Saturday, August 23, 2014
By Prof. Edward JB Kakonge
To understand the necessary skills of GOOD LEADERSHIP, you need to study, understand and practice GOOD THINKING. You should NURTURE GREAT THOUGHTS, because you will NEVER GO HIGHER than your THOUGHT.
‘Brethren, whatsoever things are TRUE, whatsoever things are HONEST, whatsoever things are JUST, whatsoever things are PURE, whatsoever things are LOVELY, whatsoever things are of GOOD REPORT, if there be any VIRTUE and if there be any PRAISE, THINK ON THESE THINGS,’ Philippians 4:8.
Things which are TRUE, JUST, PURE, LOVELY of GOOD REPORT, VIRTUOUS, PRAISE WORTHY, think of them. How does one come across and assess these kinds of things? Through GOOD CRITICAL THINKING.
We live in a world where people want to teach you “WHAT TO THINK” instead of “HOW TO THINK” this is the BIGGEST FAILURE OF OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM, where the emphasis is on WHAT TO THINK, rather than on ANALYTICAL SKILLS OF CRITICAL THINKING. There is an error in assuming that what is taught corresponds to WHAT IS LEARNED. Knowledge has value only in the heads of those who have ABILITY TO THINK WELL. Students must learn to think HOW TO THINK WELL, in order to achieve their DREAMS and reach their POTENTIAL. Dreams must be distinguished from goals; dreams are expansive while goals are limited.
GREAT THINKING PRODUCES GREAT PROGRESS.
The QUALITY of people’s thinking leads to the QUALITY of their results. Any achievement in any sphere results from THE HABIT OF GOOD THINKING. Becoming a good thinker means developing thinking skills to the BEST OF YOUR ABILITY. If you are going to be a person who can make a difference to yourself, your family, your nation and humanity, you need these thinking skills;
(i) SEEING THE WISDOM OF BIG-PICTURE THINKING.
(ii) UNLEASHING THE POTENTIAL OF FOCUSED THINKING.
(iii) DISCOVERING THE JOY OF CREATIVE THINKING.
(iv) RECOGNIZING THE IMPORTANCE OF REALISTIC THINKING.
(v) RELEASING THE POWER OF STRATEGIC THINKING.
(vi) FEELING THE ENERGY OF POSSIBILITY THINKING.
(vii) EMBRACING THE LESSON OF REFLECTIVE THINKING.
(viii) QUESTIONING THE ACCEPTANCE OF POPULAR THINKING.
(ix) ENCOURAGE THE PARTICIPATION OF SHARED THINKING.
(x) EXPERIENCING THE SATISFACTION OF UNSELFISH THINKING.
(xi) ENJOYING THE RETURN OF BOTTOM-LINE THINKING.
An invasion of ARMIES can be resisted, but NOT AN INVASION OF IDEAS! Those who crucified JESUS, PETER or PAUL, indulged in a futile exercise! Many people want to change the world for the better, but few of these think of changing themselves! Many of those who want to change the world often have NO GREAT IDEA to give the world!
Thinking is hard; that is why so few people do it. But a human mind with the ability to think well is a priceless GOLD MINE THAT NEVER runs out! Changing your thinking is not automatic; you should work hard on the processes of changing your thinking for the better. If you want a good idea, you must search for it. Changed thinking is difficult because it would demand your time and your energy, but once you get on the track of becoming a better thinker, in due course it becomes a habit; you put in every effort to become a BETTER THINKER. Learning to THINK BETTER IS A GREAT INVESTMENT IN YOURSELF. You represent THE GIFT OF UNLIMITED POTENTIAL. Changing your thinking will CHANGE MANY OF YOUR BELIEFS FOR THE BETTER. A BELIEF is not an idea that you posses; IT IS AN IDEA THAT POSSESSES YOU. Changing your beliefs about yourself or other human beings will change your (a) EXPECTATIONS; (b) ATTITUDES; (c) BEHAVIOURS; and (d) PERFORMANCE. When the entire above are changed for the better, your performance will change your life. In these changes you will LEARN HOW TO BE YOURSELF; HOW TO DEVELOP YOUR OWN STYLE; TO LIVE AT A HIGHER LEVEL; YOU WILL HAVE CLEAR AND INSPIRED THINKING; YOU WILL BECOME AN AUTHENTIC HUMAN BEING. MANY PEOPLE IN THE WORLD ARE SLAVES TO BOGUS IMAGES, struggling to impress NON-ENTITIES.
