Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

First meeting of the National Taskforce

Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services): May 29, 2009 - The H1N1 National Taskforce created by President Manny Mori had convened on May 22, 2009 and nominated Mr. Marcus Samo of the Department of Health and Social Affairs as its Chairman. Members were provided copy of the FSM Pandemic Influenza Plan and other supporting documents important to their work. Mr. Arthy Nena, head of the Public Health and Hospital Preparedness and Response Program of the Department of Health and Social Affairs, briefed the taskforce members on the latest H1N1 situation globally and in the FSM. He further stated that the tasks contained in the plan are not written in stone, they are guidelines. Pieces of the plan have already been implemented in the states but not in a sequential fashion.

An observation was made by immigration that public health staffs are not strict in screening passengers coming from affected areas. The Department of Health and Social Affairs will work with public health staff in the states to be stricter in their screening and to observe the screening protocol. It was also pointed out that some states are now thinking to scale down on their screening activity at the ports of entry while they focus more on public health education and counter measures.

Additionally, the members were also informed that supplies (Tamiflu, PPEs and other basic medications) have already been sent to the states by the Department of Health and Social Affairs. There are enough medications on hands to treat those with H1N1, which to date no one has had. There is no vaccine yet available for H1N1. Even though the H1N1 may seem not that virulent, we should not be complacent.

In attendance of the meeting were Pius Chotailug (Justice-National Police), Mr. David Wolphagon (Justice-Immigration & Labor), Waynold Yamaguch (TC&I), Tony Neth (OEEM), Wetsin Pelep (Finance & Administration-Customs), Marcus Samo (HSA), Dr. Joanes Sarofalpy (HSA), Louisa Helgenberger (HSA), Benito Cantero (HSA), Sepehr Sohrab (HSA), and Arthy Nena (HSA), and Moses Pretrick (HSA).

For more information please conduct the Department of Health and Social Affairs at tel. #320-2619.

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