Regional Engagement Program
Improving response capacity within acute care health systems in Asia Pacific
The NCCTRC has a funding agreement with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to act as a regional coordinating hub for disaster response, providing assistance to organisations, communities and governments to maintain their preparedness and increase their standing capacities to respond to sudden onset disasters, health emergencies and events of significance.
Under the current agreement, the NCCTRC provides a multi-layered and comprehensive regional engagement program that builds capacity within acute care health systems in key regional communities across the Indo-Pacific region to enable them to prepare and respond effectively to disasters. This includes Samoa, Tonga, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Timor-Leste, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, Kiribati, Tuvalu and Narau.
This program has been refocussed over 2020/21 due to the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic to assist the key regional communities with preparedness and response to outbreaks and the impact on the local health system. As international travel is expected to have ongoing limitations in 2021/22, the projected activities for this year remain focussed on COVID-19 preparedness.
NCCTRC coordinates AUSMAT deployments in the region, which has enabled much of the skill development and on-the-ground training as specified in the program objectives, namely:
- Ensure that identified hospitals have the capacity to function effectively in times of emergency and disaster
- Ensure that pre-hospital, trauma and critical care (where relevant) capacity is adequate
- Identify and train key local personnel to act as leaders, coordinators, and liaison officers in times of crisis
- Develop sound and effective interagency communication practices
- Agree a policy framework and sound standard operating procedures to ensure clear and agreed processes are established for use in times of disaster and emergencies.
The Regional Engagement Program leverages on existing and known relationships in the region, focusing on a collaborative approach that builds capacity locally along with identifying local personnel to act as leaders, coordinators and liaison officers in times of crisis, further supporting increased local resilience during times of response.