GOOD THINKERS are always on demand. They rarely find themselves at the mercy of ruthless people who would take advantage of them. Because of good thinking, they rule/manage themselves well. These people usually feel more inclined to add value to others through creative ideas. Like every human being, every good thought has the potential to become something great. These people THINK LIKE A MAN OF ACTION, AND ACT LIKE A HUMAN BEING OF THOUGHTS, because they generate productive thoughts. They take THINKING AS A DISCIPLINE AND ACT ON THEIR GOOD THOUGHTS. They BURN BRIGHTLY, WITHOUT BURNING OUT.
By Lukyamuzi Joseph
(Humanist Association for Leadership, Equity and Accountability)
Thinking is the process of using one’s brain or mind to consider or reason on an issue or subject.
Globalisation is an on going process of international integration arising from interchange of world views, cultures, products and shared values and interests (New World Order).
Types of Thinking:
Critical thinking: A type of thinking in which doubts are always reserved for what is thought to be true. It involves thinking about the possible out comes of any course of action taken.
Innovative thinking: This is a type of thinking where new ideas are generated and developed so that they can create new opportunities and appropriate solutions to existing problems.
Brainstorming: Is a type of thinking based on group discussions. In this case decision making is based on deliberations and the thoughts of various discussion group members.
Reframing: Is a type of thinking in which we learn new truths and unlearn old falsehoods due to the latest information available before us. It also may involve redrawing our perceptions about personalities, situations and entities.
Insight: This is a type of thinking in which someone develops an idea out of the blue in an instant. Some also describe it as a Eureka moment. It may at many times be the result of meditation. Someone at once envisions an idea that turns out to be workable and appropriate.
Black and white thinking: In this type of thinking, one assumes that something is either or as if it can’t have a third or fourth angle to it. It has no consideration for middle lines. For instance, something can either be right or wrong and as such can’t be both right and wrong. This kind of reasoning polarizes society so much.
Intuitive thinking: This is a type of thinking in which there is no consideration for supporting evidence. Someone assumes something to be true and so takes it be so. This type of thinking is the basis for many pseudo visionaries. However intuitive thought can also be innovative if well incubated and developed and is at times taken as a field of philosophy.
Linear thinking: This is a type of thinking in which matters are only viewed from one angle of view. Some also call it sequence thinking where by one takes it that thinking should take a well defined pattern of procedure.
Open minded thinking: This is a type of thinking which allows one to be receptive to new ideas and dimensions of thought. Being open minded means one hasn’t closed one’s brain to new ways of thought. This though doesn’t mean buying every line of thought that crops up.
Humanist thought: This is a type of thought in which people engage in thinking while not tied by traditional, cultural or religious beliefs. This is meant to make people think freely so that their mind isn’t prejudiced by factors that border on dogmatism.
Critical Thinking Skills:
*Analysis; This means piecing up together different pieces of information and deducing what they lead to or imply. It could also mean discovering hidden intentions or unseen matters that require attention.
*Interpretation; This is getting the meaning out of something. It requires understanding something and then explaining your view about it to others or to yourself.
*Evaluation; This is about being able to assess the validity and flaws in statements or occurrences. It helps to separate the credible from the un-credible.
Benefits of Globalisation:
- Research made easy due to information being only a click away.
- Comparison in performance and standing. Knowing your standing and what others think of you is very vital for progress.
- E-commerce and its easing of trade bottlenecks.
- Communication made easy through cultural globalization such as languages.
- Increased competition helps companies and firms to up their game.
Analysis on Critical Thinking vis-a-vis Tapping into Globalization Benefits for Africa
Critical thinking would enable us realize that some of the things we know, might not really be so. That would lead to the search for proving the truths in what we take to be true and falsehoods in what we perceive to be wrong. For instance the notion that defense and security departments should always take the lions’ share of countries’ budgets; or the notion that our traditional medication systems are inferior to foreign ones.
Critical thinking would also help us re-define the relationships we have with major political and financial world powers. Should we take it that China loves us so much that it should set out to build for us roads, bridges and all other sorts of infrastructure?
Critical thinking should enable us put emotions aside and ask ourselves why some whites continue referring to us as apes and primates. Is it because we look so or behave so? Should we continue showing we are hurt by such remarks or whether we shouldn’t and should just let such remarks pass? Are we Africans ourselves not racist and biased?
