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Joint external evaluation of the International Health Regulation (2005) capacities: current status and lessons learnt in the WHO African region
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  • Published on:
    A partnership approach to strengthening IHR compliance
    • Ahmed Razavi, Public Health Registrar IHR Strengthening Project, Global Public Health Division, Public Health England.
    • Other Contributors:
      • Renu Bindra, Consultant in Global Public Health
      • Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director General
      • Ebere Okereke, Consultant in Global Public Health

    Dear Editor,

    We read with interest the recent analysis of Joint External Evaluations (JEE) to assess International Health Regulations (IHR) compliance in the WHO African region. It is fantastic to see the engagement in the African region with this voluntary process, with 40 of 47 countries having been evaluated to date and 41 published mission reports (including Zanzibar), the highest proportion of completed JEEs for any WHO region. We congratulate the WHO Regional Office for Africa (WHO AFRO) for its leadership of this critical process. We would like to add our perspective as a technical agency engaged with and supportive of the JEE process.

    As part of Public Health England’s (PHE) IHR Strengthening Project we have been engaging with National Public Health Institutes (NPHIs) in four African countries namely: Ethiopia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Zambia. In addition, we work with regional public health institutions such as the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), and WHO AFRO to extend our reach beyond the bilateral engagement countries listed. The JEE process, with the subsequent development of a National Action Plan for Health Security (NAPHS), has been instrumental in informing and shaping our areas of engagement. In each of our partner countries, we have worked closely with the leadership of the NPHI and the relevant government ministries to develop workplans that address the gaps and needs highlighted in the JEE and prioritised...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    To note:

    The Public Health England IHR Strengthening Project is funded through the UK Government’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) fund.

    Nigeria Centre for Disease Control is the national public health institute of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and a member of IANPHI.