Guam, Pacific regional partners collaborate for disease prevention
HAGATNA,12 FEBRUARY 2018 (THE GUAM DAILY POST)—Representatives from the public health sector across the region were on Guam to discuss strategic plans for a collaborative agreement on addressing HIV, viral hepatitis, sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis. [restrict]
More than 40 representatives from American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Republic of the Marshall Islands and Republic of Palau participated in the meeting from 05 -09 February at the Hilton Guam Resort & Spa.
“This is a regional meeting among the six Pacific island jurisdictions, also our regional partners such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and PIHOA which stands for Pacific Island Health Officers’ Association,” said Vince J. Aguon, communicable disease control coordinator II for the STD/HIV prevention programme under the Department of Public Health and Social Services’ Bureau of Communicable Disease Control.
According to Aguon, the five-day meeting provided an opportunity for the participants to talk about their strategies and goals, so they can collectively work together to address the prevention and control of HIV, STDs and viral hepatitis in the region.
The meeting focused on the renewal of a five-year collaborative agreement supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to Bernadette Schumann, communicable disease control coordinator III, who supervises Public Health’s STD/HIV prevention programme.
Schumann said the strategies under the agreement generally focus on prevention, surveillance and treatment, among others. She said the collaborative agreement started last month and ends in 2022.
“The funding that we are getting for five years supports our program efforts,” Schumann said.
Fetaui Saelua, manager of the HIV program for the Public Health Division of the American Samoa Department of Health, said the discussions during the five-day regional meeting will help her explain to project officers the expectations under the agreement.
he CDC had issued a notice of funding opportunity for PS18-1801, which supports programs accelerating the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis, STDs and TB in U.S.-affiliated Pacific islands.
According to information from the CDC, the agreement promotes integrated HIV, viral hepatitis, STD and TB prevention and treatment services at the client level through enhanced collaboration and surveillance, strengthening health systems, and disease prevention and care.
According to information on the CDC website, the total projected estimated funding for the entire five-year project period is approximately US$19.5 million.
Aside from reducing incidence rates, the agreement supports and promotes interventions focusing on reducing health disparities in the affiliated islands and improving service infrastructure and delivery…..PACNEWS [/restrict]