Held in the Maldives in July 2016, the South Asia Pandemic Preparedness Tabletop Exercise was a three-day meeting bringing together South Asian leaders in infectious disease outbreak response for public and animal health. The event provided an opportunity to address challenges in the detection of and response to infectious disease outbreaks as they spread beyond country borders and across species. An exercise simulation involving a fictional outbreak scenario was used as a format to evaluate current systems, policies, and procedures.
The meeting was a first step toward developing a South Asian regional disease surveillance network. South Asia Pandemic Preparedness Tabletop Exercise participants documented current strengths and areas for improvement and identified areas for increased cooperation and coordination in pandemic detection and response among South Asian countries.