International tabletop exercise on Points of entry: contact tracing, control measures and cross-sectoral collaboration. Athens, 8 – 9 December 2022
The SHARP Joint Action aims to strengthen EU preparedness against serious cross-border threats to health and to support the implementation of the International Health Regulations (IHR) (2005). Each technical work package helps build capacities to prevent, detect and respond to biological outbreaks, chemical contamination, environmental and other unknown threats to human health. By strengthening member states existing capabilities and supporting improvement in identified IHR capacity gaps, the SHARP Joint Action contributes to a safer environment for all EU citizens.
Implementing the basic IHR (2005) capabilities in the EU countries requires trained personnel across different agencies and at different stages. Work package 8 (WP8) meets this need by supporting collaboration between partners and agencies related to the strengthening of the implementation of the IHR through its provision of training and exchange of work practices.
Strengthening IHR capacity at borders
Today’s high level of traffic at points of entry can play a key role in the international spread of diseases through persons, conveyances and goods.
Points of entry provisions in the International Health Regulations (IHR) (2005) outline obligations and recommendations enabling countries to prevent, prepare for and respond to public health risks at the three categories of international airports, ports and ground crossings. Under the IHR, States Parties are requested to maintain effective public health measures and response capacity at designated points of entry.
When it comes to managing public health emergencies at Points of Entry (PoE) effective risk communication involving both national and international authorities is crucial in informing people about the threat and ensuring their compliance with recommended measures. Public health officials require the knowledge and skills to design and implement effective risk communication strategies, take measures in accordance with the legislative frameworks and implement effective contact tracing.
In this context, the Greek National Public Health Organization – EODY, is offering an international level, tabletop exercise focusing on planning and implementing the practices in cross border events to control the spread of transboundary diseases. The event also aims to capture the overall state of preparedness around points of entry in the participating countries.
International tabletop exercise on Points of entry: contact tracing, control measures and cross-sectoral collaboration. Athens, 8 – 9 December 2022.
Royal Olympic Hotel, Athens, 8 – 9 December 2022
Aims and learning objectives
The aim of the international exercise is to reinforce and guide the management of incidents at Points of Entry (PoE) – airports, ports and ground crossings – by implementing and exercising best practices and understanding the systems and correct procedures.
Building on the work of other Joint Actions, particularly EU HEALTHY GATEWAYS, the exercise provides a unique opportunity for representatives from national authorities to practice their skills in intra-sectoral collaboration: between health sectors (hospitals, community health centers, home care agencies); and between health and non-health care sectors (social services, transportation, housing, private sector, employment).
This discussion-based, cross-sectoral table-top exercise is delivered either in person or online, consisting of the following sessions:
• a welcome/introduction session (to introduce participants to the exercise purpose, design, objectives, rules and roles)
• the running of the scenarios (participants will receive information such as injects and are requested to respond within allocated timeframes)
• debriefing and evaluation session (for participants to report any key issues/actions taken in response to the scenario)
By completing the international exercise participants should be able to improve plans for
• Communication and coordination between Points of Entry authorities of different or the same country
• Cross sectorial coordination and at National and European level
• Understanding the criteria for reporting or not of an event at European/International level
• Implementing evidence-based measures at points of entry and contract tracing at National and European level
Who should attend?
Field epidemiologists from different sectors, public health professionals (junior or mid-career), risk communication experts and laboratory experts would gain knowledge and insight from participating.
Ideally, the participants should be representatives of local, intermediate and national level authorities and public health agencies and be actively involved in point of entry sector with:
- competencies to respond to public health events at PoE and to implement health measures at PoE and on-board conveyances or/and
- competencies in IHR and/or
- experience in contact tracing and/or
- basic knowledge of crisis management and the Early Warning and Response System (EWRS)
Working language: English
Registration extended to 14 November 2022
Participants will need to arrange their own travel and accommodation. Practical information for planning your attendance in person (PDF, 963 KB)
The event is free to attend. However, participants may claim their travel, accommodation and subsistence costs from their participating country’s organisation budgets. See participating countries and organisations within the SHARP Joint Action.
The exercise will take place in person and online. Eastern European Time
Maximum number of participants is 50 in person and online >50. Priority is given to the following (low GNI) countries
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Czech Republic