The National Institute of Health (NIH) Pakistan recently collaborated with GHD/EMPHNET on a series of activities with purposes to build capacities within the Public Health Emergency Operations Center (PHEOC) in the country.
The first was an Incident Command Management (ICM) training that took place between December 10 – 14, 2018. The training targeted 28 public health professionals from various Emergency Response Units (ERU) working on rapid assessment and response to outbreaks. The participants were public health officers, applied epidemiology professionals, veterinarians, and laboratory personnel. They represented the NIH and five provinces of Pakistan including Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Baluchistan, Gilgit Baltistan, and Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK).
The training’s sessions were designed to enhance the participants’ capacities- who represent the basic principles and functions of ICMS during outbreaks and other health emergencies. They were also designed to reinforce the capacity and skills of commander of multidisciplinary Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) in their respective locations.
The sessions covered topics, including Crisis management and Emergency Medical System associated with complex Incidents and mass Casualty management; Incident Command System and function and related Public health risks management; as well as Structure and function of Emergency Operations Centre. Soft skills related including leadership, time management, problem analysis and problem-solving, and team work were also covered.
During the opening of the training, Director of NIH Dr. Aamer Ikram stressed on the importance to operationalize the Public Health Emergency Operations Center (PHEOC), to contain outbreaks at grass root and preventing its spread.
As part of the collaboration between GHD/EMPHNET and NIH Pakistan, a meeting also took place at NIH, with the HR and IT staff. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss developing an electronic training database that will enable NIH to manage and track training at national and provincial levels.
Another meeting took place to discuss training and capacity building. NIH staff is to develop the enhancement capacity building PHE training plan following this meeting.