The World Health Organization’s Center for Environmental Health Action (WHO- CEHA) is aiming to create a regional framework for public health response to chemical events and to establish a regional network of poison centers for International Health Regulations (IHR) implementation.
For this purpose, the WHO -CEHA organized a regional meeting between February 16 and 18, 2019, in Amman, Jordan. Representatives of ministries of health from the region, universities, national poison centers, the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, and the WHO Jordan Office participated in this meeting. Countries represented at the meeting were Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, and the UAE. A delegation from GHD/EMPHNET was also present in this meeting.
In plenary sessions, participants discussed issues relevant to chemical incidents within the IHR. Furthermore, countries shared experiences on capacities, gaps and needs of their respective poison centers.
Group discussions focused on creating mechanisms for detecting and responding to chemical events or emergencies as well as an enabling environment for management of chemical events.
As part of this meeting’s program, participants visited the Jordan Poison Center and Toxicology Laboratory where relevant staff provided an overview of the services of the center and laboratory and illustrated the Jordanian inventory database.
As part of its participation in this meeting, GHD/EMPHNET took part in the technical discussion by providing expert input. Potential collaborations in the area of chemical event management were also explored.