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The Health Protection Agency Order (Northern Ireland) 2007

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Statutory Rules of Northern Ireland

2007 No. 331

PUBLIC HEALTH

The Health Protection Agency Order (Northern Ireland) 2007

Made

10th July 2007

Coming into operation

31st July 2007

The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety makes the following Order in exercise of the powers conferred by section 2(10) of the Health Protection Agency Act 2004(1).

In accordance with section 2(11)(a) of that Act, it has obtained the agreement of the Secretary of State.

Citation and commencement

1.  This Order may be cited as the Health Protection Agency Order (Northern Ireland) 2007 and shall come into operation on 31st July 2007.

Interpretation

2.—(1) The Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954(2) shall apply to this Order as it applies to an Act of the Assembly.

(2) In this Order—

“the competent IHR authority in Northern Ireland” means the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety;

“the IHR” means the International Health Regulations (2005) of WHO adopted by the fifty-eighth World Health Assembly on 23rd May 2005;

“National IHR Focal Point” means the national centre, designated by a State Party to the IHR, which shall be accessible at all times for communications with the WHO IHR Contact Point under the IHR;

“public health emergency of international concern” has the meaning set out in Article 1 of the IHR;

“World Health Assembly” has the meaning set out in the Constitution of the World Health Organization adopted by the International Health Conference held in New York from 19th June to 22nd July 1946 and signed on 22nd July 1946;

“WHO” means the World Health Organization, a specialised agency within the terms of Article 57 of the Charter of the United Nations, established by the Constitution of the World Health Organization; and

“WHO IHR Contact Point” means the unit within WHO which shall be accessible at all times for communications with the National IHR Focal Point.

Functions

3.—(1) There are conferred on the Health Protection Agency the following functions—

(a)the assessment under and in accordance with Article 6.1 of the IHR of events in Northern Ireland that may constitute a public health emergency of international concern;

(b)acting, in relation to Northern Ireland, as a National IHR Focal Point as described in the IHR, in particular—

(i)to be accessible at all times for communication with the WHO IHR Contact Point;

(ii)to send to the WHO IHR Contact Point urgent communications concerning the implementation of the IHR, in particular under Articles 6 to 12 of the IHR;

(iii)to disseminate information to, and consolidate information from, the competent IHR authority in Northern Ireland;

(iv)to communicate with the competent IHR authority in Northern Ireland on the relevant public health measures taken pursuant to the IHR; and

(v)to receive reports from the competent IHR authority in Northern Ireland on implementation of necessary additional health measures including isolation of conveyances to prevent the spread of disease in accordance with Article 27.1 of the IHR;

(c)in relation to Northern Ireland and its role as National IHR Focal Point, the provision to WHO of contact details and thereafter:

(i)continuously updating WHO in relation to any changes to such contact details; and

(ii)confirming such contact details to WHO annually; and

(d)the provision to WHO, in accordance with the function described at Article 20.3 of the IHR, of—

(i)a list of bodies authorised to issue or extend the validity of Ship Sanitation Control Certificates or Ship Sanitation Control Exemption Certificates in Northern Ireland; and

(ii)information on any changes which may occur to the status of the listed bodies.

Sealed with the Official Seal of the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety on 10th July 2007.

L.S.

David Bingham

A Senior Officer of the

Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety

Explanatory Note

(This note is not part of the Order)

Section 2(10) of the Health Protection Agency Act 2004 (“the Act”) enables the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety by order to confer on the Health Protection Agency (“the Agency”) a function of any description falling within section 2(1) of the Act to the extent that it is exercisable for the purposes of a transferred matter. Section 2(1) of the Act includes: (a) the functions of the protection of the community (or any part of the community) against infectious disease and other dangers to health; (b) the prevention of the spread of disease; and (c) the provision of assistance to any other person who exercises functions in relation to those matters.

This Order provides for the Agency to have health protection functions in relation to Northern Ireland in connection with implementation of the International Health Regulations of the World Health Organization (“the IHR”). Article 3 confers on the Agency the new IHR related functions, namely the function of assessing events that might constitute a public health emergency of international concern (within the meaning of the IHR), and thereafter by acting as the UK National IHR Focal Point for Northern Ireland interests. The Agency is also given the function, again for centralised notification reasons from the UK, of sending to the World Health Organization pursuant to Article 20.3 of the IHR lists of ports authorised to offer Ship Sanitation Control Certificates and Ship Sanitation Control Exemption Certificates in Northern Ireland.

The full text of the IHR is available on the World Health Organization website, www.who.int/est/ihr/IHRWHA58_3-en.pdf.

A full regulatory impact assessment has not been produced for this instrument as no impact on the private or voluntary sectors is foreseen.

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