PHEIC

Public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC): Serious public health events that endanger international public health. This term is defined in as “an extraordinary event which is determined [...]:

  • to constitute a public health risk to other States through the international spread of disease; and
  • to potentially require a coordinated international response”.

This definition implies a situation that: is serious, unusual or unexpected; carries implications for public health beyond the affected State’s national border; and may require immediate international action. The responsibility of determining whether an event is within this category lies with the WHO Director-General and requires the convening of a committee of experts, the IHR Emergency Committee. This committee advises the Director-General on the recommended measures to be promulgated on an emergency basis, known as temporary recommendations. Temporary recommendations include health measures to be implemented by the State Party experiencing the PHEIC, or by other States Parties, to prevent or reduce the international spread of disease and avoid unnecessary interference with international traffic WHO (2005).

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