Serious concern about potential harm from testing blood for HIV outside of laboratories.
Call for comments on position paper

Reliable diagnosis of HIV infection is critical for many reasons, including: 1) allowing people to access treatment and care services; and 2) targeting of specific prevention strategies such as those aimed at reducing the perinatal transmission of HIV from women to their babies. A number of quick and relatively simple tests used to screen for HIV infection are now available. These tests are called “rapid tests” and in many countries in other parts of the world, they are now used to test blood (or sometimes other body fluids) outside of traditional laboratories, at the “point of care”, such as in antenatal clinics.
To read more click here.
Smoky Bars and Clubs - A Serious Health Risk to New Caledonians

ImageIn collaboration with an indepedent researcher, Ms Severine Page and Ms Jeanie McKenzie of the SPC Healthy Pacific Lifestyle Section recently launched an Air Quality Monitoring Report with findings demonstrating that several of New Caledonnia's bars and restaurants were among the most polluted in the world. New Caledonia currently ranks ninth among 25 countries in terms of air pollution from cigarette smoke. 


ImageIn 2005, the Pacific Plan called for stronger regional cooperation and integration. It also called for the establishment of appropriate mechanisms and processes to ensure that regional approaches supported activities at the country level and added value to country initiatives.

The Paris Declaration on aid effectiveness the same year, and the corresponding Pacific Declaration in 2007, acknowledged the paramount role of capacity development and the fact that regardless of how much funding and external support are provided, development efforts will invariably fail without enhanced country capacity at both national and local level. The three statements emphasised that the process of developing capacity and priorities must originate from within countries and the region. Countries should lead, with development partners, technical agencies and donors playing a supporting role.

Pacific Avian and Pandemic Influenza Taskforce Established

ImageA new milestone of the Pacific Regional Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Project (PRIPPP) was reached recently with the establishment of the Pacific Avian and Pandemic Influenza Taskforce (PAPITaF) at a three-day meeting in Noumea. The PAPITaF will provide a consultative forum on avian and pandemic influenza and related issues.

Building bridges for Health Communication
ImageHealth-e, an online network for journalists covering health issues in the region, was launched in May 2007 at the biennial conference of the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) in Honiara, Solomon Islands. As the network develops, it will provide opportunities to build information gathering, information sharing and information checking bridges between journalists and our regional health sector. Among its benefits,
10th anniversary of PPHSN
ImageTen years ago,  the Pacific Public Health Surveillance Network (PPHSN) was created. The 25th edition of Inform ACTION, the information bulletin of the PPHSN produced by the PHS & CDC Section marks the 10th anniversary of the network. This special issue includes testimonies and points of view on the development of the network, a complete report on dengue epidemiological surveillance activities in French Polynesia, a summary of the status of PICT national pandemic influenza preparedness plans, etc.  To learn more contact Christelle Lepers.
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