NEW DELHI: Noting the important role played by various sectors in implementation of International Health Regulations (IHR), the government today emphasised the need to build such capacities at the state level.
“There is a need for greater attention on building capacities at state level, particularly for hospital preparedness, infection control and surge capacity for IHR,” said Jagdish Prasad, Director General of Health Services (DGHS).
He was speaking during a national consultation on strengthening intersectoral coordination for IHR (2005) in Goa on November 18-19.
“IHR are an instrument for the world to have a robust protocol for prevention, reporting, information sharing and preparedness. India is committed to becoming IHR compliant in 2016. The Goa meeting is an important step toward this goal,” said Anshu Prakash, Joint Secretary, Health Ministry.
He added that pathogens do not recognise political boundaries and hence move across countries.
India has prioritised the implementation of IHR as it moves towards full compliance by 2016. It is investing in building and sustaining core capacities under IHR (2005), particularly in view of emerging global threats such as Ebola and MERS-CoV.
Prakin Suchaxaya, Coordinator-Health Programmes, WHO Country Office for India said that building and maintaining IHR core capacities of surveillance, response, laboratory verification, with preparedness, both at national and sub-national level for all hazards is absolutely critical.
“This calls for many different agencies and sectors to come together for public health and cannot be done by the health sector alone,” he said.
Various sectors took part in the meeting including human health, animal health, food safety, points of entry (ports, airports and ground crossings), atomic energy, shipping, airport authority, disaster management and response (NDMA), emergency medical and relief, international health as well as the Armed Forces-Health Division.
Several technical and research agencies are also participating in the meeting which includes National Centre for Disease Control, National Institute of Virology, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and the Public Health Foundation of India amongst others.