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OECS PPS Strengthens Emergency Preparedness for Disease Outbreaks

OECS PPS Strengthens Emergency Preparedness for Disease Outbreaks

The OECS Pharmaceutical Procurement Service (PPS) attends training to improve emergency supply chain processes for disease outbreaks such as COVID19

In an effort to improve its emergency response capacity, the OECS Commission partnered with USAID’s Global Health Supply Chain – Procurement and Supply Management (GHSC-PSM) Programme to host a workshop on Emergency Supply Chain (ESC) Preparedness in Saint Lucia from 12-13th February 2020.

The two-day workshop sought to develop and strengthen operational plans for responding to outbreaks of infectious diseases in the region such as the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).  

Comprised of a series of working sessions covering scenarios for different disease outbreaks, key staff members of the Commission in Saint Lucia, which included the OECS Pharmaceutical Procurement Service (PPS), were trained to manage the response, procurement and provision of health supplies during emergency situations.

The sessions also implemented a set of ‘Playbook’ materials that provided guidance on preparatory measures that can be taken to optimise operating procedures for the management of health supplies during emergencies. 

“We are looking across the entire emergency supply chain, starting from people and processes all the way through to commodity planning, transport, logistics, waste management and also specifically looking at after the emergency has happened transitioning back to the routine situation,” Workshop facilitator and GHSC-PSM Consultant, Dr. Rhyenne M. E. Zimmerman of McKinsey&Company, said. 

Dr. Carlene Radix, Head of Health and Acting Head of the Human and Social Cluster at the OECS Commission, highlighted the timeliness of the training given the Coronavirus outbreak but noted that plans for the specialised workshop were underway for the better part of a year as the region sought to improve its emergency preparedness mechanisms.

“There was a regional workshop held last May in Jamaica in which four OECS Member States participated and three of those Member States, along with the OECS Commission, made requests for specific in-country training to be done and, at the Commission, on a regional level,” Dr. Radix said.

“The timing is very good because we know that right now we have a global outbreak of the COVID-19 Coronavirus and this process can help. But certainly, this training will also help prepare for other outbreaks that come up in the region – emerging diseases such as Zika, Chikungunya, and outbreaks that we have post-disasters.”

The Emergency Supply Chain (ESC) Preparedness Workshop was sponsored by USAID.

Health Pharmaceuticals Disaster Risk Management COVID-19
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Dr. Carlene Radix Head of Health and Acting Head of the Human and Social Cluster, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
Dr. Rhyenne M. E. Zimmerman Workshop Facilitator and GHSC-PSM Consultant, McKinsey&Company
OECS Communications Unit Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
Dr. Carlene Radix Head of Health and Acting Head of the Human and Social Cluster, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
Dr. Rhyenne M. E. Zimmerman Workshop Facilitator and GHSC-PSM Consultant, McKinsey&Company
OECS Communications Unit Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
About The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States

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The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is an International Organisation dedicated to economic harmonisation and integration, protection of human and legal rights, and the encouragement of good governance among independent and non-independent countries in the Eastern Caribbean. The OECS came into being on June 18th 1981, when seven Eastern Caribbean countries signed a treaty agreeing to cooperate with each other while promoting unity and solidarity among its Members. The Treaty became known as the Treaty of Basseterre, so named in honour of the capital city of St. Kitts and Nevis where it was signed. The OECS today, currently has eleven members, spread across the Eastern Caribbean comprising Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and The Grenadines, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Martinique and Guadeloupe. 

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