Learning to protect Cook Islands’ borders

Tuesday March 10, 2015 Written by Published in Health
New Zealand Ministry of Health senior advisor on border and health protection, John Gardner. New Zealand Ministry of Health senior advisor on border and health protection, John Gardner.

Protecting Cook Islands’ borders in the most effective way is the aim of the week-long workshop that started yesterday.

New Zealand Ministry of Health senior advisor on border and health protection, John Gardner, is facilitating the International Health Regulation Training Exercise Program being held at Public Health in Tupapa this week.

Gardner said since his first visit to the Cook Islands six months ago, the Cook Islands had come a long way in developing a response plan.

“The Cook Islands already has a draft response plan in place and this week is about developing that plan and 

conducting exercises to test it,” he said.

Representatives from Immigration, Customs, bio-security, police, airlines, tourism, the Port Authority and the Airport Authority will be taking part this week.

Gardner said the Ebola disease outbreak in Africa had sparked the development of national health response plans across the globe.

This week scenarios to be tested by workshop participants will include the possibility that a large aircraft carrying a significant number of infected passengers lands in Rarotonga.

“The plans are dynamic so need to be tested and changed and redrafted,” he said. 

Gardner said the plans would also need to be tested at Rarotonga International Airport in due course.

Leave a comment