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Cablegate: Colombian Implementation of International Health

VZCZCXYZ0013
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBO #1467 1121513
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 211513Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2446
INFO RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 0283
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA 6119
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ APR QUITO 6770
RUEHZP/AMEMBASSY PANAMA 1548
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 8144

UNCLAS BOGOTA 001467

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

FOR OES/IHB, KOWALSKI; IO/T, BLACKWOOD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON AORC PREL TBIO WHO CO
SUBJECT: COLOMBIAN IMPLEMENTATION OF INTERNATIONAL HEALTH
REGULATIONS

REF: STATE 33263


1. In response to reftel Econoff contacted Victor Hugo
Alvarez, Coordinator of Public Health for the Colombian
Ministry of Social Protection (Ministry). Alvarez said the
Colombian government is implementing the International Health
Regulations (IHR). Alvarez also requested a copy of the U.S.
IHR implementation plan which Econoff provided to him.

2. According to Alvarez, the Colombian government has taken
a number of steps to implement the IHR. In 2006 the Ministry
created a National Liaison Center as the National IHR Focal
Point. Since 2006 the Ministry has held seminars on IHR with
health institutions, universities and local government
bodies, particularly those close to international points of
entry. The Ministry also developed a diagnostic tool to
assess the ability of their existing national structures and
resources to meet core IHR capacities and particularly to
analyze the capacity of international points of entry to
implement the IHR.

3. In 2008 the Ministry took two important actions to
implement IHR. First, in January 2008 the Ministry issued a
memo to all appropriate agencies and entities on
implementation of the IHR. Second, on April 13, 2008
Minister of Social Protection Diego Palacio and World Health
Organization country representative Dr. Pier Paolo Balladelli
signed a Declaration regarding the IHR in which Colombia
committed to put in place all actions necessary to implement
the IHR.

4. Alvarez said the Ministry also developed a national
policy on food safety and strengthened public health
laboratories. In addition, Alvarez noted that the GOC has
participated in technical and scientific cooperation
agreements related to the IHR with the neighboring countries
of Venezuela, Brazil, Peru and Ecuador.


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