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About IHR

About IHR

The World Health Report 2007 - A safer future: global public health security in the 21st century

The report explains how the revised International Health Regulations (2005), which came into force this year, helps countries to work together to identify risks and act to contain and control them. The regulations are needed because no single country, regardless of capability or wealth, can protect itself from outbreaks and other hazards without the cooperation of others. The report says the prospect of a safer future is within reach - and that this is both a collective aspiration and a mutual responsibility.

The International Health Regulations (1969)

Adopted by the Twenty-second World Health Assembly on 25 July 1969 represent a revised and consolidated version of the previous International Sanitary Regulations. The purpose of the International Health Regulations is to ensure the maximum security against the international spread diseases with a minimum interference with world traffic. Following the increasing emphasis on epdemiological surveillance for communicable disease recognition and control.

The International Health Regulations (2005)

The International Health Regulations (“the IHR” or “Regulations”) were adopted by the Health Assembly in 1969, having been preceded by the International Sanitary Regulations adopted by the Fourth World Health Assembly in 1951. The 1969 Regulations, which initially covered six “quarantinable diseases” were amended in 19732 and 19813, primarily to reduce the number of covered diseases from six to three (yellow fever, plague and cholera) and to mark the global eradication of smallpox.

 An English doctor, Edward Jenner, carries out the
first vaccination against smallpox in 1796
by inoculating a boy with cowpox virus.

Since 15 June 2007, the world has been implementing the International Health Regulations (2005). This legally-binding agreement significantly contributes to global public health security by providing a new framework for the coordination of the management of events that may constitute a public health emergency of international concern, and will improve the capacity of all countries to detect, assess, notify and respond to public health threats.

Countries that are States Parties to the Regulations have two years to assess their capacity and develop national action plans followed by three years to meet the requirements of the Regulations regarding their national surveillance and response systems as well as the requirements at designated airports, ports and certain ground crossings (a two-year extension may be obtained, and, in exceptional circumstances, an additional extension could be granted, not exceeding two years).



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From the 14th century, European doctors visiting plague victims wore protective clothing, a mask and a beak containing strong-smelling herbs.

This sketch, called “Death’s Dispensary”, was drawn by George Pinwell in 1866, aroud the time John Snow was studying the connection between London’s contaminated water supply and outbreaks of cholera.

Related Documents

icon World Health Report (2007)

icon International Health Regulations (2005)

icon International Health Regulations (1969)

icon Reglamento Sanitario Internacional (2005)

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 December 2012 12:37

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