Brainstorming, if given its due respect, would ensure democratic governance unlike the present systems where countries’ leaders take decisions solely based on their own warped view of the situations at hand. For instance, are our country’s security concerns as what the authorities tell us and the resources poured in there? Are discussions like the one here by Pan Africans at Seascallop, talk shows on radio and TV and other public forums binding or reflected in decision making in the country’s running?
Humanist thought allows people to live their lives to the full. Many people are sometimes born talented but are bogged down by cultural and religious beliefs. You can’t sing a certain kind of music, can’t play a certain game, and can’t write a certain type of literature due to your beliefs.
* All things in this world begin as thoughts or ideas.
* No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking. ~ Voltaire.
* Belief is when someone else does the thinking. ~ Buckminster Fuller, 1972.
* The world we have created is a product of our thinking; it cannot be changed without changing our thinking. ~ Albert Einstein.
Thursday, August 7, 2014
By Bakampa Brian Baryaguma
On Tuesday, 12 August, 2014, over 1000 lawyers will sit for the pre-entry examination. It is a requirement for admission to undergo postgraduate legal education and training (technically known as the Bar course in the legal profession) at the Law Development Centre (LDC). Attaining the Bar course qualifies one to become an advocate, fully entitled to practice law in Uganda. The exam is administered by the Law Council, in conjunction with LDC, both of which argue that it is meant to sieve and lock out students who did not appreciate basic principles of the law at undergraduate level. This is the official reason peddled around to justify the imposition of the exam, which has negatively affected about 5000 lawyers by denying them access to the Centre, since its imposition in 2010.
Ugandans ought to know however, that this reason is utterly false. The truth is that the pre-entry exam was introduced to eliminate stampeding and congestion at LDC, by keeping away as many applicants as possible. LDC is the only institution in Uganda that is mandated to train advocates. Every year, law graduands from all the universities in Uganda and elsewhere apply to join it, but because of space constraints at the Centre, not all of them can be admitted. The exam is therefore, a convenient control mechanism, which enables LDC to get the number of students it can accommodate at a time – about 400. Thereafter, the nation is misinformed that the rest were not admitted because they failed the exam. Failure is given as an excuse because it is easier to sell and understandable than space constraint. This deception underlies this exam. Citizens ought to be aware of it and act appropriately.
But there is a lot more to know: as if this is not bad and ugly enough, the exam is also financially fraudulent and utterly extortionist. Students are charged a lot of money before sitting for the exam, yet its administrators know very well that for an overwhelming majority of them, it is an automatic dead-end – they will not be admitted to LDC! Consider this year. First, each student must apply to be admitted to LDC and pay Uganda shillings fifty thousand only (Ugx 50,000/-); and second, the student must pay for the pre-entry exam, an amount of Uganda shillings fifty thousand only (Ugx 50,000/-). In total, each student pays Uganda shillings one hundred thousand only (Ugx 100,000/-). All in all, students spend at least Uganda shillings one hundred million only (Ugx 100,000,000/-), clamouring to join LDC. Now, if only 400 students are admitted, that means that just Uganda shillings forty million only (Ugx 40,000,000/-) will have been properly utilized; the remaining balance of Uganda shillings sixty million only (Ugx 60,000,000/-) will go to waste, eaten easily and freely by the cabal at the helm of Uganda’s legal education system. This is the most officially sanctioned, organized, disguised and sophisticated financial impropriety syndicate ever seen. It is akin to polished highway robbery.
Moreover, passing the pre-entry exam is not a guaranteed passage to the promised land of legal practice. LDC entrants have a further hurdle of manoeuvring through the Centre’s incurably defective system that was designed to fail students. More than half of those who are admitted to the Bar course do not graduate! Their noble dreams and aspirations to practice their profession and make a living out of it, after several years of sacrifice (at least 20) are permanently buried in LDC’s infamous academic limbo. What is the reason? The same old scapegoat: students did not properly understand the law at undergraduate, according to LDC administrators.
