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
The current issue includes a number of
valuable contributions that could have been the subject of such
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
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.
on behalf of the editorial team.