IOM, Ministry of Public Security Complete Trainings for Frontline Officials at Ten Point of Entry (PoE) across Lao People’s Democratic Republic
Lao People’s Democratic Republic – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Ministry of Public Security (MoPS) completed the Training on Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Frontline Officials at ten PoEs from 27 October to 18 December.
Together with MoPS, IOM conducted the first training at Wattay International Airport, Vientiane Capital on 27 October, before rolling out to six other provinces across the country. The trainings were guided by the SOP developed by IOM in consultation with MoPS, which sought to enhance preparedness and response capacities of frontline officials to COVID-19 at key international airports and land border checkpoints. A total of 463 officials working at PoEs were trained.
The trainings consisted of topics such as: self-protection measures of PoE officials; methodology on managing ill passengers; communicating health and safety measures to passengers; transportation of passengers to quarantine centres; risk assessment management of PoE facilities and monitoring of practices at PoEs. Simulation exercises on a range of possible scenarios were conducted to validate the feasibility of SOPs and further refine its contents based on the specific needs identified.
IOM also handed over essential personal protective equipment (PPE) to each PoE to better protect travellers, migrants and frontline officials, and ensure safe and effective border management during the pandemic. A total of 85,806 pieces of equipment including surgical masks, surgical gloves, goggles, hand sanitizers, face shields, handheld thermometers and disinfection sprays were distributed.
The trainings followed the completion of PoE mapping assessment conducted from 28 August to 21 October, in which existing capacities of infrastructure, processes and personnel to respond to a virus outbreak were assessed. After the assessments, each PoE’s immediate needs of PPE and information, education and communication (IEC) materials were addressed; visual diagrams demonstrating in and outbound passenger and vehicle flows were developed to enhance understandings among frontline officials.
Findings from these rapid assessments also helped identify existing response gaps of each PoE, which aided the development of a comprehensive SOP for PoE officials and tailored risk communication materials for incoming and outgoing travellers and migrants in migrant-inclusive languages.
The SOP trainings better equipped frontline officials with necessary knowledge and experience to prevent disease transmission and contamination of working premises, as well as to effectively manage suspected and/or probable COVID-19 cases at border crossing spots.
IOM has been monitoring the large number of migrants returning across the region. The pandemic has significantly changed human mobility and trade patterns, and as travel restrictions created new risks for migrants, many have become stranded or found themselves in irregular situations.
Under its Health, Border and Mobility Management Framework, IOM sets to improve the prevention, detection and response to the spread of diseases at points of origin, transit, destination and return.
This activity is part of IOM’s project Support on responding to cross mobility challenges at points of entry in Lao People’s Democratic Republic, with joint funding from the Australian Government and the UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund.
For more information please contact Suhyun PARK at IOM Vientiane. Tel. + 856 (0)55 136 294. Email: [email protected]