26 May 2010

Pandemic response in Pacific reviewed in Fiji

2:09 pm on 26 May 2010

Pacific Island countries may share resources to improve their capabilities in coping with pandemics.

In Nadi in Fiji, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community has brought together the Pacific Avian and Pandemic Influenza Taskforce to review how well the region fared during last year's outbreak of H1N1 and other diseases.

The co-ordinator of the Pandemic Preparedness Project, Jennie Fischer, says while last year's outbreak was not as severe as feared it raised issues, such as the ability of countries to sustain a response.

She says many countries found they could respond quite quickly, but they may have struggled to maintain this over a longer period.

"And so where Pacific Island countries are small and they're constrained in terms of their human resources, that can be something, that on a longer term basis, could be very serious and might be something where neighbouring countries perhaps might need to look at sharing their resources or health professionals. They might need to look at sharing their equipment resources, as well as having help from international organisations."