International Public Health Hazards: Indian legislative provisions

"International public health hazards: Indian legislative provisions" presents an outline of the provisions in the Indian legal system which may enable the implementation of IHR in the country. International Health Regulations (2005) are the international legal instrument designed to help protect all countries from the international spread of disease, including public health risks and public health emergencies. The present document is the result of a study taken up for the regional workshop on public health legislation for International Health Regulations, Yangon, Myanmar," 8-10 April 2013. The relevant Indian legislation in the various Acts and rules that may assist in putting early warning systems in place has been outlined. The document intends to provide a ready reference on Indian legislation to enable establishing an early warning system that could assist the Government to provide health care.

Regional Communication Strategy for the Prevention and Control of Birth Defects

For the prevention and management of birth defects, an enabling and supportive environment is crucial to encourage individuals, families and communities to adopt and sustain new behaviours. This is achieved through a range of health communication activities including community mobilization and media campaigns. Public campaigns need to focus on alleviating the stigma related to birth defects and sensitively address cultural and religious issues such as consanguinity, myths and misconceptions around birth defects. Strategically planned communication helps influence policy-makers and opinion leaders to bring about changes in policies, as well as encouraging structural changes within the community to support healthy behaviours. Hence, it is equally important to conduct advocacy with policy- and decision-makers to position birth defects among existing priorities in the national health agenda of countries. The World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for South-East Asia developed a regional strategic framework for the prevention and control of birth defects (2013-2017), to guide Member States in developing national plans to address birth defects. The strategic framework recommends that a well-designed communication strategy is an important element for the prevention and control of birth defects. This regional communication strategy for the prevention and control of birth defects has, therefore, been prepared, in consultation with Member States, to guide the development of strategic communication plans to facilitate implementation of national plans for the prevention and control of birth defects. Considering that health communication is an important component of ongoing reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health and related programmes in Member States, the regional communication strategy recommends the integration of communication activities for birth defects into existing public health programmes, as far as possible, for synergistic effect. A set of communication tools is also provided in the form of ready-to-use templates that could be used for advocacy, awareness generation etc. in different media channels for prevention of birth defects within the country.

World Health Organization
Regional Office for South-East Asia
World Health House
Indraprastha Estate
Mahatma Gandhi Marg
New Delhi 110 002, India
E-mail: searolibrary@who.int