Under the provisions of International Health Regulations (2005) the mandatory duty for member nations is to conduct an assessment of public health events occurring within their territories in accordance with the established protocols and then to notify WHO of all qualifying events within 24 hours of the assessment. Heymann states that 4 criteria define a notifiable event: “1) Whether the event has a serious public health impact. 2) Whether the event is unusual or unexpected. 3) Whether the event risks spreading internationally. 4) Whether the event risks resulting in restrictions on international trade and/or travel.”
The effectiveness of international regulations is clearly dependent on the willingness of member nations to recognize and assess events, and share information with the WHO.
- What do you see as the barriers to cooperation within the international community?
- Should a nation be bound to international regulations? Why or why not?
- Read the words of Jesus in Matthew 22:20-22, the instructions of Paul in Romans 13:1, and the story of the treaty between Abraham and Abimelech in Genesis 21:22-34. Do these passages apply to international health regulations?