SAINT LUCIA NATIONAL PANDEMIC PREPAREDNESS PLAN. PRESENTATION 13 TH HEALTH DISASTER COORDINATORS MEETING. COMMENTS on the process involved in the development of the NIPPP. CHALLENGES Political Will Leadership
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13TH HEALTH DISASTER COORDINATORS MEETING
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) with support of the United States
Agency for International Development (USAID) worked with Caribbean countries and
territories to upgrade their level of preparedness for Pandemic Influenza.
The simulation exercise in Saint Lucia was carried out to in furthering development of
The exercises were jointly executed by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Ministry
of Agriculture (MAFF)
MAFF conducted its full scale exercise in the field while MOH’s exercise was
conducted at Victoria Hospital. A joint table top exercise was conducted with all stake-
The overall purpose of the exercise was as follows:
a. Organization of outbreak investigation team
b. Use of PPEs
c. Extraction and management of samples
4 To identify gaps and areas for improvement
Table top exercise was conducted on the first day
Designed to simulate outbreak into Pandemic Phases 4 & 5
Test was focus on multi – sectoral approach to emergency management
Involved Ministries & other agencies identified in the NIPPP
Simulation intended to:
Table top focused on 4 specific areas:
The full scale exercise was conducted on the second day comprising a series of drills to
Test specific aspects of the sectors response using 20 volunteers presented to a health facility with AI symptoms contracted from a neighbouring farm.
The health facility’s emergency functions tested were:
Agencies involved in the table top included MAFF, Police, NEMO,Min. of Trade, Red
Cross, Fire & Ambulance Service, Min. of Finance, Min. of Tourism.
The full scale exercise was predominantly MOH & MAFF with limited involvement of
NEMO, volunteers, Police, Fire & Ambulance service.
Observers and Evaluators
Primarily regional participants from St. Vincent, Antigua, Aruba, Dominica, St. Kitts & Nevis, IICA, FAO & PAHO.
A number of issues were raised during the table top exercise, the key issues being:
Other contributing factors
The overall success of the exercise was that it illustrated the strengths & weaknesses
of the NIPPP design & implementation process in St. Lucia.
Separation of Ministries
Two separate exercises were conducted on the same day, one by MOH & the other by
MAFF with very little inter agency collaboration & coordination.
There was overlapping of roles & some persons played the roles of player, controller,
Planner, and evaluator.
However the original objectives to test the application & use of the PPEs and the
Sampling methodology was realized.
Two separate AAR sessions were held to address the strengths & weaknesses of the
system and to make general recommendations for improvement.
1 Observation: many participants had no opportunity to review plans
Recommendation: NIPPP committee to develop & schedule orientation sessions
2 Observation: Ministries/ Departments/Agencies operating in isolation
Recommendation: NIPPP committee to identify key players & have regular sessions to
harmonize relationships (private & public sectors)
3 Observation: lack of effective leadership & management
Recommendation: NIPPP committee to identify training needs & ensure cadre of trained persons in awareness & management of the contents of the NIPPP
The design and execution flaws identified were not limiting factors in achieving the
Goals and Objectives of the exercises. The four (4) focal Decision making, Inter &
Intra Agency Communication, Information Management & Record Keeping have
been simulated, since the general intention was to create a scenario that would cause
the various stake holders to interact and react accordingly. The inserts were designed to
afford participants the opportunity to generate discussion, anticipate problems & find
solutions as a team or teams.
Sections of the NIPPP were identified as missing and needed development, including but not limited to: