Crisis Management Initiative Leverages APRU Network to Improve Pandemic Preparedness
March 25, 2021

The APRU Crisis Management Initiative’s webinar series continues to provide a highly valuable platform for the exchange of experiences and the evaluation of different approaches to address human health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The initiative was set up on following a suggestion by the president and senior management of Peking University to leverage the APRU network to improve crisis preparedness. The webinar series, jointly developed by National University of Singapore, Peking University, the University of Sydney and University of California Los Angeles, the four core group members of the initiative, has engaged in total approximately 1,000 participants and featured 22 expert speakers giving presentations and engaging in Q&A sessions.

“COVID-19 has made crisis management a key topic across the globe, compelling countries and individuals to improve their responses to unprecedented challenges,” said Christopher Tremewan, APRU’s Secretary General.

“The APRU Crisis Management Initiative is designed to help universities protect students and campuses during the pandemic as well as sharing knowledge and experience to advance public health strategies,” he added.

The latest webinar held on March 18th under the title Collaboration in Crisis: The Impact of Covid-19 on Non-Communicable Diseases was led by the University of Sydney in collaboration with the three other APRU university members.

The event highlighted that there is a growing risk of NCDs being overlooked, as public health measures to deal with COVID-19 have been given priority over the interventions used to prevent and control NCD risk factors, such as tobacco, alcohol and sugar controls. Promotional campaigns for physical activity and healthy diets have been put on the back burner, which is often accompanied by disruption of the regular care required by patients with NCDs.

The webinar followed recent webinars on Solutions for COVID-19 Pandemic Control: Vaccines and Beyond; Collaborating in Crisis: Academic-Governmental Partnerships During COVID-19; and Perspectives of COVID-19 Pandemics: Epidemiology, Prevention and Control.

Further activities undertaken by the core group of experts include a comparative case study conducted under the lead of the University of Sydney and Peking University. The study is expected to produce key comparative insights, given that the pandemic hit the four APRU universities’ home countries differently both in time and scale.

Find out the crisis management webinar