The notification for Zika being a PHEIC
was withdrawn by WHO on 18th November, 2016.
The continuing polio PHEIC
is endangering the success of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), into which the world has invested $15bn since it was launched in 1988; and it threatens global health generally.
After the Ebola PHEIC
, donors then mobilised financial and military resources, and the United Nations Security Council created the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response.
Events are identified as potential PHEICs
and reported to the six WHO IHR (2005) Regional Contact Points when they fulfill at least two of the following four criteria: 1) a serious public health event is suspected, 2) the event is considered unusual or unexpected, 3) there is a significant risk of international spread, and 4) the event poses a significant risk to international travel or trade (2).
Second, even where, if, and when such systems are created, many states (and perhaps particularly sub-national actors or peripheral authorities) will continue to face significant disincentives to report a potential PHEIC
given the history of economic damages that result from international media coverage and disproportionate containment measures.
Such consultation and prompt notification are encouraged by making all information received by WHO under Articles 6 and 8 confidential in the first instance, that is, it will not be shared with other member states until a PHEIC
is confirmed or unless the risk is too great.
The Zika epidemic and the PHEIC
declaration require inter-sector answers.
Using the IHR (2005), the director-general of the WHO assembled a special commission on August 6, 2014, and declared the event as PHEIC
on August 8, 2014.
Annex 2 of the IHR provides the decision instrument for assessing and notifying WHO of a potential PHEIC
Included in the regulations are provisions that member states are required to 1) establish a National IHR Focal Point for communication with WHO, 2) meet core capacity requirements for disease surveillance, 3) inform WHO in a timely fashion of any incident that might be considered a PHEIC
, and 4) respond to additional requests for information by WHO (4).
Given that the spread of highly pathogenic influenza viruses is considered a PHEIC
, the IHR 2005 mandates that States Parties provide WHO with samples for surveillance purposes without preconditions or expectations of benefits in retum.
Second, IHR 2005 contains a "decision instrument" (annex 2) that helps state parties identify whether a health-related event may constitute a PHEIC
and therefore requires formal notification to WHO (Figure 1).