Following the examples of Mexico and Argentina, the health authorities in El Salvador carried out the country’s first simulation exercise for an avian influenza pandemic. The aim of the exercise was to assess the response capacity of health workers at the local level and of the Ministry of Health local, departmental, and national rapid response health teams. The scenario was of a patient infected with a highly pathogenic form of influenza in the San Sebastián municipality, San Vicente Department.

The exercise tested the ability to rapidly detect and give notification of the outbreak, the level of care provided by health workers, the response capacity of the local hospital, as well as the use of biosafety measures in accordance with clinical guidelines on treating patients with this type of virus.

The simulation exercise was directed by the National Commission for Prevention of an Avian Flu Pandemic (CONAPREVIAR). It assessed technical strengths and weaknesses of the health sector and of coordination among different institutions and sectors.

This type of preparedness exercise is valuable in that it strengthens a country’s response capacity for any type of emergency, not only a possible pandemic. For more information on the exercise, you can write to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..