SPC recently completed a training programme designed to build capacity of health professionals from the French-speaking Pacific Island countries and territories (New Caledonia, Wallis and Futuna, French Polynesia and Vanuatu). The programme consisted of four modules designed to improve participants’ skills in managing health promotion projects that target non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
Pacific Islands face similar problems in responding to the challenges of NCDs. These diseases, e.g. diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases and cancer, cause 70% of the deaths in the region. NCDs are closely linked to unhealthy lifestyles such as poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking and alcohol abuse, as well as unfavourable environment in their community. Community-based initiatives are vital for encouraging healthy behaviours.
The training course consisted of the following four modules:
- The first module was delivered in Noumea, New Caledonia in June 2017. Participants learned how to develop and administer a questionnaire designed to study lifestyles in the communities that they worked in.
- The second module was conducted in Papeete In October 2017. Participants analysed and shared the data they collected in Module 1.
- The third session, held on Wallis in October 2018, aimed at assisting the participants in planning and implementing health-promotion interventions in communities.
- The final module, held recently in Vanuatu, focused on health-promotion interventions monitoring and evaluation.
The overall feedback from the participants were positive with most appreciating the collegial networks established at these trainings.
“We were able to meet other health professionals dealing with the same problems…….who had the same goal…making us feel less isolated as we continue in our efforts,” Jean-Baptiste Gaumery, (Nurse, New Caledonia).
“Having each and every French-speaking PICT host the programme helped us create group dynamics and rich exchanges,” Penikosite Logote (Nurse, Wallis.)
Country participants who completed this training have now been empowered to serve as key focal points for implementing strategies and initiatives for NCDs prevention and control in the French-speaking Pacific countries.
Solène Bertrand-Protat, Non-Communicable Diseases Advisor, Public Health Division (PHD), SPC |solenebspc.int
Frédéric Ballenegger, Communications and Public Information (CPI), SPC | fredericbspc.int
The Pacific Community has been supporting sustainable development in the Pacific, through science, knowledge and innovation since 1947. It is the principal intergovernmental organization in the region, owned and governed by its 26 member countries and territories. www.spc.int