Inform’ACTION n°23


Surveillance & Response

  • Measles outbreak and response campaign in Fiji, 2006
    Dr Timaima Tuiketei and Dr Josaia Samuela (PDF, 136 KB)
  • Leptospirosis in Wallis and Futuna in 2005 – Dr Laurent Morisse, Dr Gwénaël Roualen and Dr Jean-François Yvon (PDF, 259 KB)
  • Leptospirosis report 2005: New Caledonia
    Dr Alain Berlioz-Arthaud and Dr Fabrice Mérien (PDF, 111 KB)


  • First regional Asia-Pacific training course on leptospires
    and leptospirosis – Dr Fabrice Mérien (PDF, 85 KB)
  • Inception of PICNet (PDF, 101 KB)
  • Conclusions and recommendations of WHO Workshop on
    International Health Regulations (2005) and
    Pandemic Influenza Preparedness in the Pacific (PDF, 88 KB)
  • PRIPPP: a joint effort to accelerate influenza pandemic preparedness (PDF, 89 KB)
  • Enhancing the role of LabNet in the Pacific Region
    Albert Gurusamy and Melissa Pontré (PDF, 100 KB)

In Brief


  • Prevent Measles – Example of Fact Sheet for health workers in Fiji –
    Dr Narendra Singh and Peta-Anne Zimmerman [PDF, 109 KB]


Joining efforts

Welcome to the first issue of Inform’ACTION for 2006.

While highly pathogenic avian influenza has now spread to three continents, it fortunately remains a disease of birds rather than humans. One of the highlights of this 23rd edition is news of the Pacific Regional Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Project (PRIPPP). Acknowledging the importance of this issue to Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs), SPC, in collaboration with partners the World Health Organization and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and aid donors the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and the New Zealand International Aid and Development Agency (NZAID), decided to jointly develop this important project addressing both animal and human heath issues. The list of partners is not exhaustive and SPC intends to seek the assistance of other partners and donor agencies.

PRIPPP will allow regional coordination of initiatives related to avian influenza and human influenza preparedness and ensure optimal utilisation of limited resources, avoiding duplication. It is also designed to ensure preparedness among all PICTs against other emerging diseases.

The New Caledonia Pasteur Institute (IPNC) and SPC, with financial assistance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), have started to deal with one important development of influenza surveillance: assistance in the setting up of simple sentinel surveillance crucially supported by laboratory testing and confirmation, with a proven and innovative technique for sample referral for further identification. This will not only strengthen influenza surveillance in the region but also prepare PICTs for a possible progression towards pandemic influenza.

On the same matter, the conclusions and recommendations of the WHO Workshop on International Health Regulations (2005) and Pandemic Influenza Preparedness in the Pacific held in Fiji in November 2005 are reproduced in this bulletin. Some information on the inception of an SPC–IPNC project to increase influenza surveillance in the Pacific is also provided.

The issue begins with a series of articles on recent outbreaks, surveillance and response experiences in the region. We greatly welcome and acknowledge the contribution from Dr Timaima Tuiketei and Dr Josaia Samuela on the measles outbreak that has been affecting Fiji since February 2006, including the public health measures and mass measles vaccination activities that were implemented in response to the outbreak. We have also included in this issue an example of a fact sheet compiled by Dr Narendra Singh and Ms Peta-Anne Zimmerman for health workers in Fiji Islands, which could be adapted for other PICTs to help raise awareness and prevent measles outbreaks.

Our colleagues from Wallis and Futuna and New Caledonia, Dr Laurent Morisse, Dr Gwénaël Roualen, Dr Jean-François Yvon, Dr Alain Berlioz-Arthaud and Dr Fabrice Mérien, continue the surveillance and response columns with their surveillance and epidemiological reports on leptospirosis for 2005. We thank them for these valuable articles that remind us of the impact of this zoonosis on our populations, which often causes significant mortality despite a low morbidity. Fortunately, thanks to proper and timely care, this is not the case in Wallis and Futuna.

In recognition of this important problem, IPNC and SPC co-organised the first regional Asia-Pacific training course on leptospires and leptospirosis in April 2006 in Noumea. Dr Fabrice Mérien summarises the proceedings and outcomes of the course.

A new service of the Pacific Public Health Surveillance Network (PPHSN), the Pacific Regional Infection Control Network (PICNet), was officially launched in February 2006 on the occasion of a technical consultation meeting and training workshop on infection control and prevention organised by SPC in Fiji Islands. A summary of the meeting report is provided in the bulletin, together with the terms of reference of the network.

Last but not least, a short abstract of the results of an evaluation of a new rapid test for dengue serology conducted by IPNC and the Clinical Laboratory of Yap State Hospital in the Federated States of Micronesia in 2004 is reproduced for the information and consideration of all PPHSN members.

The Editors