One finds therefore, that Uganda’s current postgraduate legal education and training system is deliberately designed to keep out as many prospective law practitioners as possible, by passing too few, while failing far too many of them. We should break this monopoly sustainably, by devolving the Bar course training to universities operating law faculties in Uganda. We lodged a complaint to Parliament (available online here: http://www.bbbakampa.blogspot.com/2014/05/complaint-concerning-under-performance_10.html) analyzing most of these matters. There has been some progress, but ever since its motion was put on the Order Paper on Wednesday, 25 June, 2014, it stalled. I appeal to the House to address itself to this matter urgently and establish a Select Committee to investigate it, as proposed in the motion.
Sunday, August 3, 2014
By Bakampa Brian Baryaguma
[Dip. Law (First Class) – LDC; LLB (Hons) – Mak; Cert. Oil and Gas – Mak; GC Candidate – GCA]
Pandemics (sometimes also referred to as epidemics) are extensive and far-impacting disease outbreaks, which although have no agreed definition,  literally mean diseases that are prevalent over a very wide area, like a country or continent,  claiming numerous lives. The World Health Report 2007, observed that, ‘Throughout history, humanity has been challenged by outbreaks of infectious diseases and other health emergencies that have spread, caused death on unprecedented levels and threatened public health security’ 
In a bid to control and prevent further infections, people in the past responded rudely and awkwardly to pandemics, by removing the sick from the healthy population until the epidemic ended.  Since diseases would spread across state borders,  many times it also involved imposition of international restrictions on travel and trade, which negatively affected economies and livelihoods, thus undermining international socio-economic and political relations.
Fortunately, ‘With time, scientific knowledge evolved, containment measures became more sophisticated and some infectious disease outbreaks were gradually brought under control, with improved sanitation and the discovery of vaccines.’  But these great developments among states were uncoordinated, yet the states faced common problems.
Hence the need for cooperation beyond state borders, to regional and international level, leading to the emergency of the phenomenon of international health cooperation, geared towards strengthening global public health security and surveillance. 
2. International Health Regulations (2005)
The need for global cooperation in stemming pandemics, without unduly interrupting international processes resulted in the emergency of international rules to guide and oversee the implementation of international health cooperation mechanisms. The International Health Regulations (2005) (hereinafter ‘the Regulations’) are the latest in this regard.  The Regulations represent a major development in the use of international law for public health purposes.  They are designed to prevent the international spread of disease,  ‘... in response to changes in the human world, the microbial world, the natural environment and human behaviour, all of which posed increased threats to global public health security ...,’  instead of concentrating on preset measures for specific diseases.  They reflect ‘Ways of collectively working together in the face of emergency events of international health importance ...,’  ‘... focus[ing] on containing public health threats where and when they occur, rather than solely at ports and borders,’  in a manner ‘... flexible enough to anticipate the unexpected and strong enough to respond to potential emergencies before they spill across borders.’  They encompass the strongest existing tool for global health governance. 
3. Significance of the Regulations
The Regulations have novel in-built mechanisms that enhance global public health security. In these innovations lays their significance. They include the following:
1. Wide scope, not limited to any specific disease or manner of transmission, but covering ‘... illness or medical condition, irrespective of origin or source, that presents or could present significant harm to humans.’  It encompasses communicable and non-communicable disease events, whether naturally occurring, accidentally caused, or intentionally created;  and intends to maintain the Regulations’ relevance and applicability for many years, even with continued evolution of diseases and of the factors determining their emergence and transmission. 
2. Obligations on states to strengthen disease surveillance, by developing certain minimum core public health capacities, for example, the ability to detect, assess, notify and respond to public health threats.  States are also urged to mobilize the resources necessary for that purpose,  in order to respond promptly and effectively to public health risks and emergencies of international concern.  With increased surveillance, pandemics can be detected early enough,  eventually supporting improved disease prevention and control both within and between states. 
3. Obligations on states to notify WHO of events that may constitute a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) according to defined criteria.  Immediate alert is necessary for preventing the rapid spread of disease and promoting expeditious response to disease outbreaks and other incidents that could spark epidemics or spread globally. 
4. Provisions authorizing WHO to consider unofficial reports of public health events and to obtain verification from states concerning such events.  This is a revolutionary departure from previous international practice, which restricted surveillance to information provided only by governments.  It improves the sensitivity of WHO’s surveillance system  and pre-empts official notifications especially, in situations where countries may be reluctant to reveal events in their territories. 
5. Procedures for the determination by the WHO Director-General of a PHEIC and issuance of corresponding temporary recommendations, after taking into account the views of an Emergency Committee.  This provides a framework for preparedness. 
