Presentation on theme: "Department of International Health Regulations Coordination"— Presentation transcript:
1 Department of International Health Regulations Coordination OIE Global Conference on Veterinary Legislation Djerba, Tunisia 7-9 December 2010Bruce PlotkinDepartment of International Health Regulations CoordinationDepartments of Food Safety and Zoonosesand International Health Regulations CoordinationHealth Security and Environment ClusterWHO HQ, Geneva, Switzerland1
2 Outline of Presentation Codex Alimentarius:What is it? What does it do?Importance for national legislationInternational Health Regulations (2005):Background, overview, scopeKey elementsImportance of intersectoral collaborationLegislative assessment and revision:Lessons learned and practical suggestions
3 Codex Alimentarius Commission - what is it? - Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) is an intergovernmental body operating within the United NationsJoint initiative of FAO and WHO (since 1963)FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme180 member governments, including the European Community as a member organizationApproximately 20 technical committeesProduct is Codex Alimentarius (Latin for "food code")
4 Codex Alimentarius Commission - what does it do? - Creates harmonized international food standards with a dual purpose:“to protect the health of consumers”“to ensure fair practices in the food trade”Also promotes coordination of all food standards work undertaken by international governmental and non-governmental organizationsStandards, when introduced into national legislation, contribute to ensure safety of foodsCommission meets annually - discuss and adopt international food standards, guidelinesFor examples, at its recent 33rd session, the commission considered:guidelines on controlling bacteria in seafood throughout the food-chain; andsetting maximum residues level for ractopamine in meat
5 Codex standards for food safety → Codex standards Voluntary / Non-mandatoryReference for policy & decision-makersSince 1995, international standards references under the SPS and TBT Agreements of the World Trade Organization (WTO)International standards in SPSfor food safety → Codex standardsfor animal health → OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health)for plant health → IPPC (Int'l Plant Protection Convention)
6 FAO/WHO Guidelines for strengthening national food control systems (2003) ANNEX 6 – Guidelines for Developing a National Food LawA set of guiding principles as a general approach to the drafting of food legislationApplicable to different legal systemsComplement an in-depth analysis of the legal and institutional framework that govern food production, import, export, distribution, handling and sale in a particular countryPrompt countries to take full advantage of Codex standards and food safety & quality lessons learned in other countries
7 International Health Regulations (2005) A (very) short history 1969 IHR covered 3 diseases: YF, cholera, plagueRevision started 1995 –adopted by all States in 2005IHR in force, and implemented, globally since Legally binding on 194 States PartiesConcerns during revision included - EIDs, Zoonoses e.g. Ebola/VHFs, BSE, Nipah, SARS, avian influenza, future serious potentially unknown international risksGlobal legal framework against international spread of serious diseaseApply to government as a whole, not just particular ministry, department or agenciesBroad / open disease scope for early warning/response & to catch emerging risksOverall framework: surveillance, response, support ,information sharing, capacitiesDoes not replace existing regulatory regimes – Does mandate collaboration
8 Major innovationsFrom control at borders to containment at source and development of core public health capacities in all countriesFrom disease list to broad range of serious int'l public health risksFrom preset health measures to generalized rules and risk assessment in particular context
9 Purpose and Scope of IHR "to prevent, protect against, control and respond to the international spread of disease…"in ways that are commensurate with and restricted to public health risks"and which avoid unnecessary interference with international traffic and trade" (Article 2)
10 Broad scope and coverage of IHR (2005) “Disease”: “an Illness or medical condition, irrespective of origin or source, that presents or could present significant harm to humans”“Event”: “a manifestation of disease or an occurrence that creates the potential for disease”"Public health risk": "the likelihood of an event that may adversely affect the health of human populations, …"Events/risks may be:Biological/infectious, chemical, radionuclearKnown or unknown, emerging or re-emergingTransmissible by persons, transport conveyances, cargo/goods food/animals/products), vectors, environment, etc.
11 Government areas and functions affected by International Health Regulations Public healthEnvironmentRadio-nuclear and chemical activities / safetyCustomsFood safetyBorders / immigrationAgriculture (and animal health)International ports, airports, ground crossingsTransportation (including dangerous goods)Collection, use and disclosure of public health informationActivities of authorities at national, state/provincial/district, local levels.
