Inform’ACTION # 30

April 2009

Printed version (PDF, 3.4 MB)


Surveillance & Response

  • Typhoid fever outbreaks in the Northern Division of Fiji Islands, 2008
    Losevati Alefaio, Silina Waqa, Pablo Romakin, Eric Rafai [190 KB]
  • Disease surveillance at the 10th Festival of Pacific Arts in American Samoa
    Sharmain Mageo [376 KB]
  • Cook Islands infection control workshop and drill exercise
    Josephine Aumea Herman, Seini Kupu, Christelle Lepers [359 KB
  • PICT Story: Interview of Dr Bob Haddock [44KB]

Meetings & Training

  • 2nd PAPITaF meeting
    Jennie Fischer [47 KB]
  • Regional Dengue meeting
    Justus Benzler [81 KB]
  • 15th PPHSN Coordinating Body meeting [38 KB]
  • Conducting computer-centred courses in POHLN centres
    Justus Benzler [43 KB]


  • Results of Inform’ACTION survey [48 KB]


  • Have you ever looked at the “routine surveillance” pages of PPHSN website? [278 KB]
  • New SPC staff [37 KB]


Let’s keep the momentum going!

The results of the Inform’ACTION survey conducted towards the end of 2008/beginning of 2009 are positive, constructive and encouraging for the future of the bulletin. Inform’ACTION seems to be on the right track as the results on page 32 show.

Responses were received from readers from13 Pacific Island countries and territories (the PPHSN core members), as well as from several allied members and partners of the network. This is a good sign as the main aim of the bulletin is to benefit all PPHSN members.

The survey has been completed, but your comments and suggestions are still welcome! You can use the web forum created for this purpose (at – under publications) or send an email to the editorial team at [email protected] if you prefer.

On our side, we have also used this period of “reflection” to find a way to speed up the dissemination of information and communication through Inform’ACTION. We usually produce three issues per year, but the production time varies from one issue to the next depending on many factors, from gathering information, liaising with contributors, writing articles and technical review to editing, translation, layout and finally printing. Inform’ACTION is not an academic journal per se, but it’s an official bilingual periodical produced according to formal standards. All the procedures mentioned are necessary before each edition can be released and sometimes certain stages can take longer than expected due to various and unforeseen circumstances.

To overcome these constraints, we have decided to release articles of particular interest early, in their original language, as soon as possible after review, editing and simple layout but before completion of the whole bulletin. This new option has several advantages. It will speed up the dissemination of information on topics of the moment. It will also enable us to attract the attention of readers to important topics and, we hope, encourage them to share their viewpoint on the articles. Our plan is to apply this new procedure as soon as we receive contributions for future issues.

The current issue includes a number of valuable contributions that could have been the subject of such “early” releases.

Our colleagues from Fiji Islands, Dr Losevati Alefaio, Sr Silina Waqa, Dr Pablo Romakin and Dr Eric Rafai describe the public health measures that were taken in response to typhoid fever outbreaks in the Northern Division of Fiji in 2008. They believe that “the frequency of typhoid fever outbreaks in the north can be further curtailed to controllable levels with strong commitment through a multisectoral approach that involves key stakeholders in government and non-government organisations”.

Ms Sharmain Mageo from American Samoa writes on the surveillance system that was put in place for the 10th Festival of Pacific Arts, and explains how ‘it was important to execute the surveillance plan well to avoid potential health impacts on our already overburdened medical infrastructure’.

An illustrated story of an infection control workshop and drill exercise organised in Cook Islands as part of the Pacific Regional Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Project is presented by Dr Josephine Aumea Herman, Dr Seini Kupu and me. The strategy of organising the two events back to back was a real success.

Dr Robert Haddock, Guam’s Territorial Epidemiologist, kindly agreed to share with us his experiences in communicable disease surveillance.

The bulletin continues with coverage of three meetings that took place in Fiji Islands at the end of November 2008: the 2nd Pacific Avian and Pandemic Influenza Taskforce (PAPITaF) meeting, a regional dengue meeting and the 15th PPHSN Coordinating Body meeting.

The training section includes Dr Justus Benzler’s (SPC) views on the potential value of conducting computer-centered courses in POHLN centres.

Finally, we introduce Mr Tony Kolbe, who joined SPC in February 2009 as Influenza Surveillance Specialist.

We wish to again thank all PPHSN members who responded to the Inform’ACTION survey, as well as the contributors to this issue and the new ones to come.

The sharing of experience, ideas and points of view through Inform’ACTION demonstrates how PPHSN members are willing to work together towards a healthier Pacific Island region. Let’s keep the momentum going! Send us your contributions and comments – we welcome your involvement.

Christelle Lepers
on behalf of the editorial team.

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