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Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Risk Mitigation
News article30 November 2022Service for Foreign Policy Instruments

Thailand leads national Simulation Exercise that validates country’s capacity to respond to cross-border disease events

Thailand strengthens capacity to respond to cross-border disease events
© CDC (@cdc) under CC Unsplash License.

Infectious disease events are of increasing regional and international concern. In a globalised world, the potential release of a high-risk biological agent, as the result of an accident or deliberate misuse, can pose a threat to public health that extends beyond national borders. Rapid detection and response capacity is therefore essential to mitigate the impact of infectious disease outbreaks.

On 16-18 November 2022, Thailand conducted a national simulation exercise (SimEx) to raise awareness about biosecurity considerations in the event of an infectious disease outbreak originating in a neighbouring country. Held in Udon Thani, Northeast Thailand, the exercise not only validated Thailand’s arrangements to effectively respond to cross-border disease events, but also demonstrated the Thai SimEx Team’s confidence to design and deliver future exercises of this kind.

Bringing together 80 participants drawn from all Regional Medical Sciences Centres (RMSCs) across Thailand, with representation from the National Institute of Health (NIH), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institute of Animal Health, the event demonstrated how collaboration and sharing of expertise can help Partner Countries to develop essential tools to deliver independent and sustainable capacity building.

Experts from the European Union (EU) with the EU Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Risk Mitigation Centres of Excellence Initiative EU CBRN CoE prepared the scenario outline and designed the management arrangements for the exercise, which were then refined and adopted by the Thai SimEx Team. During the planning process there was a gradual hand-over of responsibility from the Project to local experts until the exercise went “live” and was entirely managed by Thai colleagues. 

Thanks to this experience, the SimEx Team in Udon Thani is now fully equipped to design and deliver future simulation exercises and can provide consultancy support to other RMSCs that may wish to deliver their own exercises.

Supporting the enhancement of biosecurity in Southeast Asia

The EU supported the national simulation exercise in Thailand as part of its global program to mitigate risks arising from chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear materials and agents in cooperation with the EU CBRN CoE’s 64 Partners Countries.

EU CBRN CoE Project 81, “BIOSEC - Enhanced Biosecurity in Southeast Asia”, is led by the implementer Sustainable Criminal Justice Solutions in cooperation with other European entities. The project aims at providing a set of tools for improving biosecurity management systems in Southeast Asia with a focus on capacity-building directed at highly communicable diseases with global catastrophic potential, including pandemics.

Launched in 2019, BIOSEC is active in Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam.

For more information on how the EU CBRN CoE is supporting the strengthening of CBRN risk mitigation in Southeast Asia, please see the Southeast Asia Regional Secretariat page.

Details

Publication date
30 November 2022
Author
Service for Foreign Policy Instruments
CBRN areas
Bio-safety/bio-securityBorder control and monitoringCrisis managementFirst responsePost incident recoveryPublic and infrastructure protectionPublic health impact mitigationSafety and security
CBRN categories
ChemicalBiological
CoE Region
SEA - Southeast Asia