International Health Regulations (IHR)

Laboratory technician wearing protective clothing, collecting a specimenThe IHR require countries to detect, assess, notify and report events that could result in a public health emergency of international concern. Photo credit: WHOThe IHR (2005) are a legal framework to prevent, protect against, control and provide a public health response to the international spread of disease while avoiding unnecessary interference with international traffic and trade. Their entry into force on 15 June 2007 was a public health landmark.

Momentum towards IHR (2005) implementation is increasing. The Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean is escalating its efforts to support and accelerate achievement of core capacities in countries. It supports countries to implement the recommendations through providing technical advice, coordinating with IHR stakeholders (national, regional and global) and conducting meetings and training workshops to strengthen national capacities.

International Health Regulations (IHR 2005)

IHR core capacities



United Nations agencies implement joint programme to protect migrant health and well-being

1 October 2019 – United Nations agencies are implementing a joint multi-country  programme, which aims to improve and protect the health and well-being of individuals and communities before and throughout...

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Tunisia finalizes draft national action plan to improve health security

24 April 2019 – Between 22 and 24 April 2019, a workshop, organized by the WHO Regional Office and attended by representatives of public institutions in Tunisia, UNICEF and the...

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Consultation discusses regional strategy and plan of action on health of migrants and refugees

18 April 2019 – On 25–27 March, representatives of Member States, WHO, partner organizations, civil society and academia began a consultative process to develop a regional strategy and action plan...

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In focus

7 May 2014 - On 3 and 6 May 2014, the IHR National Focal Point of Jordan notified WHO of two additional laboratory-confirmed cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS-CoV)...

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14 May 2014 – The fifth meeting of the Emergency Committee convened by the Director-General under the International Health Regulations (2005) concerning Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) was held by...

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Statistics and figures

  • Percentage of IHR core capacities activities achieved by countries in the Region in 2011

Surveillance: 80%

Preparedness: 60%

Response: 73%

Points of entry: 50%

Laboratory: 74%

Coordination: 72%

Read more about the IHR core capacities