Simulation Exercise in Costa Rica

Simulation Exercise in Costa Rica
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On July 26 and 27, the Infectious Hazard Management Unit of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) carried out a simulation exercise of the Pandemic Preparedness Plan caused by Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses (ORV) of Costa Rica. The activity was led by PAHO’s technical officer Andrea Patricia Villalobos Ingrid Garcia. Through this tabletop exercise, participants will reviewed and reflected on three aspects of their plan: multi-sectoral coordination, risk communications and community engagement (RCCE), and triggers for decision-making.
As the WHO has recognized, the threat from high-impact respiratory pathogens beyond influenza extends broad influenza. Costa Rica has been one of the countries that has tried to advance in the treatment of respiratory pathogens, proof of which has been the ARI preparation program, the establishment of a national ILI and SARI sentinel surveillance system for the timely detection of respiratory viruses. Added to this is the existence of a Vaccination Commission that regulates and facilitates the application of vaccines in the country. Given the emergency caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the country's interest in providing a comprehensive approach to the COVID-19 pandemic both at the health sector and intersectoral levels, in November 2021 Costa Rica reorganized several of its teams inter-institutional technicians. The result of this was the updating of the National Plan for Preparedness and Response to a possible pandemic due to influenza, SARS-CoV2 and other respiratory viruses.
Specific objectives of the activity
  • Test and evaluate the multisectoral coordination and communication mechanisms within the preparedness plan;
  • Reinforce and clarify roles and responsibilities between multiple entities and stakeholders within the preparedness plan;
  • Identify opportunities for improvements in respiratory pathogen response mechanisms;
  • Assess RCCE capacities (including information management) of the preparedness plan; and
  • Evaluate the triggers for escalating and de-escalating operational components of the preparedness plan.
Facilitators: PAHO/WHO
Participants: Ministry of Health, Ministerio de Salud, CCSS, INCIENSA, SENASA