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Table 4 Summary of participant qualitative feedback on exercises

From: Using exercises to improve public health preparedness in Asia, the Middle East and Africa

Question Response summary
What was most useful about the exercises? Helped to understand the extent of the threat
Raising awareness of challenges faced
Showed the importance of having solid plans in writing
Assisted in determining priorities
Demonstrated the importance of regional cooperation
Showed how multiple sectors of government should cooperate in planning and response
Improved confidence and team building
Sharing information and joint learning
Identification of potential solutions to challenges
What are the most important actions that should be taken based on the exercise? More frequent communications with partners
Development of better team preparations for response
Developing a detailed plan to follow up with gaps identified
Take planning more seriously and start working on it now
Delegate tasks better across all responsible parties
Significantly revise and improve existing plans
Better training of all health workers
Improve public awareness of the threat
Continue to meet regularly and assess improvements
Encourage more collaboration between animal and human health personnel
Create a regional rapid response team
Harmonize communication materials across all partners
What suggestions do you have to improve future exercises? Involve more private sector participants
Include more NGOs as participants
Better sharing of plans across all sectors and locations prior to the exercise
Hold more workshops and meetings prior to the exercises
Brief non-health sector participants better about disease etiology and transmission prior to the exercise
Do more to link theoretical responses to practical responses
Develop “train the trainer” approaches in the exercise
Provide more time to discuss each topic
  Provide more opportunities for non-health sector participants to participate