The countries of the WHO South-East Asian Region (SEARO), which account for a quarter of the world’s population, are particularly vulnerable to health emergencies because of both the usual risk of disease outbreaks and the additional threat of natural disasters.
The International Health Regulations (IHR) require all WHO Member States to develop and maintain capabilities to respond rapidly and effectively to public health threats and risks. In this context, health emergency operation centres play a crucial role in preparing for and managing crisis and emergency events. To comply with the IHR and in order to manage public health emergencies, Member States in the WHO SEARO Region have improved their existing Emergency Operation Centres (EOCs) and/or established dedicated Health Emergency Operations Centres (HEOCs) to strengthen communication and coordination during a public health emergency.
While the initial focus was on the physical infrastructure of the HEOC, the effective activation and operation of a HEOC equally depends on appropriate plans, procedures, protocols and capacities. In the framework of this GHPP project, a five-day country-specific workshop on strengthening relevant HEOC capacities and capabilities will be developed and conducted in one selected SEARO Member State. Following the pilot workshop, the concept will be evaluated and adapted as necessary.
The main objective of the capacity building workshop will be a detailed analysis of existing gaps for the efficient operation of a PEOC. In interactive and practical sessions based on a fictitious scenario, the participants will review their national HEOC capacities (plans, procedure, protocols) during a five-day workshop. They will train and exercise required competencies and develop a roadmap for further development of the HEOC set-up and mechanism. Depending on the level and familiarity with the existing standards and procedures of PHEOC, the workshops may be preceded by introductory training or online training.
- WHO SEARO and the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) will conduct a pilot workshop in at least one SEARO Member State to build and strengthen capacity for HEOCs
- The staff of health ministries of the WHO SEARO member states will be able to better plan, activate and operate their HEOC
- The workshop concept for HEOC capacity building will also be made available to WHO and EOC-NET partners in other regions to contribute to HEOC strengthening in other regions
- The experience gained from this project will also feed into the RKI’s own Situation Centre plans and procedures and will contribute to improving cooperation and exchange with other international actors
Last update: August 2022