Joint external evaluation on Sri Lanka’s International Health Regulations Core Competencies

A Joint External Evaluation (JEE) to evaluate Sri Lanka’s International Health Regulations (IHR) core capacities to prevent, detect and respond to public health threats is taking place from 19 – 23 June 2017. Sri Lanka is the fourth country in the WHO South-East Asia Region to take part in the JEE, which will help strengthen the country’s health emergency preparedness.

Today’s world is increasingly interconnected with the rapid expansion of international travel and trade. As a result, disease threats in one country can quickly spread to anywhere across the globe, placing global health security at risk. Recent infectious disease outbreaks on a regional and global scale have led to a renewed focus on strengthening the International Health Regulations (IHR) activities. IHR aims to “to prevent, protect against, control and provide a public health response to the international spread of disease”. Sri Lanka, as an IHR member state, is committed to establishing core national capacities and combatting public health threats rapidly and effectively.

As part of the JEE, a multisectoral team of international experts will assess Sri Lanka’s health emergency preparedness in consultation with national stakeholders. It is an objective and collaborative process to assess Sri Lanka’s core capacity status. WHO played a key role in facilitating the JEE, which Sri Lanka volunteered for in November 2016.

The JEE will assess whether Sri Lanka has fulfilled the minimum requirements regarding surveillance, reporting, notification and response to public health threats. The JEE will further identify key priority areas in order to develop a national action plan to strengthen the country’s core capacities. WCO Sri Lanka will continue to support the Government to further strengthen its health security and build national capacity in responding to public health emergencies.