EU HEALTHY GATEWAYS JOINT ACTION PREPAREDNESS AND ACTION AT POINTS OF ENTRY (PORTS, AIRPORTS, GROUND CROSSINGS)

Maritime

07  Maritime transport

 

Work Package leader: University of Thessaly (UTH), Greece

 

The Maritime Transport work package consists of actions for preparedness at ports and the maritime transport sector.

Objectives:

  • Establishing the port component of a network for communication and rapid notification in the event of cross-border health risks
  • Producing best practice catalogues, guidelines and validated action plans for ports, covering all types of health threats, contingency planning, risk communication and advice for event management
  • Facilitating implementation of best practice catalogues and guidelines for the coordination and execution of hygiene inspections related to ports
  • Providing capacity building, including training, on tested best practices, guidelines and validated action plans related to ports (at European, country and local level), ensuring replicability, transferability and sustainability

Main tasks:

  • An expert Working Group for Ports will be established.
  • A network of professionals experienced in dealing with public health events at ports will be established, to communicate through forums activated ad-hoc in response to specific events.
  • A survey to identify best practices on core capacities implementation at ports, event detection, surveillance and management and contingency planning will be conducted among partner countries.
  • Technical content for training material.
  • A tool for contingency plan development and assessment will be developed based on identified best practice results and considering existing guidance from WHO. The tool will be finalised in view of pilot-testing results from two countries using different event scenarios for health threats. Joint Action participating countries will apply Version 1 of the tool and report their feedback to be considered by the Working Group for Ports. Version 2 (final deliverable) will then be produced.
  • Table top/simulation exercise for event management at ports will be developed by the Working Group for Ports, with support from Work Package 9. The exercise will be implemented by partner countries at the national level, in as many designated ports as possible. Partner countries will then produce reports from the validation of national and local plans and provide feedback to improve the table top/simulation exercise.
  • A model MoU will be developed, outlining rules of cooperation among the different competent authorities in ports at local level that must be involved in the response to public health events.
  • SOPs for specific vector surveillance and control activities at ports for implementation of an integrated vector control programme will be developed, based on the WHO and ECDC guidelines for vector surveillance and control at points of entry.
  • Work Package 7 will use existing work carried out under the SHIPSAN project. Specifically, training courses available on the SHIPSAN ACT training platform will be updated (e-learning for port health officers) and be offered to the target audiences.
  • Best practices for inspection auditing and for inspecting conveyances for vectors will be identified and based on this, auditing guidelines will be developed.
  • A common inspection schedule based on target factor at an EU level will be composed and agreed by all participating authorities. Auditing of inspections according to best practice protocols will take place at ports. For further details on passenger ship inspections and publication of results, see Section 12 of the Consortium Agreement.
  • Guidelines for inter-country communication and information flow in outbreak investigations and management of public health events will be produced in cooperation with Work Package 9.
  • Work Package 7 will put in place the port component of the web-based network that will be used to communicate and notify rapidly in case of cross-border risks to health at points of entry. Authorities involved with preparedness and response at points of entry will be given access to the web-based network to exchange information.

Deliverables:

  • Best practices for inspection auditing on ships – with inspection auditing guidelines and SOPs based on best practices for inspections of vectors on conveyances (considering auditing inspection results). Guidelines for focused inspections of conveyances in the case of outbreaks will be produced. 
  • Strengthening core capacities at ports through the production of: tool for contingency plan development and assessment at ports based on tested best practices, catalogues of best practices for detection and surveillance of public health events at ports, table top/simulation exercises to be implemented at port level, and options for improving detection and surveillance of public health events at ports.