Outbreak preparedness & control
Influenza expertise for the Pacific Islands
A PPHSN Influenza Specialist Group was identified during the First Regional EpiNet workshop, which was held in Suva (Fiji Islands) from 1 to 5 September 2003. After discussions at the 12th and 13th PPHSN Coordinating Body meeting, the terms of reference (TORs) of the Influenza Specialist Group (ISG) have been amended (in 2007): they are presented hereunder.
As well, with the new TORs, a slightly different membership has been proposed. Additionally, there have been changes in the roles of some of ISG members from PICTs in their respective ministries of health. Therefore, an update of the membership has been proposed (presented hereunder).
PPHSN Influenza Specialist Group (ISG)
TORs and membership
Terms of Reference
The Influenza Specialist Group is a technical advisory body of the Pacific Public Health Surveillance Network (PPHSN) with the following duties:
Provide technical advice and supervision on influenza-related projects (e.g. PRIPPP, CDC lab-based
o Propose projects to improve influenza surveillance, prevention and control
o Advise in the design phase of the projects
o Provide regular supervision of the projects
o Propose amendments to the projects
Be advocate within the PPHSN for all influenza matters:
o Promote awareness of influenza and sharing of influenza-related information in the region.
o Collate regional information and report influenza data (PacNet, the PPHSN, WHO etc).
o Provide advice and guidelines on the appropriate use of vaccines, antivirals and PPE
o Provide advice and guidance on the appropriate non-pharmaceutical public health measures
Oversee updates of the PPHSN Guidelines on influenza (incl. for Influenza Pandemic Preparedness)
Promote increased communication and collaboration with Animal Health professionals in addressing
issues of mutual interest
Be the communication link on influenza for the PPHSN:
o Maintain linkages with technical experts.
o Support LabNet in the development of influenza testing programs.
o Advise on prioritisation of operational research in the region.
o Share important information related to pandemic influenza (incl. preparedness) with the Pacific Avian &
Pandemic Influenza Taskforce
Report on activities and findings to PPHSN-CB (through common members or reports)
Members of the ISG should be professionals in areas like clinical, public or animal health, laboratory, immunization or infection control, currently work on, and have experience and interest in influenza-related areas. They should carry out work in the Pacific Island region.
They should be willing to spend time on activities as described in the above terms of reference.
The following membership is proposed, with a total number of members between 10 and 15:
Regional Adviser, Communicable Disease Surveillance and Response, WHO/WPRO, Manila, Philippines Medical Officer, Communicable Disease Surveillance and Response, WHO Office for the South Pacific,
Epidemiologist (representing also the human health area of the PRIPPP), SPC, Noumea, New Caledonia
Animal Health & Production Adviser (representing also the animal health area of the PRIPPP), SPC,
Pharmacist/biologist in charge of influenza, IPNC (NIC), Noumea, New Caledonia
Director or Deputy Director, WHO Influenza Centre, Melbourne, Australia
Director or Deputy Director, Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL), Geelong, Australia
Scientific Officer (Influenza),Virology Service, Christchurch, New Zealand
Health professionals from PICTs (2-4 volunteers or so reporting to others if necessary)
o Dr Richard Bromstom, Medical Director, Division of Public Health, CNMI
o Mary Fakahau, Microbiologist, Public Health Laboratory, Vaiola Hospital, Ministry of Health, Tonga.
o Dr Jean-Paul Grangeon, Médecin inspecteur de la santé, Chef du service des actions sanitaires,
Direction des affaires sanitaires et sociales de la Nouvelle-Calédonie
o Stéphane Lastère, Lab manager, Clinical Laboratory, Virology Unit, Malarde Institute, Tahiti
OR Dr Rémy Teyssou, Scientific Director, Malarde Institute, Tahiti
Animal health professionals from PICTs (1-2 volunteers or so reporting to others if necessary)
o Dr Valérie Campos-Bregliano, Chef du Bureau d'Inspection vétérinaire, alimentaire et phytosanitaire
(BIVAP) de Wallis et Futuna
After advertisement on PacNet and PacVet, selection of members from the last 2 groups (health professionals from the PICTs) will be based on their CVs, especially if more applications than the proposed numbers are received. The selection process will be carried out by the other ISG members. Additionally to the criteria presented above, complementarities of experiences will be taken into account in the selection process.
Chairperson: to be elected by ISG members, and renewed every 1-2 year(s)
Membership to be updated when decided by the PPHSN Coordinating Body according to ISG advice, possibly every 2 years.
Communication: ISG e-mailing list or other ways if required
World Health Organization (WHO) website:
Contact: For any further information please contact the Influenza Specialist Group through SPC Public Health Surveillance and Communicable Disease Control section: <[email protected]>.