Group photo of Health PS Mrs. Pauline McNeil, MHMS Senior Executive Members and lockdown observers, volunteers/actors and medical and public health emergency response members.

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) has last week (Wednesday & Thursday) completed its two days After-Action Review (AAR)workshop following the COVID-19, 36 hours lockdown exercise early last week. The workshop was specifically to review all health operations during the exercise.

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The review was conducted for different functional components of the COVID-19 response including Emergency health teams, Emergency Operation Centers, Surveillance (Contact tracers and swab team), Clinical Management and Patient Referral Pathway, Isolation, Risk Communication, Quarantine, Logistics, laboratory, St. John’s Ambulance and so forth under the Ministry of Health, National Referral Hospital Honiara City Council and Guadalcanal Province. The review also involved volunteers engaged for role- plays during the lockdown and all participating sectors.

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In addition, representatives from the WHO, Australian Health Commission and His Excellency Mr. Jones from British High Commission also participated in the AAR.

Speaking at the opening of the after-action review, Health Permanent Secretary Mrs. Pauline McNeil thanked all medical and public health officers engaged in responding to COVID-19 community transmission as part of the lockdown exercise including the volunteers and observers.

“Thank you to each and every single one of you for all your efforts during the lockdown exercise. Your response as if the exercise was an actual community transmission is highly commendable and reflects your seriousness to stand ready to serve your people should the need arise, to the best of your knowledge, skills and capabilities.


She also explained that while it can be acknowledged that there has been a lot of improvements compared to last year’s lockdown exercise; the current exercise has enabled health to note more areas for improvement.

“We can all agree that systems, processes and procedures across health teams and from the national to the provincial level needs to be strengthened, synchronized well including an improved execution of coordination, command and communication for efficient and effective response. This AAR gives us this opportunity to put our heads together and come up with best ways forward for responding to COVID-19 community transmission”,

 “I urge you all to put our heads together in this AAR and work together to identify issues, problems and gaps and come up as a team best ways forward. I wish us all good luck as we commence this workshop”, stated Mrs. McNeil.

During the AAR, participants were divided into their functional areas discussing and debating what happened, what went wrong and what could have been done better to identify gaps,  propose solutions and planning ways forward to improve responses to COVID-19 community transmission. Group work, presentations, open and frank discussions and debating were all part of the AAR.

At the closing, National Health Emergency Operation Centre (NHEOC) Incident Controller, Dr Nemia Bainivalu, thanked all members of the emergency response teams for the great effort put into the AAR.

 “Every single points raised, problems and issues identified and proposed solutions for more efficient and effective ways forward have been noted both within health’s control and beyond and will be presented to the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) lockdown review next week”.

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