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Aug 8, 2013

ISDS Webinar: Global Public Health Surveillanc, Governance and Viral Sovereignty


Affan Shaikh, M.P.H, Senior Epidemiologist, Public Health Practice, LLC 

Scott JN McNabb, Ph.D., M.S., Research Professor, Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health | Managing Partner, Public Health Practice, LLC

Qanta Ahmed, M.D., Attending Sleep Disorders Medicine, Winthrop University Hospital | Associate Professor of Medicine, State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook, New York

Ziad Memish, M.D., Deputy Minister of Public Health, Ministry of Health, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Date: Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Time: 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM EDT

Microbes carry no national passports; neither do they recognize geo-political boundaries or state sovereignty. Yet claims of viral sovereignty brings up unresolved controversies that challenge ethical public health governance and add unnecessary risk of global pandemics.  Viral sovereignty refers to a sovereign state's ownership rights over pathogens found within their border.  It was first coined to describe tensions rising from the Indonesian government's decision to conditionally withholding samples of H5N1 avian influenza in early 2007.

While the World Health Organization's (WHO) 2005 revised International Health Regulations (IHR [2005]) provide a global framework to prevent, protect against, control, and facilitate a public health response to the international spread of disease, its success firmly rests on mutual trust and transparency among parties.  Claims of viral sovereignty indicate the critical balance between respecting legitimate national sovereignty and complying with responsible global transparency is far from achieved.

This webinar reviews the origins of viral sovereignty as well as the rights of global health security and responsibilities of transparency required by the IHR (2005) for successful global public health surveillance today.  It points out the critical, current issues and weighs the pros and cons of various options to move forward.

Hosted by the ISDS Global Outreach Committee


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