Bi-regional TEPHINET* Scientific Conference

The 2nd Southeast Asian and Western Pacific Bi-regional TEPHINET Scientific Conference “Collaboration for Effective Public Health Surveillance and Response” took place in Boracay, Philippines, from 24 to 28 November 2003. The agenda included oral presentations and poster presentations on a wide range of topics including: § Improving Regional Communicable Disease Surveillance and Response § EPI and Vaccine Preventable Diseases § Zoonoses and Vector-borne Diseases § Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) § Respiratory and Systemic Diseases § Fire and Water § Protecting Communities and Health Care Workers against SARS § Foodborne Diseases § Poisoning § HIV-AIDS and STIs § Maternal and Child Health

The Pacific Island region was represented by Dr James Wangi (Epidemiologist, Papua New Guinea Ministry of Health), Dr Narendra Singh (Senior Lecturer in Applied Epidemiology and Primary Care and Public Health at the Fiji School of Medicine) and Dr Tom Kiedrzynski (Epidemiologist, SPC) who represented the Pacific Public Health Surveillance Network (PPHSN).

After the opening on the first morning, guest speaker Dr Kiedrzynski gave a presentation on PPHSN. A poster on the PPHSN was also included in the posters display.

Dr Singh, Dr Wangi and Dr Kiedrzynski were requested to participate in the workshop on “Sustaining Quality Applied Epidemiology and Training Programs” for Field Epidemiology Training Programme (FETP) directors.

The classical FETP is two years long. At this meeting there were discussions of shorter FETP, specifically adapted to local needs like the Data for Decision Making (DDM) training developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This is a direction that more training programmes, including PPHSN, will probably take in the future. India already has a three-month FETP for a category of health workers.