Member of WHO IHR Roster of Experts

2 June 2017

CAPRISA’s head of Ethics and Law, Professor Jerome Singh,has been invited to serve as a member of the WHO’s International Health Regulations Roster of Experts, as an expert in Health Law, Ethics and Human Rights for a period of four years. As a member Prof Singh will participate in special Emergency or Review Committees to which he is appointed and provide technical information and advice on matters within his areas of expertise. Commenting on his appointment, Prof Singh said, “ It is a great honour to have been appointed by the WHO’s Director-General to serve on this high-level Roster, and for my appointment to have been supported by the South African government. Experts drawn from the Roster determine whether a disease outbreak should be declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PEHIC). This declaration designates a public health crisis of potentially global reach under the International Health Regulations, which is a legally binding instrument on all countries. This, in turn, triggers strict mandatory reporting and containment strategies on the part of national authorities. To date, a PHEIC has been declared 4 times: H1N1 (Swine Flu) in 2009, Polio in 2014; Ebola in 2014, and Zika in 2016.” Professor Singh is currently the PI of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-funded Ethical, Legal, Social, and Cultural Issues (ELSCI) Program on Synthetic Biology. He is also Adjunct Professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto in Canada and serves on several oversight bodies, including the International Ethics Review Board of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and as an ad hoc Consultant to several UN entities, including the WHO, UNAIDS, UNICEF, TDR, and UNICRI.