In addition to allowing the early detection of public
health problems, surveillance makes it possible to monitoring
disease trends and/or outbreaks. Our colleagues from French
Polynesia’s Health Department share with us their analysis of a
spike in confirmed cases of leptospirosis that occurred
the first quarter of 2010.
The data were collected through their leptospirosis surveillance
system, which has been in place since 2007.
Rapid and specific laboratory diagnosis plays a major
role in the surveillance and containment of communicable diseases.
Researchers at the Louis Malardé Institute assessed the performance
of three commercial NS1 antigen detection kits during the DEN-4
epidemic that affected French Polynesia in 2009. They share the
results with all their PPHSN colleagues in this edition of
The achievements and challenges of the
laboratory-based influenza surveillance project for the Pacific
Islands, implemented by SPC and PPHSN partners since 2005, are
detailed in the surveillance and responses pages. That section also
contains a paper aiming to inform agencies and PICTs on key issues
related to influenza testing and surveillance systems in PICTs.
Last year, only three PICTs (Niue, Tokelau and
Pitcairn Islands) did not record any cases of pandemic H1N1 2009.
Niue’s experience is described in the present edition of
Inform’ACTION. The previous edition included an article from
The resistance to anti-tuberculosis (TB) drugs, in
particular the emergence of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB), has
become a major public health problem worldwide, including in the
Pacific. A study has been conducted in Kiribati, where TB is highly
prevalent, to determine the susceptibility of M. tuberculosis
strains isolated to anti-TB drugs and to identify any possible
resistance mechanisms. A framework developed by a group of experts
to address MDR-TB in the PICTs is also presented in the issue.
Tuberculosis was on the agenda of a workshop for the
French Pacific Territories (New Caledonia, French Polynesia and
Wallis and Futuna), held at SPC in February 2010, together with four
other diseases: dengue fever, influenza, leptospirosis and rheumatic
fever. An overview of this workshop is provided in the ‘Meetings’
Finally, the ‘In brief’ section includes information
on the PPHSN infection prevention and control guidelines and the
2010 edition of the Directory of PPHSN resources.
Thank you to all those who contributed to this 32nd
edition of Inform’ACTION!
Surveillance Information Officer, SPC