Successful Ebola simulation exercise organized in The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
The Ministry of Health in The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia recently organized a simulation exercise as part of preparation efforts to prevent, as well as manage suspected cases of Ebola.
The exercise, to test the International Health Regulations (2005) protocols for the designated point of entry ‘Skopje Airport’, took place in on 18 November 2014, based upon the scenario of a suspected case of Ebola virus disease.
It was organized as part of ongoing Ministry of Health capacity building activities in order to prepare the health system for emergencies and outbreaks, with technical support and guidance from the World Health Organization.
Aim of the Ebola simulation exercise
The main objective of the exercise was to test the coordinated response by healthcare, as well as other relevant institutions, in a public health emergency of international concern caused by biological agent. Specifically, the simulation tested the system’s preparedness for handling and responding to a suspected case of Ebola.
A series of preparatory meetings gave the participants an overview of the simulation exercise and highlighted relevant information to implement IHR protocols, organize the rapid assessment and response teams, and the responsibilities of all relevant institutions.
Coordination and communication among different partners in the preparedness and response system was tested, including specific Ebola-related preparedness activities such as using personal protective equipment (PPE), isolation and quarantine rooms, waste management etc.
The exercise proved successful, thanks to the coordinated efforts of the Institute for Public Health, the Public Health Centre in Skopje, the Crisis Management Centre, the Emergency Medical Services, Skopje Airport, the Directorate for Protection and Rescue, the Ministry of the Interior, the Red Cross, and other relevant partners. A comprehensive post-exercise analysis and evaluation is now being made to implement further improvements and identify gaps and challenges.
Extraordinary Ministerial Conference of the South-eastern Europe Health Network (SEEHN)
The exercise was organized during the Extraordinary Ministerial Conference of the South-eastern Europe Health Network (SEEHN) with participation of high level representatives from the SEEHN countries, Regional Cooperation Council and WHO/Europe