Kingdom complies with WHO health guidelines

The entire Dutch Kingdom, including the Dutch Caribbean, now complies with the international guidelines of the World Health Organisation to fight infectious diseases.

Dutch Minister of Public Health, Welfare and Sports Edith Schippers stated this at a large international congress of the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) in Rotterdam on Thursday. The GHSA is an initiative of United States President Barack Obama.

By complying with WHO’s International Health Regulations (IHR), a cooperation has evolved between the public health departments of Aruba, Curaçao, St. Maarten and the Netherlands, including the Dutch public entities Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba.

The Centre for Infectious Diseases of the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment RIVM coordinates the cooperation with the Dutch Caribbean islands. Schippers remarked in her speech that even though the entire Kingdom now complied with the WHO guidelines, it remained important to keep working improvements to fight and prevent infectious diseases.

The WHO guidelines have been secured in an IHR, which means that countries must have a proper detection system for infectious diseases and sufficient laboratories to be able to quickly act in case of an outbreak of an infectious disease and incidents that present a risk to the population.

The GHSA has as goal to arrive at agreements on an international level to combat and prevent outbreaks of infectious diseases, zoonosis such as ebola, zika and q-fever, as well as antibiotic resistance and bioterrorism.

More than 300 persons attended the GHSA conference, including 14 members of government, from some 40 countries. Schippers represented the Netherlands as the hosting country, while Indonesia chaired the conference. Next year’s conference will be held in Uganda under the chairmanship of South-Korea.

The Daily Herald.

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