“Simulation exercises have been identified as a key voluntary instrument in the validation of core capacities under the “Implementation of the International Health Regulations: Draft 5-year draft global strategic plan to improve public health preparedness and response”, which was adopted by the seventy first World Health Assembly. Simulation exercises, along with After Action Reviews, represent the functional assessment of capacities and complement States Parties annual reporting, independent reviews, and joint external evaluations. They play a key role in identifying the strengths and gaps in the development and implementation of IHR capacities and to support countries to assess the operational capability of their national capacity for public health preparedness and response.” – WHO
Full-scale/field exercises (FSX):
“A full-scale exercise simulates a real event as closely as possible and is designed to evaluate the operational capability of emergency management systems in a highly stressful environment, simulating actual response conditions. This includes the mobilization and movement of emergency personnel, equipment and resources. Ideally, the full-scale exercise should test and evaluate most functions of the emergency management plan or operational plan. Differing from the FX, a full-scale exercise typically involves multiple agencies and participants physically deployed in an exercise field location.” – WHO
In recent years, the world has seen a growing number of epidemic events, amounting to approximately 200 events annually. These events are increasing, and they are disruptive to health, economies, and society. Managing these events already strains global capacity, even absent a pandemic threat. Experts agree that it is only a matter of time before one of these epidemics becomes global—a pandemic with potentially catastrophic consequences. A severe pandemic, which becomes “Event 201,” would require reliable cooperation among several industries, national governments, and key international institutions.