NPH activates hospital EOC in Vanuatu

The Northern Provincial Hospital (NPH) management has activated its Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) as part of national prevention and preparedness measures against the Coronavirus pandemic.

With a huge amount of experience and dedicated health staff, NPH has taken ownership to activate its EOC, plan for the worst and involve all its partners as early as last week.

NPH is the first hospital to activate its EOC at the request of senior health staff and hospital Acting Medical Superintendent, Dr Andy Ilo.

“Hospital EOC’s become the leading command and control centre for our health services and it allows partners to attend briefings in the morning so that we are all on the same page when tasks are handed out for the day,” Dr Ilo said.

A major focus has been placed on Infection Prevention and Control (IP&C) in the hospital setting to ensure that patients and health workers are safe in all areas of work.

“With the help of our partners, we have run major trainings for hospital staff and public servants in Luganville to ensure that everyone is informed and makes the right decisions,” Dr Ilo added.

The NPH EOC has tasked individual members with various responsibilities both within the hospital compound and in the community.

“We know that community awareness, washing hands and social distancing continues to be effective in reducing the spread of this COVID-19,” says former NPH Consultant General Surgeon, Dr Basil Leodoro.

“It is very good to see that the hospital EOC has also committed itself to lead community awareness alongside SANMA Provincial Health teams,” he said.

NPH EOC consists of nursing leaders, medical leaders and administrators with a vast wealth of experience given their response efforts in 2017-2018 with the Ambae volcano evacuation and repatriation.

“This team has realized the importance of strong health leadership and a flexible structure that allows us to address challenges as they come,” commented Dr Ilo.

“It’s a clear, adaptable and responsive set up in the EOC and when you have strong leadership, it allows for partners and other government stakeholders to align with the single aim of prevention, identifying, treating and stopping the spread of COVID-19 in Vanuatu,” Dr Leodoro said.

There are no confirmed cases of the COVID-19 in Vanuatu as of yesterday, however, the NDMO is leading the Taskforce to ensure the safety of citizens and prevent the spread of the virus in Vanuatu.

“The hospital EOC is only one of the measures implemented by the Taskforce in an effort to prepare and prevent the pandemic from reaching our shores.

“We have limited hospital resources and health staff throughout the country but early activation and strong, experienced leadership will ensure that NPH plays its part in readiness for this pandemic,” concludes Dr Leodoro.