Brunei Darussalam has conducted a comprehensive review under the International Health Regulations (IHR) (2005), in collaboration with international experts, to enhance core capacities to prevent and respond to public health emergencies either from disease outbreaks, and all other hazards including from chemical, radiation and natural hazards.
The review utilized the Joint External Evaluation (JEE) tool which consists of 19 technical areas including IHR communication and coordination, points of entry, surveillance, laboratory capacity and risk communication, to name a few. Experts made field visits to sites to the Brunei Darussalam International Airport, National Laboratory, National Disaster Management Centre and the National Isolation Centre.
The Minister of Health, Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar, outlined how the government’s commitment to building up national capacities would be a continuous process, tailored to the needs and priorities of the country, ensuring that all will be protected, particularly those potentially marginalized or vulnerable.
“Brunei Darussalam has a well-developed health system, but ongoing efforts are being taken to maintain and enhance capacities that are needed to prepare and respond to all types of health threats. Our health system is resilient and our rapid response to COVID-19 is a testament of our collective efforts, both nationally and internationally,” the Minister concluded.
“WHO closely collaborates with Brunei Darussalam and has provided technical guidance and operational support to the country to maintain and enhance emergency preparedness and response capacities, including for COVID-19,” said Dr Lo Ying-Ru, WHO Head of Office and Representative for Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam and Singapore.”
“The Ministry of Health and response agencies have acted quickly to COVID-19 and have implemented effective containment measures to find, test, isolate and treat cases and trace contacts. WHO stands ready to support in these efforts to flatten the curve and bring the outbreak to an end,” concluded Dr Lo.
About the IHR (2005) and JEE
The IHR (2005) is the legal framework to enhance global health security where all WHO Member States are required to develop minimum core capacities. The JEE is one of the four components of the IHR (2005) Monitoring and Evaluation Framework and it guides systematic review and enhancement of capacities within the 19 technical areas.
The components of the JEE are also included in the Asia Pacific Strategy for Emerging Diseases and Public Health Emergencies (APSED III), which serves as a common framework for action for countries in the Region to improve their health emergency preparedness and meet their obligations under IHR (2005).
The JEE took place in Bandar Seri Begawan from 28 October to 1 November 2019. “Through the results of the JEE, we aim to help highlight the strengths and good practices of Brunei Darussalam’s health security systems, from which many other countries can learn. I acknowledge the important contribution made by the Government of Brunei Darussalam in global and regional health security,” said International Team Lead for the JEE, Dr Peter Rzeszotarski.
For more information, please contact:
Dr Cory Couillard, Risk Communication Consultant, [email protected]