The emergence of infectious diseases such as Ebola Virus, HIN1, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, SARS throughout the world has become a major public health emergency of international concern. While there has not been any imported cases of such virus till date, there is a high risk for Bhutan to be affected by such disease outbreaks considering the increasing number of international travelers visiting Bhutan.
In the age of unprecedented growth of air travel, airports remain vulnerable to the importation of such diseases. Therefore it is quite imperative that disease outbreaks are detected and contained at the Points of Entry. Airport Public Health Contingency Preparedness Plan has been developed and it was critical to test and validate the plan through a simulation exercise. Thus, the Ministry of Health with technical support from WHO organized a simulation Exercise on Public Health Emergency Preparedness at the Paro International Airport on the 6th November 2019.
Through the simulation exercise, the roles and responsibilities of different stakeholders at the Airport was reviewed including communication, coordination, risk assessment and decision-making regarding appropriate public health response and referral.