Inform’ACTION # 22

December 2005

Printed version (PDF, 5MB)


Surveillance & Response

  • Hepatitis A in New Caledonia – Summary report (6 December 2005)
    Dr Sylvie Barny (PDF, 211 KB)
  • Boosting infection control measures in the Pacific Islands (PDF, 15 KB)
  • Appendix – Examples of appropriate and inappropriate practices for infection prevention and control – Peta-Anne Zimmerman (PDF, 219 KB)
  • Tuvalu takes concerted action against rubella and measles
    Dr Nese Ituaso-Conway, Dr Tekaai Nelesone and Richard Duncan (PDF, 18 KB)
  • Measles supplementary immunization activities in Solomon Islands and Vanuatu in 2006 – Richard Duncan (PDF, 12 KB)


  • PPHSN Coordinating Body meets (PDF, 37 KB)
  • WHO workshop on IHR and pandemic influenza preparedness in the Pacific (HTML, 10 KB)
  • Subsequent meeting of PPHSN Influenza Specialist Group (HTML, 10 KB)
  • Fourth meeting of the Conference of the Pacific Community (HTML, 10 KB)


  • Increasing influenza surveillance in the Pacific Island Region (HTLM, 12 KB)
  • Strengthened national influenza preparedness (SNIP) (HTML, 12 KB)
  • Monitoring and evaluation of regional responses to HIV: Tying it all together with CRIS (PDF, 13 KB)

In Brief


Promoting infection control measures

In this issue, the emphasis is on the importance of reinforcing infection control measures on our shores.

Health-care infection control plays a vital role in communicable disease control. This was vividly demonstrated in 2003 with the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), and the issue has become more and more urgent with the growing threat of an influenza pandemic.

Ms Peta-Anne Zimmerman, infection control specialist and ADB consultant to PPHSN since September 2005, shares her first impressions and findings from the round of country visits she has accomplished in the last couple of months, and discusses what could be done to improve the situation. A series of photos showing appropriate and inappropriate infection control practices is included in the article. In February 2006, a technical consultation meeting and training workshop will be organised on infection control and prevention.

Basic infection control measures, such as regular hand-washing, benefit broad communicable disease prevention and control. This is true for typhoid fever, as highlighted in the previous issue of Inform’ACTION, and it is demonstrated again in this issue with the article on hepatitis A in New Caledonia. Epidemiologist Dr Sylvie Barny provides a detailed summary of the hepatitis A outbreak that has affected New Caledonia since April 2005, including maps and graphics illustrating the incidence of the disease by municipality.

The articles from Tuvalu’s Dr Nese Ituaso Convey, Chief of Primary & Preventive Health Services, and Dr Tekaai Nelesone, Director of Health, and from Mr Richard Duncan from WHO’s Office for the South Pacific, document efforts to lessen the risk of future outbreaks of measles and rubella in Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands. These supplementary immunisation activities are being carried out under the Pacific Immunization Programme Strengthening (PIPS) initiative supported by numerous partners of PPHSN.

During the last quarter of 2005, the PPHSN coordinating body met in Suva, Fiji Islands. The meeting was organised in conjunction with WHO’s Workshop on International Health Regulations and Pandemic Influenza Preparedness in the Pacific and followed by a meeting of the PPHSN Influenza Specialist Group. An overview of these meetings is provided in the bulletin, including new projects to reinforce influenza surveillance and strengthen national influenza preparedness in Pacific Island countries and territories. These new PPHSN projects should speed up the process of pandemic influenza preparedness.

Mr Tim Sladden, Surveillance Specialist – HIV/AIDS & STIs at SPC, explains in detail the history, goal and functioning of the country response information system (CRIS) designed for the monitoring and evaluation of regional responses to HIV.

Finally, there are brief items on the new Director-General of SPC, and the new manager of the Public Health Programme.

Happy reading to all the readers of Inform’ACTION, and all the best for the New Year — 2006!

Activities in 2006 will be very much oriented towards strengthening pandemic influenza preparedness and linking these activities with the development of core capacity to meet the new International Health Regulations (2005).

Christelle Lepers
Surveillance Information Officer, SPC