A revised set of International Health Regulations came into force in June 2007. A month earlier, The Lancet had noted the importance of filling the remaining gaps in the global health system. One of these gaps was the exclusion of Taiwan from the structures of the World Health Organization (WHO), denied a presence at the World Health Assembly and able to communicate with the WHO only through a complex and time-consuming bureaucratic process. This situation was becoming increasingly indefensible in the face of clear difficulties in transmitting information about epidemic diseases, such as the SARS outbreak in 2003 and the growing threat of avian influenza since 2004. This is at last being addressed following a landmark decision to admit Taiwan to observer status at the World Health Assembly in May 2009. These developments will be addressed in this article.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health