SIERRA LEONE—The Ministry of Health (MoH), with help from the World Health Organization (WHO) and other partners, is preparing to release the 2023 International Health Regulations (IHR) State Party Annual Report.

This revelation came when the country hosted a two-day multi-sectoral workshop in Freetown from February 13 to 14, 2024, marking another step toward enhancing global health security in accordance with Member State accountability requirements.

The workshop was attended by a wide range of stakeholders, including government agencies, international organizations such as UNICEF, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), GIZ, Breakthrough Action, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and HEADA, among others.

Sierra Leone, a signatory to the IHR (2005), views IHR implementation as a lengthy process that necessitates the ongoing development and strengthening of national public health capacity.

Central to this process is the filing of the State Party Self-Assessment Annual Report (SPAR Report), in which countries inform the World Health Assembly of their IHR capacities on an annual basis.

 WHO and other partners aided Sierra Leone’s government in developing the 2023 IHR State Party Report.

The stakeholders thoroughly analyzed the IHR’s main capacities, including laboratory infrastructure, health service supply, points of entry, food safety, zoonotic illnesses, and disease surveillance.

Strengths and deficiencies were identified through strong group discussions, establishing the framework for thorough reporting on Sierra Leone’s public health apparatus’ functions and capacity.

With the workshop insights in hand, the country is ready to offer a comprehensive and transparent picture of its IHR achievements and difficulties.

The International Health Regulations (IHR 2005) act as a legally binding agreement between 196 countries, including all WHO Member States, to strengthen collaborative efforts to protect global health.

The IHR framework commits nations to improving their capacity for preventing, detecting, analyzing, reporting, and responding to public health emergencies.

WHO, in collaboration with its partners, plays a critical role in coordinating IHR efforts and assisting nations with capacity-building initiatives.

The IHR includes measures implemented at ports, airports, and ground crossings to reduce the spread of health risks across borders while minimizing delays to travel and trade.

As Sierra Leone and other governments navigate the complicated environment of global health security, coordinated measures like these highlight the common commitment to strengthening resilience against rising health risks.

With each annual report, progress is made toward a more strong and linked global health infrastructure, which protects the well-being of communities around the world.

Sierra Leone is on the right track, with the recent establishment of the National Public Health Agency (NPHA) and the previous piloting of the Universal Health Preparedness Review (UHPR).

For all the latest healthcare industry news from Africa and the World, subscribe to our NEWSLETTER, and YouTube Channel, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, and like us on Facebook.