Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. 7 December 2023. On Thursday 7th December 2023, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) will be conducting a Regional level Outbreak Simulation Exercise (SimEx) with its Member States, and Regional Agencies.
“A regional SimEx is extremely valuable in emphasising the integrity of the Region’s existing response mechanisms, while revealing strengths and any weaknesses. This can then guide relevant persons in reinforcing the mechanisms and addressing any issues which may be noted during the exercise,” stated Dr Joy St. John, CARPHA Executive Director.
“Exercise Elkhorn” is a tabletop exercise carried out remotely by virtual connection and will focus on a single outbreak. This approach will utilise a realistic, scripted scenario to assess plans, policies and other preparedness measures, through in-country group discussions and utilising problem-solving skills.
Over 36 participants representing Ministries of Health, and other government agencies, regional organisations, and project partners, will attend the exercise.
The aim of the SimEx is to improve preparedness and response capacities of health systems for public health emergencies in the Caribbean region. The main objectives in the public health context are to:
- Assess the scope of the incident in keeping with National Multi-Hazard Plans;
- Validate how national leadership communicates and coordinates to facilitate decision-making;
- Assess the understanding of procedures for the mobilisation of national resources (including financial, human, procurement of medical supplies, etc).
Overall, this training exercise will provide participants the opportunity to review response procedures and test their countries’ established coordination and decision-making processes within a realistic scenario. Additionally, the exercise would seek to strengthen multisectoral collaboration and integrative surveillance towards achieving resilient and responsive mechanisms.
The Regional Simulation Exercise was developed as a deliverable of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Regional Health Project (P168539). The project through funding by the World Bank was implemented across four CARPHA Member States (Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines) and by CARPHA and the OECS Commission. This Simulation Exercise is related to Component 2, subcomponent 184.108.40.206 – Simulation Exercise on responding to public health emergencies.