Countries’ response to WHO’s travel recommendations during the 2013-2016 ebola outbreak

Rhymer, Wendy, and Speare, Richard (2017) Countries’ response to WHO’s travel recommendations during the 2013-2016 ebola outbreak. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 95 (1). pp. 10-17.

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Objective: To determine how, during the 2013-2016 Ebola outbreak in western Africa, States Parties to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) 2005 International Health Regulations (IHR) followed the IHR’s international travel recommendations.

Methods: In 2015, we used the Google search engine to investigate the 196 States Parties to the 2005 IHR. Information detailing Ebolarelated travel regulations or restrictions of each State Party was sourced first from official government websites and then from travel and news websites. When limited, conflicting or no relevant information was found on a government website, an email inquiry was sent to a corresponding embassy in an Anglophone country.

Findings: We collected relevant and non-conflicting data for each of 187 States Parties. Of these, 43 (23.0%) prohibited the entry of foreigners who had recently visited a country with widespread Ebola transmission and another 15 (8.0%) imposed other substantial restrictions on such travellers: the requirement to produce a medical certificate documenting no infection with Ebola (n = 8), mandatory quarantine (n = 6) or other restrictions (n = 1).

Conclusion: In responding to the 2013-2016 Ebola outbreak, countries had variable levels of adoption of the 2005 IHR’s international travel recommendations. We identified 58 (31.0%) States Parties that exceeded or disregarded the recommendations. There is a need for more research to understand and minimize deviations from such recommendations.

Item ID: 53967
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1564-0604
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2018 05:22
FoR Codes: 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3202 Clinical sciences > 320211 Infectious diseases @ 50%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420309 Health management @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920109 Infectious Diseases @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920404 Disease Distribution and Transmission (incl. Surveillance and Response) @ 50%
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