Press Release

With the support from the European Union, WHO, together with the Ministry of Health of the Kyrgyz Republic, conducted another simulation exercise (SimEx) at Manas International Airport

10 June 2022

Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan – The World Health Organization (WHO) Country Office in Kyrgyzstan provided technical support to the Ministry of Health of the Kyrgyz Republic and its structural divisions in organizing a full-scale field exercise at Manas International Airport with the financial support of the European Union. The purpose of the exercise is to evaluate in practice the current operational plan in case of detection and suspicion of infectious diseases causing a public health emergency.

The exercise scenario included four stages: a simulated period of 30 minutes before landing, stopping and parking the aircraft, managing patients, and examining passengers. During the exercise, participants performed standard activities according to approved procedures and performed the actual tasks required to respond to the importation of an infectious disease.

“We note with satisfaction that conducting simulation exercises is becoming a trend in Kyrgyzstan. Such simulation exercises are an important and integral part of emergency preparedness. Their task is to develop or conduct monitoring and assessment of existing capabilities by creating a simulation of an evolving emergency,” said Nazira Artykova, Representative and Head of the WHO Country Office in Kyrgyzstan. “They help identify and close gaps in pre-emergency response capabilities by giving people the opportunity to practice their roles and responsibilities and gain experience during a simulated emergency. Today's exercise helped us understand where gaps may arise and what improvements and improvements are possible in the context of our country.”

“COVID -19 has demonstrated that our response systems are vulnerable and we must continue to prepare for future pandemics and public health threats. No one will be safe until we make everyone safe. And such simulation exercises are aimed at testing and improving plans for the purposes of common security”, said Mr. Hans Farnhammer, Head of the Cooperation Section of the Delegation of the European Union to the Kyrgyz Republic, in his welcoming speech.

“Conducting practical exercises helps to firstly test our operating procedures, secondly, improve them before the real situation arises, and thirdly, build public health capacity to respond to emergencies and prepare for future threats. I want to thank all partners for their assistance in organizing large-scale practical exercises,” commented Deputy Minister of Health Bubuzhan Arykbaeva.

The exercise was attended by many stakeholders, including representatives of the Department of Disease Prevention and State Sanitary and Epidemiological Surveillance of the Ministry of Health of the Kyrgyz Republic, the Center for State Sanitary and Epidemiological Surveillance on Transport of the Ministry of Health of the Kyrgyz Republic, the Republican Center for Quarantine and Highly Dangerous Infections, the Border Service of the State Committee for National Security of the Kyrgyz Republic, the Customs Service of the Ministry of Finance KR, the Veterinary Inspectorate under the Ministry of Agriculture of the KR, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the KR, the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the KR and the Directorate of the Manas International Airport and representatives of the EU Delegation to the Kyrgyz Republic.

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Background: This simulation exercise is the fourth (from 2019 to 2022) of its kind organized as part of WHO country activities to support emergency preparedness and response. They were an example of strong and coordinated multisectoral collaboration to ensure readiness of the country's Public Health services.

WHO organized this event as part of the “COVID-19 in Central Asia: Crisis Response" (CACCR) program”, funded by the European Union (EU) and the WHO Regional Office for Europe. This Project covers Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan and is designed to help to prevent, detect and respond to COVID-19 pandemic in these countries.

With the support from the European Union, WHO, together with the Ministry of Health of the Kyrgyz Republic, conducted another simulation exercise (SimEx) at Manas International Airport

Almaz Zhumaliev

Almaz Zhumaliev

WHO
Communications Officer

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