22 December 2014 – Infection prevention and control (IPC) are at the heart of infectious disease control. Whether it is preparation for the unlikely event of an imported case of Ebola, or controlling outbreaks of diarrhoeal diseases, well-understood and implemented IPC procedures significantly reduce disease in both patients and healthcare workers. In order to ensure the Pacific is ready to respond to various outbreaks – including but not limited to Ebola - a three day workshop on IPC was carried out.
PORT MORESBY, 18 December 2014 – Papua New Guinea has the highest HIV prevalence in the Pacific region, estimated at 0.8% in 2012. The nation is grappling with an HIV epidemic that is concentrated in marginalized and criminalized key populations including female sex workers and men who have sex with men (MSM). Stigma associated with HIV and advice from influential churches for people to rely on prayer rather than antiretroviral treatment (ART) to heal themselves further complicate the situation.
Ensuring a future that is free from measles and rubella
VIENTIANE, 15 December 2014 – An estimated 1.6 million children aged between nine months and 10 years old benefited from an immunization campaign designed to eliminate measles and accelerate rubella disease control in the Lao People's Democratic Republic. International field monitors were deployed to all 17 provinces in the Lao People's Democratic Republic in one of the largest measles and rubella immunization campaigns in the country's history.
5 December 2014 — The Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS), with the support of the World Health Organization (WHO), is taking action to prepare for a possible imported case of Ebola virus disease. This has long-term benefits for the health system and frontline healthcare workers in Solomon Islands. Although the risk of Ebola spreading to Solomon Islands is still very low, the consequences of not responding quickly and effectively to a case could be severe.
9 December 2014
GENEVA, Switzerland – The number of people dying from malaria has fallen dramatically since 2000 and malaria cases are also steadily declining, according to the World Malaria Report 2014. The report reveals that emerging parasite resistance to antimalarial medicines and mosquito resistance to insecticides, if unaddressed, could render some of the current tools ineffective and trigger a rise in global malaria mortality.
20 November 2014
SUVA, Fiji – Health leaders from 21 Pacific island countries and areas will meet in Nadi, Fiji to discuss progress in the implementation of the International Health Regulations (IHR) in the Pacific. Preparedness to respond to the deadly Ebola virus, should the virus be imported into the Pacific region by a traveller returning from West Africa, will be a key item for discussion.
WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific releases latest ageing and health fact sheet
In almost every country, the proportion of people aged over 60 years is growing faster than any other age group as a result of both longer life expectancy and declining fertility rates. This population ageing can be seen as a success story for public health policies and for socioeconomic development, but it also challenges society to adapt, in order to maximize the health and functional capacity of older people and their participation and security.