Canada's International Health Regulations: National IHR Focal Point

As part of the implementation of the International Health Regulations (IHR), each country (State Party) is required "to designate or establish a National IHR Focal Point (NFP) and the authorities responsible within its respective jurisdiction for the implementation of health measures under these Regulations" (IHR Article 4).

The National IHR Focal Point is defined as the "national centre, designated by each State Party, which shall be accessible at all times for communications with the World Health Organization (WHO) IHR Contact Points under these Regulations" (IHR Articles 1 and 4). Communications about a public health event may be related to notification, consultation, verification, information sharing or determining a potential public health emergency of international concern.

In 2005, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) was designated as the NFP for Canada. PHAC is also responsible for coordinating the implementation of the IHR on behalf of the Government of Canada.

The NFP supports communications between Canadian public health authorities, WHO, its regional office the Pan American Health Organization and other countries. It also:

  • provides advice, guidance and training on the implementation of the IHR
  • supports stakeholder engagement, monitoring and evaluation, and international capacity-building activities

NFP capacity is regularly tested and strengthened based on real-life events and exercises.

For more information, contact the National IHR Focal Point by email at

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