoV-2 and the challenges they pose in terms of transmissibility, virulence, and immunity. It noted that the new variants have spread globally, causing increased case numbers and deaths, burdening health systems worldwide. The committee agreed that implementing travel measures to mitigate the spread of the new variants, including testing, quarantine, and contact tracing, is essential to control transmission. Moreover, the committee recommended that countries coordinate with the WHO before implementing new travel measures to ensure evidence-based and consistent responses.

#COVID19variants #TravelMeasures #PublicHealthEmergencies

Global Equity in Vaccine Access

The Committee emphasized the need for equitable access to vaccines to protect the most vulnerable populations worldwide, including healthcare workers and the elderly. It noted the alarming disparity in vaccine access between high-income and low-income countries and urged the international community to work together to ensure the equitable distribution of vaccines. Furthermore, the Committee encouraged countries to share doses with the COVAX facility and other low-income countries to mitigate the risk of further spread and introduce more effective measures.

#VaccineEquity #COVAX #GlobalHealth

Recommendations to the WHO Director-General

Based on its discussion, the Committee provided recommendations to the WHO Director-General to strengthen the IHR’s implementation in various aspects.

First, it encouraged the WHO to review and update the Global surveillance and response system to strengthen the detection and reporting of public health events. Second, it urged countries to prioritize essential health services and vaccination campaigns, given a direct impact of COVID-19 on the provision of healthcare. Third, it recommended that the WHO continue to work closely with the scientific community to track emerging variants, their impact on diagnostic tests, and the effectiveness of vaccines. Finally, it advised that the WHO ensures that pandemic preparedness and response is an integral part of the long-term global health agenda.

#GlobalSurveillance #EssentialHealthServices #PandemicPreparedness


The fifth Emergency Committee meeting on multi-country health crisis reviewed crucial decisions to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and other public health emergencies. The Committee highlighted the importance of implementing consistent travel measures to control the spread of COVID-19 variants and ensure equitable access to vaccines worldwide. Additionally, it recommended the strengthening of the Global surveillance and response system, prioritizing essential health services, working closely with the scientific community, and adopting long-term pandemic preparedness measures. These decisions align with the WHO’s vision of protecting global health security, making it critical to implement them without delay. #HEALTH

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