Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Citation

1 Journal of Healthcare, Science and the Humanities 117 (2011)


Security, economic, development, and humanitarian threats created by infectious diseases have heightened the importance of military forces to national and global public health responses. This article explores the increasing need for military involvement in public and global health surveillance and response to infectious disease threats, and focuses on how military forces can more effectively support implementation of the World Health Organization’s International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR (2005)). The article explains the major changes made in negotiations that produced the IHR (2005) and the importance of these changes to military-to-military activities and civilian-military cooperation. It identifies five areas in which military forces can advance implementation of the IHR (2005) —compliance, coherence, coordination, cooperation, and capacity — and includes examples from various countries illustrating how militaries can contribute to progress on IHR (2005) implementation. It recommends additional actions from military forces, including a proposal for a Global Military Working Group on the Implementation of the IHR (2005) led by the International Committee on Military Medicine.