6. Protection of human rights and freedoms. States are required to implement the Regulations with full respect for human rights and freedoms, guided by the UN Charter, the WHO Constitution and the principles of international law.  For instance, travellers may not be subjected to medical examinations, without their prior express informed consent or that of their parents or guardians. 
7. The establishment of a new framework for the coordination of the management of events that may constitute a PHEIC, comprising of National IHR Focal Points and WHO IHR Contact Points for urgent communications between states and WHO.  This framework negates isolated decision making and improves operational coordination and information management,  by establishing a global network that improves the real-time flow of surveillance information from the local to the global level and also between states. 
Disease compromises peace, because rampant and widespread sickness eventually becomes a threat to public security.  Disease control and management are therefore, matters of critical importance especially, in today’s globalized world,  characterized by routine air travel and disease multipliers born of human behaviours, such that a public health crisis anywhere in the world is a potential problem everywhere.  With this state of affairs, the International Health Regulations (2005) could never have been more opportune. The successful containment of the H1N1 influenza A virus in 2009,  gives reason to trust the Regulations’ ability of stemming pandemics.
Notes and References
1. Says Professor Mark Harrison, during the Week 6 lecture on pandemics, in the Global Civics Academy lecture series on global civics.
2. AS Hornby, AP Cowie & AC Gimson, Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary of Current English (1983), at 616.
3. World Health Organization, A Safer Future: Global Public Health Security in the 21st Century (2007), at 1.
5. For example, cholera, which originated from India and spread across Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. See, ibid., at 4.
6. Ibid., at 1.
7. Article 1(1) of The International Health Regulations (2005) defines the term surveillance as ‘... the systematic ongoing collection, collation and analysis of data for public health purposes and the timely dissemination of public health information for assessment and public health response as necessary.’
8. The earliest were the International Sanitary Regulations (1951), which were succeeded by the International Health Regulations (1969). The International Health Regulations (2005) have been in force since 15 June, 2007. They are an international legally-binding agreement.
9. Michael G. Baker and David P. Fidler, ‘Global Public Health Surveillance under New International Health Regulations’ 12 EID (2006), at 1058.
10. In conformity with Articles 21(a) and 22 of the Constitution of the World Health Organization (WHO); Article 21 of which allows the World Health Assembly (WHA) to adopt measures within specific focus areas, including prevention of the international spread of disease; Article 22 of the same states that these WHA‐adopted regulations become legally binding on member states without any further action (for example ratification) unless they notify the WHO Director‐General of rejection or reservations within a specified time – through what is known as the opt out clause.
11. World Health Organization, supra note 3, at 8.
12. Julie E. Fischer, Sarah Kornblet and Rebecca Katz, ‘The International Health Regulations (2005): Surveillance and Response in an Era of Globalization’ (2011), at 2.
13. World Health Organization, supra note 3, at 8.
At page 13 of the report, WHO notes that the Regulations focus on inclusion of public health emergencies (unlike the 1969 regulations which focussed on controlling the spread of infectious diseases) and this extends the scope of the Regulations to protect global public health security in a comprehensive way.
14. Julie E. Fischer, Sarah Kornblet and Rebecca Katz, supra note 12.
15. Ibid., at 4.
16. Rebecca Katz and Julie Fischer, ‘The Revised International Health Regulations: A Framework for Global Pandemic Response’ 3 GHG (2010), at 8.
It should be noted though, that much as this is so, the Regulations face their own peculiar challenges: first, at page 7 of the essay, the writers highlight the challenge of striking a balance between global governance of disease control measures and national sovereignty, since nations are sovereign entities that make their own decisions in response to public health threats, regardless of global health governance structures. At page 16 of the essay, the writers reveal that this challenge was highlighted during the outbreak of the novel swine influenza A (H1N1) triple reassortant virus in 2009, when many countries made unilateral decisions that were neither scientifically sound nor consistent with WHO guidance, and dismissed IHR (2005) principles obligating countries to respect human rights and cause minimal disruption to the international flow of people and goods. For example, it is reported that twenty countries banned the importation of pork and pork products from Mexico, Canada and the US.23 Bans occurred in spite of a joint statement by WHO, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) that pork and pork products were not a source for H1N1 influenza infections.
