Thursday, 24 April 2008

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.

The Pacific Framework for NCD Prevention and Control, the Pacific Regional HIV and STI Strategy and associated Response Fund, the Pacific Regional Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Project, the Pacific Public Health Surveillance Network, the recent success in obtaining two Pacific multi-country grants from Round 7 of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis, and the more recent Pacific Human Resources for Health Alliance led by WHO…all these new initiatives demonstrate the commitment of our leaders and of all stakeholders to taking action to improve the health of Pacific Islanders. They emphasise the use of existing resources, and as directed by Pacific leaders; have been developed in close consultation with member countries; are aligned with national processes and strategies, and are based on close partnerships between countries, donors and technical agencies. The sector-wide approaches developed in some countries and SPC’s joint country strategies are part of that momentum.

The initiatives also clearly show that the regional dimension has proved to be vital in supplementing the efforts that countries are making to meet the Millennium Development Goals and to effectively deal with some of their primary public health issues as part of wider global agreements.

To support this common aim, and to fulfil the mandate given to SPC’s Public Health Programme by member countries, our team is working closely with other programmes in SPC including the Human Development Programme (gender, culture, youth), the Statistics and Demography Programme, and the Regional Rights Resource Team (RRRT). With their support, our programme is committed to providing both technical support and other resources to the collective efforts being made regionally and by individual countries to complement work provided by WHO and other agencies contributing to health development in the region..

In this regard, and in response to the recommendations of a review of SPC’s Public Health Programme by external experts in 2006, the programme is undertaking some internal reorganisation to enable it to better serve our members. The major goal of this reorganisation is to develop a programme that is better equipped to work closely with national services and communities and our key partners to respond rapidly and in an integrated manner to the needs of countries. We have also enhanced our consultative processes to ensure the views and priorities of our members are accurately reflected in regional initiatives we lead.

Our governing body has directed that we need to communicate more with you and to provide better information in a more timely manner about what we do, and how best you may use us. We are also adapting our methods and tools in response to your suggestions – if necessary going off the beaten path and being more innovative in our responses.

This letter is a step further in that direction. I hope in reading it you will feel our commitment to making an effective contribution to the collaborative work being done to serve the people of the Pacific and will encourage you to visit our web site or contact our team for further information or assistance.

Dr Thierry Jubeau
Manager, Public Health Programme



Last Updated ( Friday, 23 May 2008 )