In the earliest stages of the COVID-19 threat, GHD|EMPHNET began to work with countries in the EMR towards supporting national and regional preparedness and response to COVID-19. Within this support, we have been relying on our decade-long connection with the FETPs in the region, the graduates of which play a crucial role in outbreak investigations and response. We have also relied on our long-term investment in Rapid Response Teams (RRT) training, an initiative that we launched in 2012. Over the years, we have trained over RRT members who now have been mobilized to effectively respond to COVID-19 in their countries. Through our Public Health Emergency Management Center (PHEMC), established in 2017, we have also intensified support to COVID-19, which lead coordination with partners at the global and regional levels through regular interactions and discussions.
Considering the World Health Organization Office for the Eastern Mediterranean (WHO-EMRO) COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan and the Global COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Strategy, we have developed the Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan to COVID-19 for a more coherent and efficient support to the diverse needs of the countries in the face of an unprecedented outbreak.
The strategy’s working areas are Cooperation and Coordination, Epidemiology and Health Information Management, Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE), Laboratory and diagnostics, Technical Expertise and Guidance, Surveillance, Rapid Response Teams, Infection Prevention and Control, Research and Innovation, Point of Entry, and Health System and Post Pandemic Situation. Each of these areas have a list of activities which we have started implementing to promote preparedness and response to COVID-19 in the region.
We will be incorporating this strategy in the newly developed organizational strategy for years 2020-2022 to help secure support to countries in a concrete way to promote efficient and coherent preparedness and response to COVID-19.
To read the full COVID-19 strategy, click here.