Second, at page 9 of the essay, the writers note the challenge of building public health capacities necessary for countries to detect and respond to public health events wherever they occur. As they explain on page 14 of the essay, Since WHO does not have power to force nations to comply with the Regulations’ obligations, this lacuna inevitably translates into other related challenges: lack of adequate enforcement mechanisms, such that nations may not report potential public health emergencies of internal concern (PHEICs); weak links in the global disease surveillance network, because low and middle-income nations in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, suffer critical shortages of skilled health workers, including laboratory and public health workers that are rarely the focus of global health workforce strategies; and dependence on state capacities and willing coordination, because although the Regulations mandate global information sharing and coordination, all public health actions still originate in the community, requiring government capacities at local, state and national levels.
17. International Health Regulations (2005), 2nd Edn, Article 1, on the definition of disease.
This is unlike the 1969 Regulations, which were highly limited in terms of diseases covered. Initially they covered six “quarantinable diseases” but following the 1973and 1981 amendments of those regulations, these diseases were reduced to three (yellow fever, plague and cholera). The amendments also marked the global eradication of smallpox.
Article 2 of the Regulations contains another related innovation, stipulating their purpose and scope i.e. ‘... to prevent, protect against, control and provide a public health response to the international spread of disease in ways that are commensurate with and restricted to public health risks, and which avoid unnecessary interference with international traffic and trade.’ To this extent, the Regulations address two historical challenges: managing cross-border spread of diseases, while maintaining harmonious global relations: talk of the proverbial hitting of two birds with one stone.
18. Michael G. Baker and David P. Fidler, supra note 9, at 1059.
19. International Health Regulations (2005), supra note 17, at 2.
A major challenge in the past was that regulations then were targeted at controlling a handful of diseases, such that once they faded as threats to public health and commerce, the regulations themselves lost significance.
20. Ibid., Art. 5(1).
More so in developing countries, because the World Health Report 2007, supra note 3, at 6, notes that some diseases continue to thrive in developing countries, due to limited ability to detect and respond, leading to the potential for them to spread internationally at great speed.
Under Articles 5(3) and 44(2) of the Regulations, WHO is obliged to assist and collaborate with state parties, particularly developing countries, in meeting their surveillance system obligations, but as noted by Michael G. Baker and David P. Fidler, supra note 9, at 1063, these provisions do not include financing mechanisms, which leaves each state party to bear the financial costs of improving its own local, intermediate and national level surveillance capabilities; and the obligation on state parties and WHO to collaborate in mobilizing financial resources is a weak obligation at best.
Rebecca Katz and Julie Fischer, supra note 16, at 9, also observe that, ‘Low-and middle-income nations have been obligated to meet IHR core capacity requirements in disease surveillance, reporting and response without a standing commitment of financial resources.’
21. International Health Regulations (2005), supra note 17, Article 44(1)(c).
Article 44 requires states to collaborate and assist each other in providing technical cooperation and logistical support for surveillance capabilities and in mobilizing financial resources to facilitate implementation of the Regulations. Yet, as observed by Julie E. Fischer, Sarah Kornblet and Rebecca Katz, supra note 12, at 13, ‘Despite this, donors have been slow to roll out comprehensive assistance packages to help resource‐constrained countries achieve the core capacities.’
22. Ibid., Art. 13(1).
23. Professor Mark Harrison, supra note 1.
24. Michael G. Baker and David P. Fidler, supra note 9, at 1061.
25. International Health Regulations (2005), supra note 17, Art. 6.
Professor Mark Harrison, supra note 1, states that 80% of human diseases are shared with animals. Therefore, an event ‘that may constitute a public health emergency of international concern’ may be what the World Health Report 2007, supra note 3, at 6, categorizes as new diseases emerging in human populations on a sporadic basis, often the result of a breach in the species barrier between humans and animals, permitting microbes that infect animals to infect humans as well, causing unexpected outbreaks that can also spread internationally.
26. World Health Organization, supra note 3, at 11.
27. International Health Regulations (2005), supra note 17, Art. 9(1).
Unofficial reports may come from intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, individuals, the internet, etc. They may also come from information provided by states on events occurring outside their borders. This is catered for under Article 9(2), under which states are obliged to inform WHO of evidence of a public health risk identified outside their territory that may cause international disease spread, as manifested by exported or imported human cases, infection or contamination-carrying vectors, or contaminated goods. This effectively introduces the policing principle of neighbourhood watch in public health administration.
