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PC launches a new web-based map of epidemic alerts

PC launches a new web-based map of epidemic alerts in the Pacific

Wednesday 20 August 2014, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Noumea, New Caledonia –

The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) has just launched a new web-based interactive map showing current epidemic and emerging disease alerts in the Pacific region.

Deputy Director of SPC’s Public Health Division Dr Yvan Souarès said this new website has been developed to keep health professionals better informed and ensure they are better prepared to help protect the health of Pacific and international communities from epidemic and emerging diseases like chikungunya.

‘Since last year the Pacific has suffered from an unprecedented epidemic wave of diseases transmitted by mosquitoes – including dengue, zika and chikungunya – and it continues,’ said Dr Souarès.

‘Several epidemics of measles are also currently occurring in the region.’

This new website provides an overview of the most up to date information on the circulation of epidemic and emerging diseases in the Pacific.

It is located at: www.spc.int/phd/epidemics/

Feedback from Pacific health professionals in the region, who saw the first prototype of this new website, has been very positive. Their comments indicated that they see it as a very useful tool for their daily practice of public health surveillance, preparedness and response to epidemics.

The web interface allows users to visualise the epidemics and alerts in different ways, i.e. by country, disease, type of transmission and over recent time.

Future developments will provide more descriptive and technical information on actual situations, and ultimately on historical data.

International Year of Small Island Developing States
The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) welcomes the declaration of the International Year of Small Island Developing States as a global acknowledgement of their special cultures and diversity and of the challenges they face in achieving the benefits of sustainable development now and for future generations.

The UN Conference on Small Island Developing States (1–4 September 2014, Apia, Samoa) will focus on building partnerships for sustainable development. The conference offers unique opportunities for the region and SPC is already involved in several partnerships on behalf of its members (www.sids2014.org/). In particular, SPC seeks to further strengthen the effectiveness of its work through a collaborative, multi-sector approach to development challenges in the Pacific. SPC considers that multi-stakeholder partnerships, adapted to the development needs of island countries and their people, are one of the keys to driving sustainable economic, social and cultural development. This is particularly true in the Pacific region, which covers 20 of the 51 members of the SIDS Group, and which SPC is proud to have served for over 67 years.

Secretariat of the Pacific Community
SPC works in the following sectors: fisheries, agriculture, forestry, water resources, geoscience, transport, energy, climate change and disaster risk management, public health, statistics, education, human rights, gender, youth and culture.

SPC member countries and territories: American Samoa, Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, France, French Polynesia, Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Pitcairn Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, United States of America, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna.

ENDS

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