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Applying Epidemiology for the International Health Regulations.

Last modified at 4/24/2015 12:31 PM by Arnold Bosman

What about the link between IHR and epidemiology?

So far, from the above it is probably clear that IHR2005 contain strong and frequent references to surveillance principles. In order for a Member State to be able to perform the surveillance functions laid down in the IHR2005, a certain amount of trained experts needs to be put in place.

So what about other epidemiological methods and concepts; do IHR require that countries maintain specific competences in epidemiology within the workforce? Though (analytical) epidemiological investigations are not specifically mentioned in the IHR, there is an indirect reference to them by defining scientific evidence; ".......this means information furnishing a level of proof based on the established and accepted methods of science".

Still, the text leaves room for interpretation on how much capacity (human resource) member states are expected to ensure to apply epidemiological methods during the assessment of public health threats.

Online training resources:



1. International Health Regulations 2005.

2. WHO-EURO. International Training Workshop: "International Health Regulations Core Capacity Tabletop Exercise Development and Public Health management",

3. Nicoll A, Jones J, Aavitsland P, Giesecke J. Proposed new International Health Regulations. BMJ 2005; 330: 321-2

4.  REGULATION (EC) No 851/2004 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 21 April 2004 establishing a European centre for disease prevention and control