The World Health Organization, supra note 3, at 13, observes that verification is important for determining the accuracy and veracity of such information, because at a time when information is shared at the click of a button, reputable sources of information – that are capable of separating rumours from real events – are critical in maintaining public awareness and support of prevention and control measures.
28. Michael G. Baker and David P. Fidler, supra note 9.
29. Ibid., at 1062.
30. World Health Organization, supra note 3, at 13.
31. International Health Regulations (2005), supra note 17, Art. 12.
PHEIC is the acronym for public health emergency of international concern. It is defined in Article 1 of the Regulations as meaning an extraordinary event which is determined, as provided in the Regulations, to constitute a public health risk to other states through the international spread of disease and to potentially require a coordinated international response.
32. World Health Organization, supra note 3, at 11.
33. International Health Regulations (2005), supra note 17, Art. 3.
34. Ibid., Art. 23(3).
As a general rule however, under Article 23(1)(iii) of the Regulations, states may subject travellers, to non-invasive medical examinations on arrival or departure, in the least intrusive examination that would achieve the public health objective.
It is clear, as stated by Julie E. Fischer, Sarah Kornblet and Rebecca Katz, supra note 12, at 14, that there is a daunting challenge of balancing individual rights (especially where a person objects to suggested medical procedures) against the public good to control the spread of disease.
But this challenge may perhaps be counter-balanced by exceptions to protected rights such as stipulated under Article 31(2) i.e. denial of entry; compulsory medical examination; vaccination or other prophylaxis; or additional health measures like isolation, quarantine or placement under public health observation.
35. International Health Regulations (2005), supra note 17, Art. 4.
The Regulations, under Article 1, define National IHR Focal Points and WHO IHR Contact Points. The former is defined as ‘... the national centre, designated by each State Party, which shall be accessible at all times for communications with WHO IHR Contact Points under these Regulations. The latter is defined as meaning ‘... the unit within WHO which shall be accessible at all times for communications with the National IHR Focal Point.’
These centres and units are vital for global networking because, as Rebecca Katz and Julie Fischer, supra note 16, at 12, say, ‘... cooperation with the regulations depends on international trust, and the understanding that populations and threats to populations are interconnected.’
36. World Health Organization, supra note 3, at 9.
37. Michael G. Baker and David P. Fidler, supra note 9, at 1060.
It should be noted that the Regulations don’t just stop at establishing new coordination and management frameworks: Rebecca Katz and Julie Fischer, supra note 16, at 12, state that they also update and revise many of these framework’s technical and other regulatory functions, including certificates applicable to international travel and transport and requirements for international ports, airports and ground crossings. This ensures the maximum possible global public health security.
At page 13 of the essay, the writers submit that this is done by redirecting the focus from an almost exclusive concentration on measures at seaports and airports aimed at blocking the importation of so-called “foreign diseases” towards a rapid response at the source of an outbreak, thereby strengthening collaboration on a global scale by seeking to improve capacity and demonstrate to countries that compliance is in their best interests, for three compelling incentives: to reduce the disruptive consequences of an outbreak, to speed its containment and to maintain good standing in the eyes of the international community.
38. This explains why for a long time, there has been a “securitization” of health issues, which seriously took a global perspective when, as reported by Julie E. Fischer, Sarah Kornblet and Rebecca Katz, supra note 12, at 8, in January 2000, the UN Security Council recognized HIV/AIDS in sub‐Saharan Africa as an international peace and security issue. This pronouncement was followed by the United States (at the White House), a few months later, taking the similarly unprecedented step of designating infectious diseases a threat to US national security. Collectively, these actions leveraged new resources and political will to tackle public health risks on a global scale.
39. Professor Mark Harrison, supra note 1, points out forces like international trade, terrorism, climate change, migration and environmental degradation, which pose risks to our health and threaten to halt the global economy.
No wonder that Rebecca Katz and Julie Fischer, supra note 16, at 2, state that, ‘By the 1990’s, consensus emerged amongst the global health community that the threat of emerging (e.g. Ebola virus) and re-emerging (e.g. dengue) infectious diseases was increasing. Accelerated globalization facilitated the rapid spread of these diseases.’
40. Julie E. Fischer, Sarah Kornblet and Rebecca Katz, supra note 12.
41. See, Rebecca Katz and Julie Fischer, supra note 16, at 4-6.