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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 1020-4989

Abstract

ALONSO, Lucía; PUJADAS, Mónica  and  ROSA, Raquel. Assessment of core capacities for enforcement of the International Health Regulations at points of entry in Uruguay. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2011, vol.30, n.1, pp. 59-64. ISSN 1020-4989.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892011000700009.

OBJECTIVE: To describe the characteristics and results of the assessment of core capacities for enforcement of the International Health Regulations (IHR) at points of entry in Uruguay through simultaneous application of the World Health Organization (WHO) and MERCOSUR instruments, and indicate the strengths and weaknesses identified in both instruments when applied in the field. METHODS: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted through the application of the WHO and MERCOSUR instruments to assess core capacities for the enforcement of the IHR. Two points of entry (POE 1 and 2) were selected as a convenience sample because they had the highest volume of passenger and goods traffic in the country. Both instruments were characterized individually and qualitatively in terms of strengths and weaknesses. RESULTS: The average values for the implementation of core capacities were 69% (WHO) and 67.4% (MERCOSUR) for POE 1 and 68% (WHO) and 63.9% (MERCO-SUR) for POE 2. The average differences recorded between the instruments were 1.6% for POE 1 and 4.1% for POE 2. Both instruments examined nonmeasurable factors that are subject to the evaluator's judgment, without using operational definitions of the relevant variables. CONCLUSIONS: Simultaneous application of the WHO and MERCOSUR instruments yielded similar levels of implementation at the two points of entry assessed. The assessment processes of the two instruments would be enhanced by capitalizing on each other's strengths and addressing the weaknesses observed and recorded in this study.

Keywords : International Sanitary Regulation; world health; pandemics; Uruguay.

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