12 Animals / productsReferences to animals in the IHR arise in mainly 2 contexts:"Goods" – part of provisions throughout the IHRDefined as: "tangible products, including animals and plants, transported on an international journey, including for utilization aboard a conveyance""Animals" – additionally referenced separately (examples):Definitions: infection/disinfection, contamination/decontamination, reservoir/vectorPort/airport authorities responsible for removal and safe disposal of animal dejecta and other contaminated items on conveyancesDesignated ports/airports must have capacities to assess and care for affected animals by arrangements with local veterinary facilities for isolation, treatmentShip Sanitation Inspections / certificates include animal reservoirsMaritime Declaration of Health includes disclosure of sick animals
13 Key structures & mechanism National IHR Focal PointIn all countries available 24/7 for urgent communications with WHO IHR Contact Point on urgent events under the IHR (for e.g. notification/verification/follow-up) involving any covered risksResponsible for obtaining information from all government sectors on IHR-covered events (should include animal health), and for disseminating information to them.Potential focus for intersectoral collaborationHas access to restricted IHR Event Information Site – information on selected (also OIE/FAO)EnvironmentRadio-nuclear and chemical activities / safetyCustomsFood safetyBorders / immigrationWHO IHR Contact PointLocated in each of WHO’s 6 regional offices – for communications with the National IHR Focal PointsWorks with WHO HQ, Country office and National government – on IHR events, technical support, capacity building
14 Key IHR elements for veterinary health sector & legislation: Public Health Operations (potentially zoonoses, animals)WHO: Global surveillance, assessment, support / responseStates: Notification/reporting/verification of urgent health events to WHOStates: Collaboration with National IHR Focal PointsWHO: Information sharing with States on selected urgent events with potential international implicationsStates: Regulation of application of health measures to int'l trade, transport and travelers and sanitary requirements at international ports/airports, crossingsKeys for implementation by veterinary health sector: Awareness of IHR requirements, andTimely collaboration with IHR unit, including information sharing, through NFP or other mechanism
15 Development of core public health capacities for surveillance and response All States Parties must develop/maintain national minimum public health capacities, including surveillance, assessment & responseRequired capacities: Detect, assess, control and report internally on public health events – according to specified criteriaAt all levels and throughout national territoryDeadline for development: 2012/2014Efforts to achieve these capacities ongoing worldwideDevelopment monitored with States and WHO supportReport on progress to the WHO World Health AssemblyIncludes your areas: Zoonoses and food-related risksCritical area for intersectoral collaboration
16 National IHR Core Public Health Capacities: Monitoring and reporting 8 Core capacitiesLegislation and PolicyCoordinationSurveillanceResponsePreparednessRisk CommunicationsHuman ResourcesLaboratory3 levelsNationalIntermediatePeripheral/CommunityPotential HazardsBiologicalInfectiousZoonosisFood safetyChemicalRadio nuclearEvents at Points of Entry
17 The requirements for intersectoral collaboration Required directly, and effectively indirectly under IHR (2005)Relevant mechanisms and provisions under the IHR (2005):National IHR Focal Point in all countries:Veterinary health sector a key authority with relevant public health informationMay also be other IHR coordinating authorityNational programme for meeting IHR Core capacity requirements – including zoonoses and food safetyThese are subjects of national/WHO monitoring & reporting to World Health AssemblyCoordination with National IHR authorities:National veterinary legislation should be consistent with national organization for IHR implementationOngoing legislative assessment and revision process regarding IHR (2005) rights and obligations – presents an opportunity for synergies and efficiencies
18 Assessment and revision of legislation Potential benefits:Enable veterinary health sector to carry out its necessary specific tasksFacilitate more efficient and effective functioning to achieve objectivesEnable or facilitate implementation of country’s rights and obligations under the range of relevant international lawsEmpower the veterinary health sectorInstitutionalize the role and activities of the sector within the governmentFacilitate important inter-sectoral collaboration within government in activities relevant to veterinary health sector’sGood governancePotential challenges include: institutional, technical, informational, resource
19 Lessons learned in context of public health legislative assessment and revision Others in your government are probably also doing assessments / revision of legislation, some of which may relate to your intended legislationLegislation must be specific to domestic legal and governance systems, socio- political contextPrioritize:What may need to be done most urgentlyWhat are most important elements for each StateConsider options to expedite the legislative process if urgently neededProcess needs to involve all relevant sectors, offices, levelsMay well save time / avoid obstacles laterProcess needs to involve not only options for high level legislation, but also regulations, rules, procedures that implement legislation operationally
20 Practical suggestions – Preparations Contact relevant government legal advisors for appropriate procedures – if neededConsider developing awareness materials such as cabinet papers to facilitate supportStart early to identify / mobilize governmental, technical, financial, other resourcesContact other States (particularly those with similar national contexts) who are doing, or have done, similar assessments and revisions for their lessons learned, collaborationContact your country's national authorities concerned with implementing the IHR (2005) rights and obligations and other relevant national/international obligations (e.g. WTO/Trade):Facilitates awareness of full legislative landscape relevant to veterinary legislationCan ensure consistency and effective implementation in areas of mutual concernStart early to identify existing legislation, regulations, rules relating to your proposed legislation - can take surprising time, and if are problems better to know early
21 Resources: Guidance for full assessment Detailed, step by step guidance materials on WHO Website (IHR context)Most relevant: Brief Introduction: Considerations of Why, What, Who and How of legislative assessment and revision – as applied to IHR (2005) but much of it is generally applicable (and brief!)
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