Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

3rd FSM Pandemic Influenza Summit is set for March 16, 2009 in Pohnpei

Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Department of Health & Social Affairs/FSMPIO): March 13, 2009 - The FSM Department of Health and Social Affairs is set to convene the 3rd FSM Pandemic Influenza Summit in Pohnpei at the Yvonne's Hotel Conference Room. This year's Summit's Theme is "Preparing for the Pandemic Influenza Outbreak through Community Partnership." This year's Summit is a result of the 2nd Pandemic Influenza Summit which was held a year ago, around the same time, March 10-14, 2008.

The main focus of last year's Summit was to discuss the need for FSM to review and update the respective Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Plans that were developed in 2004. Due to issuance of new planning guidelines by agencies and organizations such as the US Department of Health and Human Services, which fund the Cooperative Agreement Grants that the FSM is a recipient of, the need to revise the plan is required. During the last Summit in 2008, all the states were tasked to conduct reviews and make revisions on their respective plans to address three main components: Continuing Operation Plans (COOP), Community Containment, and Mass Vaccination. Each entity, including the FSM National Department of Health and Social Affairs, was tasked to update their respective plans to address these areas. Each respective entity is now expected to provide an update on their plans during this year's summit.

The revised plan for the FSM was submitted to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, as required to all awardees for evaluation and rated. Based on the evaluation, there are areas with major gaps that need to be improved in the planning document, especially in the Continuing Operation component. Other component such as Mass Vaccination did received acceptable ratings, but despite that, FSM still needs to continually review and revise the plan to be in line with new guidelines.

For this year's Summit, additional components have been added that FSM and the states need to develop and incorporate into the pandemic influenza plan. These additional components are: a) surveillance and laboratory capacity, b) communication interoperability, c) port of entry, and d) distribution of medical countermeasures. These are added components to those that were discussed during the 2nd Pandemic Influenza Summit. Subject Matter Expert Exchange (SMEEs) from the Joint Task Force - Homeland Defense will join the WHO Epidemiologist and Health staff from the four states and the national department to team up and work on the new components that FSM needs to work on. The Summit is structured to provide both plenary and focus area breakout sessions to allow interactive discussions and presentations that will be practical and produce insights that will help the participants, including the non-government and community representatives, in forging their thoughts into developing plans that include all partners in responding to an outbreak of pandemic influenza.

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356