SPONSORED: Continuing their COVID-19 preventative work, Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services (KAMS) has facilitated 17 COVID-19 tabletop and drill scenarios with agencies and organisations across the Kimberley.

KAMS has assisted participants in becoming familiar with the requirements, responsibilities and roles during an outbreak of COVID-19 in the Kimberley area, including remote communities.

This scenario planning allowed KAMS to attain several practical outcomes and identify potential problems, such as managing staff capacity and how to accommodate additional staff flown in to assist pandemic management in remote communities.

Bringing these issues to light has enabled stakeholder discussions to improve the preparation and development of relevant solutions in response to potential outbreaks across the region.

Stakeholder discussions also enabled teams to understand how information will be communicated to remote community members to ensure they don’t leave their communities and make the COVID-19 public health response even more challenging.

Any COVID-19 cases present in the Kimberley will undergo contract tracing, which involves contacting all close contacts of the positive case.

“The job of contact tracing would be extremely challenging, and we could see significant delays if community members were not easily accessible and could be extremely detrimental to the health of the community given how quickly COVID-19 can spread,” said Dr Lorraine Anderson, Medical Director at KAMS.

“It’s really important that remote community members understand their community’s pandemic plan and that their welfare has been considered and planned for in the case that they have to go into isolation.”

These activities have been vital in highlighting the areas that need strong collaboration and plans between agencies and organisations so everyone knows who does what, and when.

By Rachael Knowles