The European Mobile Lab consortium (EMLab) is registered in the voluntary pool of the European Medical Corps (EMC) since summer of 2016, when the first deployment took place as part of the EU civil protection mechanism to the threat of the Yellowfever outbreak spreading from Angola to the Democratic Republik of the Congo.
As part of the registration in the EMC and with a possible view of certification as a module in the future, EMLab was invited to participate in a multiagency disaster exercise funded by the European Union Civil Protection and organized by Falck in the exercise cycle 2016 - 2017 of the contract: N°ECHO/B1/SER/2015/05. Main objectives of these exercises are: self sufficiency, interoperability, procedures, coordination and to provide a learning opportunity.
The scenario of the exercise was widespread flooding in the imaginary country of Faultland affecting thousands of people and the infrastructure of the country including the health care system. A spreading infectious disease was diagnosed as Cholera by a reference laboratory. Six EU Civil Protection Modules were dispatched: One EU Civil Protection Team (EUCPT), one Technical Assist and Support Team (TAST) from Austria, two Advanced Medical Posts (AMP) from Italy and Spain, and two mobile labs from Belgium and EMLab from Germany.
EMLab deployed eight participants from the consortium: two persons from the Robert-Koch-Institute in Berlin, one person from the Institute for Virology of the Philipps University in Marburg, one person from INMI-Spallanzani in Rome, one person from INSERM-P4 in Lyon, one person from the National Centre for Epidemiology in Budapest, and two persons from the Bernhard-Nocht-Institute in Hamburg.
The team set up the laboratory in a classroom and successfully diagnosed on the exercise samples. Lessons learned from the exercise will be used to update standard operating procedures, improve on some items of equipment and amend the training program provided by EMLab for deployments.