Pacific Health Summit

Pacific Health Summit for Sustainable Disaster Risk Management

The University of Hawai‘i sponsored the Pacific Health Summit for Sustainable Disaster Risk Management in Honolulu, Hawaii,14–18 June 2004, in association with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Pacific Emergency Health Initiative (PEHI).

The goal of the meeting was to identify challenges and opportunities for an integrated, inclusive, multi-hazard and region-wide approach to sustainable disaster risk management for the promotion of health and safety in Pacific islands. The outcome was a regional declaration of Pacific strategies for sustainable disaster risk management, as related to public health and medical issues.

The PPHSN-CB focal point (SPC) was invited to participate in the summit as a partner, and to serve as a presenting panellist. The PPHSN and its services were recognised as existing achievements, and taken into account in the planning discussions regarding disaster preparedness and response.

A few areas of collaboration were identified during the meeting:

  • There was a discussion regarding the establishment of a regional intervention team for disaster response. This initiative could be linked with the setting-up of the regional EpiNet team for the response to epidemics (see the report of the PPHSN-CB meeting).
  • In each country, PEHI will work on a disaster preparedness plan with all the stakeholders. It has already done so in Palau. The draft plan for Palau, which was presented on the last day of the summit, includes a chapter on infectious diseases. This is where the PPHSN guidelines[1], which are currently being developed, will need to be referred to and adapted in a country-specific manner.

Dr Tom Kiedrzynski

PPHSN guidelines for the preparedness, surveillance and response to dengue, influenza, leptospirosis, measles, typhoid fever and cholera are being prepared.