NCIRS is now part of the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN), which responds to ongoing or potential public health emergencies with the deployment of multidisciplinary staff and resources to affected countries. 

Coordinated by the World Health Organization (WHO), GOARN is a network of over 200 technical institutions and networks globally, including Australian partners such as the Indo Pacific Centre for Health Security within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Burnet Institute and Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders. Other global partners include the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), many United Nations organisations such as UNICEF and international non-government organisations such as the International Rescue Committee (IRC). 

According to WHO, GOARN contributes towards global health security by:

  • combating the international spread of outbreaks
  • ensuring that appropriate technical assistance reaches affected states rapidly
  • contributing to long-term epidemic preparedness and capacity building.

NCIRS staff include experts in public health, preventive medicine, paediatrics, internal medicine, infectious diseases, epidemiology, social sciences and laboratory science, providing NCIRS with a broad base of expertise to contribute as a GOARN partner. 

Our GOARN deployments

Professor Julie Leask, University of Sydney Nursing School and NCIRS-affiliate Professorial Fellow in Social Sciences
WHO Division of Pacific Technical Support & Samoa WHO Country Office | Suva, Fiji & Apia, Samoa | 7-22 January 2020

Professor Julie Leask, who is also a member of the Australian Regional Immunisation Alliance (ARIA), was deployed to Fiji and then to Samoa through WHO-GOARN where she supported risk communication activities in response to the measles outbreak in Pacific Island Countries and Territories. Julie assisted the development of various information products for measles outbreak response and recovery as well as communication strategies and key messages related to immunisation program implementation.

Julie Leask WHO staff
Julie Leask with staff from WHO offices in Samoa, Fiji, and the Philippines.
Julie Leask Samoa

RHS image - A banner at the Samoa airport warns about measles risk. 
 

Julia Maguire, NCIRS Infectious Disease Field Epidemiologist
WHO Division of Pacific Technical Support | Suva, Fiji | 16 January - 7 February 2020

Julia Maguire, who is also a member of the Australian Regional Immunisation Alliance (ARIA), was deployed to Fiji to assist with the response to the measles outbreak in the Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICs). Julia supported the timely and accurate collection, collation and reporting of infectious disease hazard information in PICs, with a focus on measles, dengue and COVID-19. Julia also supported the preparation and action planning for COVID-19 in PICs, including risk assessments, travel advisories and surveillance activities.

Julia Maguire Fiji WHO office
Julia Maguire at the WHO Division of Pacific Technical Support in Suva, Fiji.
 
Last updated February 2020