About the Full-Scale IFX
A simulation exercise (SimEx) programme for the Rapid Response Mobile Laboratory (RRML) Network consisting of four exercises of increasing complexity was developed by WHO and launched in 2021. The main objective of the programme is to test comprehensiveness, applicability and feasibility of the proposed minimum operational standards and to explore in-field coordination procedures, aimed to strengthen GOARN deployment mechanisms. These exercises have been designed with an emphasis on adaptability and scalability and can be integrated within the existing simulation and training programmes.
The GOARN Full-Scale Interregional Field Simulation Exercise (IFX) will be the final event in the WHO SimEx programme for RRMLs. It has been developed as a set of three individual modules covering the entire RRML deployment life cycle linked by a common exercise scenario and sequence of events.
- The first exercise module (TTX - Berlin, Germany, 03 - 04 May 2023) is a hybrid table-top exercise that will walk through the pre-deployment phases of the life cycle to initiate the exercise and prepare for the subsequent field exercise
- The second module (IFX.01- Istanbul, Türkiye, 19 – 22 June 2023) will focus on testing RRML minimum operational standards to support interoperability with other assets of the WHO Health Emergency Workforce in the field.
- The third module (IFX.02 - Tel Aviv, Israel, December 2023) will engage RRMLs to train and to test minimum operational standards during the mission execution and end of mission phase.
RRML minimum operational standards will be tested in workstreams, each exploring a different aspect of RRML activity:
- Operational Support and Logistics (OSL) focusing on the deployment of RRML units and in-field logistics, including custom clearance arrangements, material transport, in-field setup as well as safety and security in the fields;
- Quality Management Systems (QMS) through proficiency testing for RRMLs will be conducted as a pilot for RRML External Quality Assessment (EQA). The implementation of the proficiency testing will be supported by WHO Collaborating Centres;
- Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) with the testing of standards supporting interoperability among different assets of the global emergency workforce. This includes data transmission, minimal data sets for RRMLs and the establishment of efficient in-field communication;
- Biosafety and Biosecurity (B&B) testing and investigating the B&B procedures and measures applied by RRML during deployment.
Coordination, practising coordination mechanisms for RRML deployment and in the field.
Each module builds on events and outcomes from the previous exercises but are designed to be easily modified to provide knowledge transfer opportunities. The IFX project has been created and organised by WHE at the Regional Office for Europe in collaboration with the GOARN operational support team (OST) and other key partners.