Pacific island countries and areas face a triple disease burden: a rapidly rising epidemic of noncommunicable diseases; outbreak-prone diseases which remain prevalent, as well as emerging infectious diseases which threaten national and regional health security; and the health impacts of climate change. These challenges not only impact human health, they also threaten the overall sustainable development of Pacific island communities.
Covering a third of the earth’s surface, but home to less than 1% of the world’s population, the Pacific faces a unique set of obstacles that require innovative, practical approaches to making health services available and accessible so everyone, everywhere gets the healthcare they need.
To coordinate and provide timely, tailored support and backstopping to 21 Pacific island countries and areas, in 2010 the WHO Western Pacific Regional Office established the Division of Pacific Technical Support (DPS) in Suva, Fiji. The Division also includes six other offices in the Pacific; the Country Offices in Samoa and the Solomon Islands and Country Liaison Offices in Kiribati, the Federated States of Micronesia, Tonga and Vanuatu. Working together as a Division, these offices provide support to: American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Pitcairn Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and Wallis and Futuna.
The Division’s work spans five main areas and is delivered in close collaboration with Pacific governments, other UN agencies, development partners, donors, and nongovernmental organisations to achieve better health outcomes for Pacific island communities.
Dr Corinne Capuano
Director, Pacific Technical Support/WHO Representative in the South Pacific
Pacific Health Ministers Meetings
Pacific Open Learning Health Net
Pacific Public Health Surveillance Network