The Global Governance of Infectious Diseases: The World Health Organization and the International Health Regulations


  • Rosario M. Isasi
  • Thu Minh Nguyen



The 2003 SARS outbreak exemplified both the porous boundaries for infectious disease due to globalization and the inadequacy of global governance of public health. The World Health Organization (WHO), whose mission is to play a leading role in the protection and promotion of global public health, recently adopted a revision of its International Health Regulations (IHR). By revising and updating the IHR, it remains to be seen whether this new instrument can serve as a model for effective public health governance, allowing the WHO to fulfil its mandate. The authors provide background on the role and evaluation of the WHO in global health governance. They then provide a comparative analysis between the 2005 IHR with the original 1969 IHR in terms of scope, procedure, response networks, capacities and respect for human rights.




Forum: Infectious Diseases