To strengthen preparedness and response at the provincial level, the Morocco Ministry of Health (MoH) is working to train rapid response teams in all the provinces of the country. The most recent training activity it had conducted was a Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) training. With support from the Biosecurity Engagement Program (BEP) of the US Department of State and GHD/EMPHNET, this training was held between October 30 and November 3, 2017 at the National Public Health School in Rabat.
Over 30 public health physicians, veterinarians, and laboratory officers participated in this training. They were all representing provincial as well as national levels.
During the workshop’s opening, the Director of the National Public Health School Prof. Abdelmounim Belalia, Dr. Dr. Hind Ezzine from the National Department for Epidemiology and Disease Control (DELM), and Dr, Ezzeddine Mohsni from GHD/EMPHNET highlighted the significance of this training to public health empowerment in Morocco, while stressing the importance of the continuous collaboration between the MoH and GHD/EMPHNET in the area of capacity building.
The workshop’s sessions were facilitated by senior officers from the MoH, the Ministry of Agriculture, and the Ministry of Defense. A four-day long group exercise simulated a scenario of an H5N1 outbreak. In this exercise, participants explored the steps of an outbreak investigation that is conducted by a local multi-disciplinary rapid response team. The workshop also featured a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) demonstration.
Workshop facilitators also briefed participants on the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005), the national public health emergency preparedness and response framework, as well as the national human and animal health surveillance systems. In depth discussions were made on the functioning mechanisms, procedures, steps, and components of rapid response networks.
At the conclusion of the workshop, the post-test evaluation revealed the participants’ improved knowledge of the afore-mentioned topics.