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World's First Pandemic Logistics And Learning Exercise

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  • World's First Pandemic Logistics And Learning Exercise


    November 26, 2008 18:54 PM

    World's First Pandemic Logistics And Learning Exercise

    By Mohd Najhan Azman

    KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 26 (Bernama) -- The world's first pandemic logistics and learning exercise, known as P2LX, is being held here to enhance readiness and response to a crisis situation triggered by the Avian Influenza or bird flu H5N 1 virus.

    Mercy Malaysia president Datuk Dr Jemilah Mahmood said the seven-day exercise beginning Monday, would among others, identify areas needing improvement in the logistics operation and management practices of senior logistics staff in pandemic situations.

    The exercise is organised by Mercy, World Food Program (WFP) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

    "The P2LX is a simulation exercise geared at responding to a crisis situation triggered by a pandemic, such as the Avian Influenza or bird flu H5N 1 virus, in a controlled simulation environment.

    "P2LX learning exercise is important to us as a nation because of the involvement of all the different non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the corporate sector which are also assisting us in these programmes," she told Bernama here Wednesday.

    Dr Jemilah said 158 local participants from Mercy and Red Crescent Malaysia were participating in the exercise.

    She said the simulation exercise was intended to act as a learning tool, allowing experienced logisticians who participate to apply their skills and knowledge.

    "The P2LX enabled participants to gain a clearer understanding of their role in the logistics inter-agency mechanism to highlight areas of response in a pandemic situation.

    "This is the first time in the world that we are teaming up for such training," she said.

    Dr Jemilah said many international communities, such as the United Nations(UN), could learn from the experiences of Malaysian Government agencies in handling pandemic cases.

    She said Malaysia was chosen for this exercise due to the big support from the government.

    Meanwhile, Avian and Pandemic Task Force World Food Program (WFP) chief Peter Scott Bowden said in early 2006, virus like SARS Influenza had spread across three continents and had proved an aptitude to infect and kill humans.

    "Based on history, there is a recycle in every 40 years for a new virus to spread, and no one can guarantee that it will not recur.

    "Its ability to mutate and transmit from one person to another has triggered a global human influenza pandemic.

    "(Thus) the objective of this exercise is to operationalise the plans, guidelines and idea on how we can operate in such situations," he said.

    The P2LX training, divided into theoretical and practical, is being held at the Kuala Kubu Baru fire and rescue department training centre.

    -- BERNAMA