The goal of this document is to provide national health authorities, and stakeholders supporting them, with guidance for implementing or enhancing the all-hazards Early Warning and Response (EWAR) within national surveillance systems. It aims to provide direction regarding the implementation of surveillance capacities, especially Event-Based Surveillance (EBS), in order to detect and to respond rapidly to all acute health events and risks from any origin.
For a country, the primary objective for EWAR implementation or strengthening is the detection of health risks that could affect its population. Effective implementation of EWAR requires a multisectoral and multi-disciplinary approach. Relevant sectors may include health, agriculture, environment, travel, trade, education and defence. Partnerships between these different sectors are essential to build coherent alert and response systems which cover all public health threats and rapidly mobilise required resources in a flexible and responsive way during an event. By establishing, strengthening and maintaining the national EWAR, countries will comply with relevant International Health Regulations (IHR) provisions, fulfilling their commitment and contributing to global public health. Enhancing rapid and exhaustive information-sharing through the IHR framework is not only critical to strengthening global health security, but also to the health security of individual Member States.