The Pacific Community (SPC) Public Health Division (PHD) provides technical assistance to Pacific Island countries, and co-ordinates at the regional level.
Through the Health Security Initiative 2017-2022, the Centre has provided additional funding to the SPC PHD on specific areas of need in public health in the Pacific Island Countries.
Pacific Island countries face capacity gaps including in in infection prevention and control and a need for field epidemiology capacity. The Centre has funded two specialist technical advisers in SPC PHD over three years to provide support to Pacific Island countries on: infection, prevention and control training for field epidemiology. Through these placements, regional guidelines and plans for infection, prevention and control have been updated and countries are being provided support to adapt them into country and institutional plans. In country delivery of field epidemiology training is underway, and deployments to countries to assist with COVID and other responses have been enabled.
The COVID pandemic exacerbated existing healthcare delivery challenges for Pacific Island Countries. The Centre provided additional funding in 2020 to SPC PHD for strengthening critical care (including nurse training, and provision of ventilators), upgrading laboratory facilities to enable countries to undertake higher throughput COVID-19 PCR testing. Additional funding was provided in 2022 for a two-year initiative to provide additional biomedical engineering support at the regional level, and to fund the deployment of nurses for surge support.
- Read about how nurses in the Pacific were trained for the COVID-19 Pandemic.