Public health emergencies of international concern: Global, regional, and local responses to risk

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Journal Article
Medical Law Review, 2017, 25 (2), pp. 223 - 239
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© 2017. Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. The declaration in 2009 that the H1N1 pandemic constituted a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) was the first such declaration under the revised International Health Regulations that were adopted in 2005. In the period since then PHEIC have been declared in relation to polio, Ebola, and Zika. This article evaluates initiatives that have been introduced globally, within the Asia-Pacific region, and within Australia, to strengthen preparedness for public health emergencies. Through analysis of evolving conceptualisations of risk, surveillance of zoonotic diseases, and development of public health capacities, the article argues that to date the global community has failed to make the necessary investments in health system strengthening, and that without these investments, global public health emergencies will continue to be an ongoing challenge.
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