Thirty-third session


Epidemiological Surveillance and Health Services in International Ports

         The Regional Committee,

         Having considered the document presented by the Regional Director on epidemiological surveillance and health services international ports in the Western Pacific Regional;*

         Noting the increased risk of transfer of disease between countries as a result of the remarkable growth in international travel, tourism and trade, facilitated by the development of rapid means of transport;

         Noting the various categories of infection that may be spread from one country to another as a result of the more rapid means international travel;

         Noting also that, in view of changing disease patterns and emergence of new diseases, the existing quarantine procedures contained in the International Health Regulations are no longer completely relevant;

  1. URGES Member States:
    (1) to strengthen their epidemiological services surveillance systems, particularly at international ports entry;
    (2) to involve national agencies dealing with tourism, trade and travel in efforts to prevent the spread of disease through international travel and trade;
    (3) to cooperate with each other by exchanging information matters relating to epidemiological surveillance and the spread of disease through international travel and trade;
  2. REQUESTS the Regional Director:
    (1) to support Member States in strengthening their epidemiological services and surveillance systems, especially in relation to possible disease outbreaks resulting from international travel;
    (2) to provide technical cooperation to Member States in the training of health workers in relation to epidemiological surveillance and health services at international ports of entry;
    (3) to take steps to ensure the collection and rapid dissemination to Member States of the necessary epidemiological information on disease outbreaks related to international travel;
    (4) to promote studies on vector control measures in relation to the spread of communicable diseases;
    (5) to advise the Director-General that, in the opinion of the Regional Committee, it is timely for a review to be undertaken of the International Health Regulations, particularly in relation to the regulations pertaining to notification of cholera;
  3. ENDORSES the proposal of the Regional Director to hold an intercountry workshop on epidemiological surveillance and health services at international ports in 1983.

* WPR/RC33/16

24 September 1982

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