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Volume 12, Number 7—July 2006

Global Public Health Surveillance under New International Health Regulations

Michael G. Baker*Comments to Author  and David P. Fidler†
Author affiliations: *Wellington School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Wellington, New Zealand; †Indiana University School of Law, Bloomington, Indiana, USA

Main Article

Table 2

Barriers to International Health Regulations (IHR) 2005 surveillance effectiveness, and potential responses

Barrier Description Potential responses
Technical Difficulty detecting previously unrecognized pathogens, especially those with asymptomatic transmission Specialized surveillance approaches such as syndromic surveillance; improved diagnostic technologies; training and support for epidemiology, laboratory, and other staff
Resource Limited resources for public health surveillance, particularly in developing countries Systematic global strategy for assessment and development of surveillance and response capacities, particularly in developing countries
Governance Lack of awareness about limitations of existing surveillance and lack of governance capabilities to develop and manage sophisticated systems Training and support for public health professionals and managers; periodic surveillance system evaluations; performance monitoring focusing on attributes such as sensitivity and timeliness
Legal Potential for countries to make reservations to some obligations in IHR 2005 and concerns it may not be consistent with domestic law in some countries Formulation of reservations to ensure minimal effects on public health surveillance; development of "model" public health legislation that can be adapted for use in many countries
Political Concern about potential negative effects on trade and tourism from reporting disease events Strategies to limit excessive responses; fostering a collaborative, measured response to public health emergencies of international concern; awareness of self-defeating effects of withholding information

Main Article

Page created: December 16, 2011
Page updated: December 16, 2011
Page reviewed: December 16, 2011
The conclusions, findings, and opinions expressed by authors contributing to this journal do not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the authors' affiliated institutions. Use of trade names is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by any of the groups named above.