Alert and Response Operations
What are the Alert & Response Operations team functions?
As the WHO International Health Regulations (2005) Regional Contact Point, the PAHO Alert and Response Operations (ARO) team provides support for Member States of the Region of the Americas in establishing and implementing functional integrated early warning and response systems in order to improve early detection and rapid response to epidemic-prone diseases with pandemic potential and other public health emergencies.
The Alert and Response Operations team collaborates with WHO headquarters, regional offices, PAHO Country Offices and Member States in carrying out:
:: Background Information
PAHO continues to track the evolving infectious disease situation, as well as events related to contaminated goods, food safety, or of chemical or radionuclear origins, to alert Member States, when needed, as well as to share technical expertise, and mount the kind of response needed to protect populations from the consequences of epidemics, whatever and wherever might be their origin.
For this purpose, permanent communication channels between Member States and the WHO IHR(2005) Regional Contact Point have been established and are routinely tested to ensure access.
The International Health Regulations (2005) or “IHR (2005)” provide a framework for Alert and Response Operations to control international outbreaks and other public health risks and emergencies. When the IHR (2005) went into force on 15 June 2007, new operational concepts were introduced shaping the functions of Alert and Response Operations.
Key operational elements introduced by the IHR (2005) falling under the care of Alert and Response Operations include:
The implementation of specific procedures for notification, consultation, and reporting of public health events.
The establishment of permanent communication channels, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, between Member States and the WHO IHR (2005) Contact Point.
Sending verification requests to IHR (2005) National Focal Points, regarding reports of public health events occurring within Member State territories.
The IHR (2005) also includes the offer of international collaboration to countries affected or threatened by an emergency. This collaboration includes guidance and technical cooperation, the mobilization of international experts to provide assistance in the field and provision of the supplies needed to respond to the situation