Sensitization of Ministry of Health Staff on the IRH 2005 Core Capacity requirements for implementation

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This sensitization was especially timely as it was gleaned from the BWP review meeting that personnel were still unclear on the implementation of the IHR and the core capacity requirements. 

Mr. Colin Browne ably assisted by Mr. Carnel Smith – Chief Environmental Health Officer explained that the UK’s signage of the  International Health Regulation (IHR) 2005 document would have automatically bound BVI to implement the IHR, however, the BVI was currently unable to issue the Ship Sanitation Certificate because the legislation did not provide the legislative framework. 

During the interactive discussion which included senior personnel from the BVI Health Services Authority, the PS Health, CMO and Administrative staff, the following was noted:- 

  • The Public Health Emergency contingency plan should be linked to the National Plan for Health;
  • All health and other legislation should make reference to the International Health Regulation (IHR) and this necessitated reviews of several pieces of legislation;
  • Memoranda of Understanding and Standard Operating Procedures had to be developed;
  • the interrelatedness of the Officers at the Points of Entry and Environmental Health Department;
  • the need for the Ministry of Health to establish its own command centre to respond to health threats;
  • the inclusion of all staff (including administrative) in the training on IHR and cross training of staff. This would provide staff for the command centre and
  • the need to establish a multidisciplinary team. 

One of the recommendations was a TCC with a functional command/coordinating centre to acquire first-hand knowledge of the way that these centres operate.



 Mr. Carnel Smith, Chief Environmental Health Officer and Mr. Rupert Xavier, Deputy CEHO.

A special Sensitization Meeting for the Environmental Health Officers which took the form of a training session was held in the afternoon of March 11, 2011.

The purpose of this meeting was to sensitize the EHOs on the core capacity requirements for the implementation of the IHR but more specifically to outline their roles and responsibilities in the process and sustainability of the surveillance.

The Officers were provided with information by Mr. Colin Browne on the IHR, Port Health – roles and responsibilities of EHO, Pratique, the composition of teams required to board ships and the documents needed to clear vessels.

The discussion included the lack of resources to conduct inspection of food and other goods at the ports, the disposal of waste and the legal implications for disallowing a vessel or aircraft from off loading passengers who had a public health crisis on board. 

It was stressed that with the lack of human capacity, all entities had to work collaboratively to maintain the high levels of surveillance required to keep the territories free from hazards.



 Mr. Rupert Xavier, Deputy CEHO and other participants.

 Participants at the Sensitization Meeting for Environmental Health Officers



Last Updated on Thursday, 20 September 2012 16:53