Innovative strategy addresses triple threat to the health of Pacific people

News release

21 October 2012 – Pacific island countries and territories are confronted with a triple burden – communicable disease, noncommunicable disease and the health impact of climate change – that causes high rates of morbidity and mortality. The newly launched WHO Multi-Country Cooperation Strategy for the Pacific 2013–2017 (MCCS) has been developed together with the Pacific countries and territories to address these issues. The MCCS identifies common challenges across the Pacific, and outlines strategies to address them. The country-specific strategies complement this with a synopsis of the national health plan and priorities, and the specific action WHO agrees to undertake in support of those goals.

For the first time, the MCCS describes WHO’s technical cooperation with all 21 countries and territories in the Pacific.1 It represents a medium-term vision for its technical cooperation with Member States in support of their national health policies, strategies and plans, while contributing to WHO’s organization-wide plans. The MCCS uses an innovative framework to outline the strategy, focusing on impacts and outcomes.

This MCCS is the result of extensive consultations with Member States, the United Nations system and key development partners. The strategy identifies health and development challenges and priorities in the Pacific and establishes an overall strategic direction and approach for overcoming the challenges and achieving national goals.

The MCCS has been developed in line with national health policies and strategic plans. The strategy identifies the following five priority areas:

  • reducing maternal and child morbidity and mortality;
  • reducing morbidity and mortality from sexually transmitted infections, HIV, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases;
  • reducing morbidity, premature death and disabilities from noncommunicable diseases;
  • reducing mortality due to epidemics, disasters and the health impact of environmental threats and climate change;
  • and universal access to essential health services and products and sustainable health care.

Furthermore, country-specific versions of the cooperation strategies have been developed, resulting in a shorter document, more sharply focused on the needs of the individual country. The MCCs provides a guide WHO can use in cooperation with Pacific countries and territories as we work to achieve our shared goal of better health for people in the Pacific.

1 American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, the Pitcairn Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and Wallis and Futuna.