GHD/EMPHNET Supports Governorate-Level Rapid Response Teams Training in Tunisia
Supported by GHD/EMPHNET, the Tunisia MoH conducted two back-to-back training workshops in Hammamet, Tunisia, from May 1-11, 2018. These workshops came under the second round of the RRT cascade training sessions targeting the country’s twenty-four governorates. The training is designed to build strong public health emergency rapid response capacities in Tunisia at national and governorate levels.
The workshops’ participants were over 70 representing both governorate and national levels. They work as physicians, health technicians, veterinarians, and laboratory officers in the Ministries of Health, Agriculture, Interior, and Defense.
Senior officers and experts from the Ministry of Health, the Institute Pasteur of Tunis, the Faculty of Medicine of Sousse, and GHD/EMPHNET facilitated the workshop’s sessions.
Within their role, they briefed participants on the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005), the national public health emergency preparedness and response framework, and the concept of RRT (composition, skills, competencies, roles and responsibilities, relationships with other MoH response blocks and departments). Facilitators also gave presentations on other pressing topics such as infection control, biosecurity, and the importance of the laboratory component in preparing for and responding to emergency public health events. From their end, participants engaged in an in- depth discussions on the functioning mechanisms, procedures, steps, and components of rapid response networks.
More than 50% of the workshop’s time was dedicated to practical learning sessions featuring a simulated scenario of an H5N1 outbreak. Within this exercise, participants explored the various steps of an outbreak investigation conducted by a local multi-disciplinary rapid response team. They also sat through sessions on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), as well as interactive presentations, video demonstrations, and group discussions.
These training workshops are a follow up to the ToT on RRTs that was supported by GHD/EMPHNET in Tunis from November 6 to 10, 2017.
On April 30, representatives of Governorate Health Directorates as well as directors of main MoH central departments involved in public health emergency response operations sat through a one-day briefing.
This meeting was opened by Prof Nabiha Falfoul, DG Health, MoH, and by Dr Mohannad Al-Nsour, GHD/EMPHNET Executive Director. In their opening remarks, they both highlighted the excellent collaboration between MoH and GHD, particularly in the domains of field epidemiology as well as rapid Response Teams. They stressed on the important role and responsibilities of the country’s 24 Regional Health Directors in terms of preparedness and response to public emergency in general and in developing rapid response capacities in the country. They both concluded their remarks by stressing once more their readiness to continue this collaboration and they also said that it may be extended to other priority public health areas.
MoH senior officers were briefed on Global Health Security (GHS) and IHR concepts with a focus on public health emergency response operations framework and RRTs in particular as well as on the country PH emergency response plan. Each one of the participants took the floor to express his/her views, his/her governorate situation and priorities in terms of GHS, as well as his/her expectation from MoH and GHD/EMPHNET.